Impact Dakota Blog is a blog dedicated to supporting North Dakota’s manufacturing community improve People, Purpose, Processes and Performance. Entries provide information on opportunities, new ideas, quick tips, celebrations of success, and well, frankly, anything to help you become a better manufacturer.

February 1, 2022

The Six Words That Will Massively Improve Your Employee Recruitment in 2022Up and down busy streets nationwide, the same six-word banners stand outside in front of hundreds of businesses. The problem? These banners aren’t working. These six words – umpteen dollars per hour plus benefits – have lost all their meaning in a world with a talent shortage and simply not enough workers. It’s time to shake up your employee recruitment banner. Six word stories have an incredible power to engage people, cutting through the clutter with a concise, poignant message. So, stop advertising your manufacturing business like a commodity and start pushing what makes manufacturing exciting.

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January 27, 2022

Simulation is a Window Into the Future of Your Manufacturing OperationSmall and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) have struggled with the time and level of expertise it takes to build and validate a simulation model, especially for those in high mix, low volume environments that are difficult to model adequately. But there is a payoff, as simulation will provide manufacturers with a great opportunity to increase their performance and meet the daunting demands to rapidly introduce new products and technology, reduce costs, and increase quality. SMMs can stay competitive by using advanced engineering tools such as simulation.

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January 18, 2022

How to Translate Lean Principles Into Your Office FunctionsLean principles can apply to traditional scheduling functions, finance, even sales and marketing. Bringing lean principles to your manufacturing office will save you time, and ultimately, money, by addressing common issues like non-value-added time spent on tasks, delays in communication and lack of proper information flow. There often is a huge wall that separates office functions from manufacturing operations. Each side may not understand what the other side does and how they do it. A lean office mindset will help with transparency and breaking down that wall.

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January 10, 2022

Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing: Real World Success Stories and Lessons LearnedFor manufacturers, artificial intelligence (AI) can be a game changer. Greater efficiencies, lower costs, improved quality and reduced downtime are just some of the potential benefits. This technology is not only for large manufacturers. High-value, cost-effective AI solutions are more accessible than many smaller manufacturers realize. In the recent MEP National Network™/Modern Machine Shop webinar “Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing: Real World Success Stories and Lessons Learned,” Andy Carr of South Carolina MEP (SCMEP) and Delta Bravo Founder and CEO Rick Oppedisano discussed AI solutions that work best for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs).

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December 22, 2021

Turn Work Into Play With “Ready or Not”Can a simple online game change the way you view your manufacturing business? Absolutely. The “Ready or Not” manufacturing simulation game developed by the Oregon MEP (OMEP) is a live, interactive experience set in a hypothetical manufacturing business that you control. The game teaches critical skills and lessons in an engaging, exciting format that delivers valuable training, team building, and insights.

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December 17, 2021

The Celebration Doesn’t End After Manufacturing MonthManufacturing Month may be over, but many federal agencies celebrate and support U.S. manufacturing and manufacturers year-round! If you couldn’t join the interagency Manufacturing Month series of five-webinars hosted by the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Commercial Service, Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), here’s a quick summary of how these agencies can help your company grow.

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November 29, 2021

Stay on the Nice List with Gift Ideas from American ManufacturersEach year, the MEP National NetworkTM is fortunate to assist manufacturing companies across the nation that are operating at the cutting-edge of their industries and creating distinct, quality products. And, each year, we like to share some of these small to medium-sized manufacturers and their products with you. While not exhaustive, this gives you a sense of the great products made right here in the U.S. For 2021’s gift-giving season, we’ve pulled together a list of companies with offerings that will have you on everyone’s nice list come December.

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November 22, 2021

It’s Not “The Great Resignation.” It’s Actually “The Great Recognition.”Employees, employers, and workforce development practitioners nationwide are all recognizing either new trends, or the amplification of existing ones, that are disrupting the American workforce in ways that are here to stay. By pivoting from ‘The Great Resignation’ – a negative term that implies that the problem lies with lazy workers – to ‘The Great Recognition,’ which captures how both employers and employees are learning and evolving, we as a nation can begin to directly address these challenges and take action to fill the 900,000 open jobs in manufacturing right now.

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November 15, 2021

Two Industry 4.0 Technologies Primed for the Food Manufacturing IndustryThis is an exciting time in the food manufacturing industry. The innovations and technology associated with Industry 4.0 are making it easier for small and medium-sized manufacturers to overcome obstacles in ways that at one point would not have been considered. While manufacturers have previously been slower to move toward incorporating advanced industry technologies due to the high level of regulation and biologically complex products with which they work, innovation is becoming more widely accepted as a key to industry sustainability. Two examples of such Industry 4.0 technologies are automation and augmented reality.

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October 25, 2021

Five Workforce Lessons From the Mars MissionsAfter diving deep into the Mars missions, MAGNET’s Matt Fieldman was convinced that the leadership approach Adam Steltzner, an engineer at NASA, learned could, in fact, help small manufacturers nationwide. Find out more about these five workforce lessons.

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