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.
Energy costs can be significant expenses for manufacturers of all shapes and sizes. Your processes may require vast amounts of energy to keep production moving—heating, cooling, lighting and more. Scaling back your energy expenses can improve your bottom line and lead to increased profitability. If you do not have a strategic plan to conserve energy, it is time for action.
A manufacturer can be innovative in various ways beyond the use of technology. Innovation can include the utilization of new business models, the development of new processes and services, and the enhancement of existing products too.
Manufacturers today need to be well-equipped to handle a variety of pressures to improve the effectiveness of their product while simultaneously looking for ways to cut costs. At face value, “going green” might seem like an impossible task for your business, but there are a surprising number of benefits.
Recently a segment on my favorite morning news program stopped me in my tracks. The young and attractive hosts (why are they always so young and attractive?) were demonstrating new appliances including a smart refrigerator. The fridge was equipped with all kinds of high-tech features including touch screen displays, a camera inside that allows you to see the contents and Wi-Fi connectivity. You can see inside your fridge while grocery shopping, how convenient! But I must ask, how secure is it?
Small businesses face unique challenges. Because of these challenges, business leaders need to have a strategic business plan in place to navigate toward their goals and objectives and prepare for any problems that may arise. Strategic management is essential to operating an efficient, successful small business enterprise.
Developing new leaders is the No. 1 talent challenge facing organizations worldwide, with 86 percent of companies rating it as “urgent” or “important.”
Consider this: 100 percent of domestic manufacturers in the United States procure some combination of materials, components, sub-assemblies, and/or assemblies from other companies—they buy stuff. And 100 percent of domestic successful manufacturers have end-user, other business or government customers—they sell stuff. In other words, 100 percent of domestic manufacturers are in supply chains.
Cybersecurity guidelines required by the Department of Defense (DoD) are likely to have an enormous impact on the over 700 North Dakota manufacturers that received a DoD contract in 2016. By December 31, 2017, all DoD contractors (including small business) must meet minimum cybersecurity requirements or risk losing DoD business. Alarmingly, most manufacturers aren’t even aware of the looming deadline or what they must do to comply.
Cybersecurity is paramount to our nation’s safety and our military’s viability. Having a sustainable plan in place to combat cyber threats also is critical to the survival of a small business because just one cyber-attack can be catastrophic. The following statistics underscore the severity of the issue: