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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.

October 12, 2017

I was at an end of summer family barbeque the other day, and two of my nephews, 16 and 20 years old, were in attendance. As the day progressed, they spent most of the day fixated on their phones, from watching YouTube videos of cats and playing games, to tweeting and instagramming photos.

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October 10, 2017

Cybersecurity is everyone’s business! As personal computing devices become even more pervasive, the chances of falling victim to a cyber-attack rise higher and higher. With continuous use of email, social media, banking apps, etc., the list of vulnerabilities to which we have opened ourselves is ever-growing. Hackers often use an unsuspecting individual’s error, like a weak password or clicking a suspicious link, to gain access to larger institutions or to organize large-scale denial-of-service attacks.

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October 4, 2017

I spoke at a manufacturing conference in St. Louis this week, and thoroughly enjoyed the keynote speaker, Jennifer McNelly, President of 180Skills. 180Skills provides online career and technical education that fills the manufacturing skills gap (you should check them out for your workforce development needs!).

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September 22, 2017

If you are on social media and have any members of the manufacturing community in your network, you likely have had your news feed flooded with organizations promoting their Manufacturing Day activities. In my news feed on LinkedIn this morning, I had four posts related to Manufacturing Day, and that was before I even started to scroll down my homepage!

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September 21, 2017

As you are no doubt aware, technology has entered our home and work lives in numerous ways -- from cars that can parallel park hands-free to numerous iPhone, iPad, and Android apps to keep our children occupied with games and keep us on track with food and fitness. Mobile apps can also be found in manufacturing and companies and programmers have been pretty busy filling this niche to help manufacturers in their everyday work environments.

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September 15, 2017

It’s pretty simple---Manufacturing for the Future can’t be viewed as rust belt like. It needs to be cool, approach those in middle school ---and work the workforce.

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September 14, 2017

Manufacturing Day is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Although October 6th is designated as Manufacturing Day 2017, any day can be a Manufacturing Day! 

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September 7, 2017

Whether it’s for performance management or for risk, it’s important to know who your suppliers are and have a close business relationship with them. It’s a given you should already have a strong relationship with your key suppliers, but how often does your supplier request the following items?

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August 31, 2017

Is Lean dead? is the provocative title of a podcast hosted by Mark Graban with guest Karen Martin. The question, the podcast description says, is “easy to discuss, but hard to answer”.

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August 24, 2017

Nearly 1 in 6 Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses every year. Approximately 3,000 die each year. The FSMA is intended to significantly reduce these mostly preventable occurrences in the food manufacturing industry. The FSMA is a sweeping law which was passed in 2011 and has given the FDA great responsibilities and enhanced jurisdiction. The FDA has worked with industry, manufacturers, trade groups, and the general public to publish a series of Rules which have the full effect of law. As these Rules have become published they have been set with deadlines for compliance.

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