Manufacture Smarter Blog

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Innovation By Problem Solving

10/23/2015 - THE CENTER
It’s easy to make the innovation process out to be something far more complicated than it needs to be. Case in point:  Almon Strowger, who patented the automatic telephone exchange in 1891. His idea came about in order to solve a problem:  he was losing business due to his small-town telephone operator.

National Network for Manufacturing Innovation Brings Technology to Michigan

10/9/2015 - THE CENTER
Where do you go for help regarding new, lightweight materials? Who is really working on the materials and processes to create future vehicles and products which are lightweight, sustainable, and affordable?  How can I position my company for growth as the lightweight trend goes from being a gentle wave to a tsunami?

Accelerating Your Ideas Into Cash

7/31/2015 - THE CENTER
Most companies have great ideas. The challenge is deciding what to do with them. How can we get over the hurdles, speed up the implementation and turn these ideas into cash, whether it be from revenue or cost savings? Stepping outside the box and trying something new can prove difficult because of FEAR.

Industry Update: Four Hot Trends in U.S. Manufacturing

4/17/2015 - THE CENTER
It is a critical time for American, specifically Michigan, manufacturers. With a feeling of cautious optimism, manufacturers are experiencing upticks and improvements in business, yet they are still working harder to set a stronger foundation for growth. Indicators are pointing to a manufacturing comeback.

"Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way"

1/30/2015 - THE CENTER
Do you want to create a ripple in 2015? Are you ready to lead your company into the future? Innovation is about change. Innovation is the buzz, but how do I do it? Do I need a product to innovate? Is there an App for that? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, ‘Innovation’ is “The process of translating an idea into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay.”

Manage or Mitigate: Why Risk can’t be Avoided

10/10/2014 - THE CENTER
No one likes being vulnerable. It involves risk, and risks are scary. In business, innovation or trying new things is often seen as a risk. There are entire service industries that revolve entirely around the concept of managing or mitigating risk, have you talked to your insurance agent recently?

Industry Update: Innovation Institutes

4/18/2014 - THE CENTER
Innovation is the lifeblood of U.S. manufacturing – especially Michigan manufacturing. We’ve used innovation to establish ourselves as the leaders of manufacturing. Where’s the birthplace of the U.S. automobile industry? You know the answer: Michigan. When things were looking dire during the economic downturn…what state used innovation to create more manufacturing jobs than any other state in the nation?

Looking Ahead to 2014: Two Key Focuses

12/20/2013 - THE CENTER
​Can you believe it’s already the end of 2013? It seemed like just yesterday that we were making resolutions for this year. You know them…lose some weight…take up a new hobby… waste less time at work…spend some more time with family and friends...

Partners in Crime: Lean Manufacturing and Innovation

8/16/2013 - THE CENTER
Talking with manufacturers around Michigan, when many individuals hear the word “Lean,” they automatically think “to cut.” Especially during a recovering economy, Lean manufacturing topics are commonly discussed. It’s to the point where the perception of Lean is that you get rid of everything left and right….just reduce your expenses and improve your profit margins….that’s all that Lean is, right?

Increasing Competitiveness through Innovation

7/19/2013 - THE CENTER
There was a really great article published in Industry Week this month called, “Innovation: One Size Fits One.” The article relayed quotes and stories from industry experts about the importance of innovation in the manufacturing field.

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