Manufacture Smarter Blog

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The Future of Manufacturing in Michigan

1/29/2024 As we face the impact of technology, increased global competition, and an ongoing labor shortage, our ingenuity and resilience will be crucial to creating an even brighter future. So what should be our priorities to keep Michigan manufacturers leading the charge?


Planning for the Planned and Unplanned: Automotive Shutdowns & Restarts

10/27/2023 - BY: CHUCK WERNER
As a consequence of the ongoing strike and negotiations between the UAW and the American Auto Manufacturers, many suppliers to the OEMs (and suppliers to those suppliers) are seeing decreases in demand that could result in the idling of lines or even entire facilities. Driven by the voice of the customer (VOC) and in the best interest of the business, it was necessary to have a plan for how these functions were to be conducted.


Information Systems 101

7/7/2023 - BY: CHUCK WERNER
As technology continues to advance, one of our top priorities at the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) is to support manufacturers through their selection of business information systems. From our analysis of more than 500 technology opportunity assessments around the state, we have found roughly 80% of participants have an information system and nearly 90% of those strongly dislike the system they have.


What to Consider While Costs Are Rising

10/7/2022 - BY: ROB STAUFFER
Most manufacturers are facing inflation, which drives up the cost of just about everything they buy. At the same time, the price of petroleum has risen, increasing the cost of transporting items to and from their factories. The current talent and workforce shortage, particularly in manufacturing, has caused an upward pressure on wages. And to make things even more challenging, many economic indicators are predicting a looming recession, which tends to shrink consumption and slow down production.


Technology Opportunity Assessments: What Have We Learned?

9/9/2022 - BY: GEORGE SINGOS
As we all know, technology is advancing by the day, hour and minute, which means so is manufacturing. To assist manufacturers, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) provides free Technology Opportunity Assessments. During this assessment, The Center’s experts visit a manufacturing site to see where automation and technologies could help ensure the company doesn’t get left behind. So, what have we learned after completing more than 200 of them?


Up at Night: Manufacturers Report Common Challenges

12/17/2021 - BY: REBEKAH MCCARTER
In recent months, both Deloitte and IndustryWeek published survey data on the pressing issues that are the biggest concern for manufacturers. These surveys, conducted in September and October 2021 respectively, reported remarkably consistent findings.


Asking the Right Question to Get the Right Answer in Market Research

9/25/2020 - BY: REBEKAH MCCARTER
As the world continues to adapt to the changes brought on by COVID-19, market research has gained more traction and attention as a critical tool in business strategy. In order to get the most value possible out of this powerful research method, companies must have a strong understanding of what exactly they're trying to find. This begins with understanding a few of the key terms used in market research.


9 Reasons Cybersecurity Should Be a Priority in Your Business Right Now

8/14/2020 - BY: JEFF WILLIAMS
With countless workers now using personal laptops and home internet connections, rather than dedicated servers and equipment with stronger cybersecurity, hackers are provided an easy access point into confidential company data. Due to this heightened and evolving risk, it is now more critical than ever for companies to focus on establishing robust cybersecurity practices if they hope to keep their businesses safe in this new threat landscape.


COVID-19 Emphasizes the Need for New Skills Among Current Workers

7/24/2020 - BY: REBEKAH MCCARTER
The COVID-19 outbreak forced companies to evaluate and transform their traditional ways of doing business nearly overnight. As companies worked to acclimate to this new environment, many came to realize their abilities to reskill or upskill workers were not sufficient to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape.


How Have Michigan Manufacturers Fared During COVID-19?

7/17/2020 - THE CENTER
With the impacts of the nation-wide lockdown weighing heavily, many have wondered how exactly manufacturers in the United States have fared during and after the pandemic. In an effort to capture current business conditions among smaller manufacturers in certain areas of the United States, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago recently conducted a Survey of Business Conditions on the Impact of Covid-19 on Manufacturers.


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