Study: State manufacturers advance in key areas

Posted on Dec 13, 2011 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive.
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Posted by of Insight Publications

Data from a nationwide study to assess the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers reveals that Wisconsin manufacturers are making progress in achieving the Next Generation Manufacturing capabilities that are essential to long-term manufacturing success.

Of the total 824 manufacturers nationwide who participated in the survey, 95 were from Wisconsin. The data provides an update of a study first conducted inWisconsinin 2008 that surveyed 531Wisconsinmanufacturers.

“Next Generation Manufacturing refers to a framework of forward-looking strategies that drive manufacturing growth and profitability,” says Buckley Brinkman, executive director of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP).  The next generation success strategies are: customer-focused innovation, systemic continuous improvement, advanced talent management, global engagement, extended enterprise management and sustainable products and processes. 

The study revealed significant progress in several of these areas; Brinkman noted that sustainability awareness has increased dramatically. In 2008, 33 percent of companies surveyed said that sustainability was important or highly important; today that number has risen to 67 percent. Wisconsinmanufacturers have realized how important sustainable and green practices are to their bottom line and, according to Brinkman, are making progress in implementing green practices. 

“For our operations to remain competitive, it’s clear that more Wisconsin companies must commit to process improvements that also increase sustainability,” Brinkman says.  “The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) fully supports this and has provided additional funding for the Profitable Sustainability Initiative to help small and midsizeWisconsinmanufacturers implement sustainable practices in their businesses.”

Manufacturing contributes $47 billion – 19 percent – to Wisconsin’s economy annually and supports about one in four private sector jobs.

To download the study, click here.