In troubled economic times, competition in manufacturing is very intense. Now there’s a way for business owners to actually find out how their company stacks up against local and national competitors. It’s called the Next Generation Manufacturing Study.
The benchmarking study is designed to help manufacturers evaluate their organization’s progress in meeting performance and best-practice next-generation manufacturing strategies that will drive manufacturing growth and profitability in the future. The study will also provide government officials and legislators with valuable information on the status of manufacturing in America and the metrics for improvement so they can develop and implement policies and programs to support the success of America’s next-generation manufacturing effort.
The study, which is sponsored by the American Small Manufacturers Coalition, an organization composed of Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers in America and various state manufacturing organizations and support services, covers response time, skilled labor management, and several other areas of manufacturing. It is being conducted by MPI Group, an internationally recognized research firm.
Manufacturers who participate in the study receive a customized benchmarking report that compares their progress to state and national results as well as to other respondents with similar revenue and number of employees. Participation can be confidential or anonymous. The deadline for participation is March 15, 2009.
The Next Generation Manufacturing Study requires about 30 minutes to complete. It can be taken online or mailed in. The study consists of 63 questions that ask manufacturers to rank and describe their progress in next-generation manufacturing. The following are the question categories:
- Profile: Covers a manufacturer’s organization and management, such as location, the primary product manufactured, approximate annual revenue, and number of employees
- Customer-focused innovation: Determines a manufacturer’s ability to produce new products or services faster than the competition
- Engaged people/human capital acquisition, development, and retention: Covers a manufacturer’s ability to recruit, hire, develop, and retain high-quality talent
- Superior processes/improvement focus: Covers a company’s commitment to continuous improvement
- Supply-chain management and collaboration: Covers the manufacturer’s ability to develop and manage supply chains that provide flexibility, response time, and delivery performance over competitors
- Green/sustainability: Covers the manufacturer’s ability to design and implement waste and energy-use reductions
- Global engagement: Covers the ability to engage global markets and talent better than the competition
- Going forward: Explores local support services, peer groups, training opportunities, and resources in a manufacturer’s location
The study can be completed online or downloaded as a PDF, completed, and mailed to NGMS, P.O. Box 4330, Dublin, OH 43016.