MEP Association Launches Next Generation Manufacturing Study

The study measures small business progress in adopting world-class performance strategies.

The American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC) launched a study to assess America's progress in adopting manufacturing strategies necessary to win in the global economy. The study will example areas of growth, supply chain development and green manufacturing.

The Next Generation Manufacturing Study, available to manufacturers at, is based on MEP centers in 17 states. MEP is a national program that helps small and midsize manufacturers implement competitiveness strategies. Collectively, these states are home to more than 150,000 manufacturers employing more than 5 million workers.

Next Generation Manufacturingrefers to a framework of six forward-looking strategies that are driving manufacturing growth and profitability in the 21st century, said Mike Klonsinski, ASMC board chair and executive director of the Wisconsin MEP. The strategies are customer-focused innovation, systemic continuous improvement, advanced talent management, global engagement, extended enterprise management andsustainable products and processes.

"What is world-class today will be standard practice by 2015," said Klonsinski.

Industry experts say Next Generation Manufacturing represents a way forward for U.S. manufacturers. "What we see here in the U.S.and around the globe is that the adoption of these strategies aligns with better business performance," said John Brandt, CEO of the Manufacturing Performance Institute (MPI), a global research firm that isconducting the study. Brandt said a recent Wisconsin study of more than 500 manufacturers confirmed the strong correlation between next generation strategies and readiness to compete globally.

"The regions of the world that have a higher number of firms implementing these strategies will compete and win on the world stage, which in turn will promote good jobs and stronger economies," said Drew Casani, director of the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC). "We're confident those regions can be right here in the U.S. if we reach for better performance across all of the Next Generation Manufacturing performance benchmarks.'

Study participants will receive a customized benchmarking report comparing their progress to the overall results. For moreinformation on the study contact Carrie Hines of ASMC [email protected].

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