A ground breaking research study to assess the progress of state's manufacturers
in adopting strategies to win in the global economy was launched today by IMEC.
The study is part of a national survey being sponsored by the American Small
Manufacturers Coalition as a first step in a long-term effort to help Illinois
and all U.S. manufacturers to weather today's recession and improve manufacturing
competitiveness over the next decade. The web-based Next Generation Manufacturing
Study questionnaire can be accessed at www.NGMStudy-Illinois.com.
Any manufacturing owner, CEO or senior level executive is eligible to participate.
Participation in the study is confidential and takes approximately 30 minutes
to complete. Responses can also be anonymous. Deadline for participation is
March 15, 2009. Study participants will receive a customized benchmarking report
comparing their progress to the overall results as well as to other respondents
of similar revenue and number of employees.
The study asks manufacturers to rank their progress toward the world-class
performance benchmarks of Next Generation Manufacturing, a framework of strategies
that will drive manufacturing growth and profitability in the 21st century.
The elements of Next Generation Manufacturing include customer- focused innovation,
systemic continuous improvement, advanced talent management, global engagement,
extended enterprise management and sustainable products and processes.
"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 is conducting the study. Brandt noted that a recent Wisconsin study
of more than 500 manufacturers confirmed the strong correlation between next
generation strategies and readiness to compete globally.
"Especially in tough economic conditions, progressive manufacturers are
looking for new approaches to differentiate themselves and win market share,"
said Lachlan Perks, Vice President of Rockford-based Eclipse, and Chairman of
IMEC's Board of Directors. "One important step in the growth process is
to assess where your company stands against companies which have implemented
leading-edge business strategies. The Next Generation Manufacturing Study will
give us this comparison and I strongly encourage manufacturing leaders in Illinois
The study results will provide a wealth of valuable data for manufacturers,
business leaders and state and national policymakers. Manufacturers can see
how they rank against world-class performance benchmarks, and target improvements
where needed. The results will also provide information for use by IMEC and
Illinois economic development policymakers strengthen and improve programs and
services supporting manufacturers.
"The study results will provide a scorecard that will enable manufacturers
to compare their operations and strategies with other companies in Illinois
and throughout the U.S.," said Bob Weinstein, IMEC President.
The study is part of a coordinated multi-state effort that will include manufacturers
throughout the country. "It's an opportunity to strengthen and improve
the Illinois' manufacturing base and achieve a long-term competitive advantage
across all industries and sectors," continued Weinstein. "With the
change in administration and attention focused on industry, manufacturers in
this state who participate in the survey will have an unprecedented opportunity
to shape programs that will provide them with the resources and support that
they truly need to accelerate their success."
Currently manufacturing is the single largest contributing sector to the state's
economy at roughly 13 percent of state GDP. Illinois is the nation's 4th largest
industrial state, with Value Added manufacturing reaching $94.1 billion.
Partners for the study include the State of Illinois, Employers Association,
the Peoria Area Economic Development Council's Manufacturing Strategy Team,
the Rockford Manufacturers Council, Illinois Manufacturers' Association, and
the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association. For more information on the Next
Generation Manufacturing Study, call Tucker Kennedy, at 309-677-4633.