Friday, September 25th, 2009
“Does your company want to increase profits? What about cut costs?”
Sounds like lines from the beginning of some cheesy radio ad or TV infomercial, huh? But if you answered “yes” to either or both questions (and I know you did), then my next question is: Did you know that there is a manufacturing program that has been around for almost two decades whose mission is to support, strengthen, and grow U.S. manufacturing and in turn help companies increase profits and cut costs?
Facilitated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is a national network of 59 centers across all 50 states and Puerto Rico, with more than 350 locations across the country, providing technical assistance and business support services to America’s manufacturers. They have worked with thousands of manufacturers delivering $1.44 billion in cost savings annually and $10.5 billion in increased or retained sales in one year.
MEP center specialists provide an array of services to companies, from initial assessments prioritizing opportunities for improvement, to implementation projects guiding companies through process improvements, productivity increases, and growth. Centers provide companies with access to training resources as well as specific project assistance. Some engagements are short-term classes or basic projects. Other companies engage in multiple projects with their local field specialist—as one improvement project often leads to several others.
Overall, MEP’s range of services includes:
- Programs in lean manufacturing
- Energy and environmental services
- Information technology to address continuity of service issues
- Programs addressing manufacturers concerns related to innovation, technology deployment and business growth.
If you want to see some of the plastics industry success stories (including SPI member Fabri-Kal, ) go to the “client successes” section of the MEP site and read through all of the great projects MEP has worked on with various plastics companies.
Ok, so you are interested, right? To get started and to take advantage of the MEP program, first identify the MEP center closest to you. Then pick up the phone and call the MEP center contact provided. Once you have an initial discussion, a representative from the center will plan to meet with you and talk in more detail about the project(s) your company is interested in working on with the MEP.
This is no cheesy infomercial. Don’t miss this great opportunity for your company.