Our experience in assisting manufacturers indicates the greatest benefits can be achieved when companies make improvements throughout their entire enterprise, from the production floor to administration, operational planning to technology, and everything in between. Long-term success depends on the ability of manufacturers to respond quickly to changes in market conditions, and to continuously improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of their products. To ensure IMEC can maximize its own effectiveness in helping companies meet these challenges, we are making important improvements in our service and in working with clients.
- IMEC service teams. Over the past year we have continued to refine our delivery system and expand the capacity of our service teams in lean manufacturing, information technology/eBusiness, and quality systems. And, as our clients experienced declining sales during the recession, we helped them develop effective marketing strategies to expand their customer base. At the same time we have continued to meet client needs ranging from product development and design to general business system improvements.
- Professional business advisors. We’re not only increasing the number of smaller manufacturers we assist, but also deepening our relationships with our existing clients by training additional staff as professional business advisors. These certified specialists will address challenges such as leadership succession, organizational change, strategic planning, and financial management.
- Supply chain optimization. Many of Illinois’ smaller manufacturers are part of national supply chains. For our nation’s larger manufacturers to remain internationally competitive, their entire supply chain must be competitive.
To help ensure Illinois suppliers are among the most competitive in the nation, IMEC developed relationships with The Boeing Company, Deere & Company, and other larger manufacturers to help suppliers increase profits despite pressure to meet quality standards and reduce operating costs.
FY 2001 Results and Benefits—According to IMEC’s annual report, in 2001, Illinois manufacturers reported the following benefits as a result of IMEC’s services:
- More than $345 million in total benefits.
- Up to $115 million in sales increases ( $290,000 per project).
- Average of $114,000 in operational cost savings per project.
- More than 4,500 jobs created or retained.
A recent study by the Center for Economic Studies at the U.S. Census Bureau found Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) clients experience productivity gains more than four times greater than comparable firms that did not use MEP. A conservative estimate of the return on federal investment is the MEP program returns at least $4 to the federal government in the form of tax revenue for every $1 of federal funds invested in the program. IBI