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  Data and Reports

Best Practices

Research and Reports Main Page

Current best practices being utilized by U.S. manufacturers and/or their global competitors

Featured Reports:

best_practiceswhitelineManufacturing the Future: The next era of global growth and innovation
November 2012
Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce, Best Practices, Supply Chain

Manufacturing the future: The next era of global growth and innovation, a major report from the McKinsey Global Institute, presents a clear view of how manufacturing contributes to the global economy today and how it will probably evolve over the coming decade. Findings in the report include: manufacturing's changing role, manufacturing is not monolithic, and the new dynamic phase of manufacturing.


International Benchmarking of Countries’ Policies and Programs Supporting SME Manufacturers

September 2011
Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Global Competitiveness, Best Practices

Provides numerous examples of best practice in one or more of ten competitor nations in the areas of: technology acceleration programs and practice; technology acceleration funding mechanisms; next generation manufacturing technical assistance; and connectors. The comparison matrix on p.6 is an indicative summary of what can be found throughout the report.

Manufacturing’s Next Act - June 2015
The focus of this article is on Industry 4.0, the next phase in the digitization of the manufacturing sector.  It reveals some powerful emerging currents with strong potential to change the way factories work. Most of these digital technologies have been brewing for some time. Some are not yet ready for application at scale. But many are now at a point where their greater reliability and lower cost are starting to make sense for industrial applications. However, companies are not consistently aware of the emerging technologies. Manufacturers should begin today to join the hunt for the best digital talent, and think about how to structure their digital organization. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce, Best Practices, Productivity, Supply Chain

Advanced Manufacturing Opportunities Report: How Advanced Manufacturing is Helping U.S. Companies Compete Globally - March 2015
More than half of manufacturing leaders are planning to invest in advanced manufacturing technologies in the next two years, according to SME’s Advanced Manufacturing Media. The findings are part of the organization’s Advanced Manufacturing Opportunities Report, which highlights results of a survey of manufacturing executives, engineers and managers on why companies are investing in and using advanced manufacturing technologies such as industrial robotics and additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. See more at www.sme.org. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Best Practices, Productivity

One Small Step for Energy Efficiency: Targeting Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturers- January 2014
The manufacturing sector accounts for about a third of primary energy consumed in the United States. This sector is increasingly relied on to generate energy savings to meet efficiency targets set by states and energy utilities. While most of that effort has sought savings from large manufacturers (the 10% of establishments that account for close to 50% of energy use), more energy efficiency programs are beginning to address the needs facing small to medium-sized manufacturers (SMM). This report discusses barriers, opportunities, and solutions to designing energy efficiency programs that result in significant savings from smaller manufacturers. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Federal and Industry Collaboration, Education and Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations, Best Practices, Sustainability

America's Manufacturing Workforce: Make or Buy? - July 2013
This report is intended to dispel the notion that an adequate supply of skilled employees is beyond the reach of American manufacturers. In fact, there are several choices that American manufacturers can make to ensure a pipeline of talent for the foreseeable future. However, manufacturers must be strategic in their thinking and rigorous in their execution of these options. With that in mind, America’s SMEs can fill their skilled worker gaps before they become insurmountable challenges. Categories: Education and Workforce

Growing Your Region’s Economy with Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs  - December 2011
NADO's publication highlights the innovative approaches being taken by five regional development organizations (RDO) in Colorado, Oregon, Texas, and Wisconsin to spur job growth through new business startups or existing business expansions. Categories:Innovation, Capital and Cost, Best Practices, Productivity

2010 Georgia Manufacturing Survey - October 2011
Analyzes several competitiveness factors for manufacturers and determines that those that compete based on innovation are nearly three times more profitable than those competing on cost. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Federal and Industry Collaboration

What's Your Plan for 2025? - October 2011
Provides a thorough view on the struggles of today and tomorrow’s U.S. manufacturers. Focus areas include: customer priorities through innovation; globally local operations; supply network flexibility; agility on the shop floor and beyond; sustain and partner for scarce resources. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Productivity, Supply Chain