New resources, tools and references are among the features on the improved Manufacturing Extension Partnership web site aimed at helping smaller manufacturers combat the year 2000 computer problem, the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology announced today.
The expanded web site (http://www.mep.nist.gov/hottopics/) also provides additional support for small manufacturers that are using MEP’s computer-based tool, Conversion 2000: Y2K Self-Help Tool. The Y2K Self-Help Tool and the web site will help smaller manufacturers:
The Y2K Self-Help Tool is available from NIST MEP’s nationwide network of manufacturing extension centers providing business and technical assistance to smaller manufacturers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. For assistance with year 2000 conversion, as well as other business and technical assistance, small manufacturers can call 1-800-MEP-4MFG (637-4634) to reach the MEP center serving their region.
The President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion has designated Oct. 19-23, 1998, as National Y2K Action Week to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to act on the year 2000 computer problem. "We are concerned that many of the nation’s small and medium-sized businesses are not taking the year 2000 problem seriously," said Council Chair John Koskinen. "The goal of this week is to help them to take action on the problem so that they can continue operating in January 2000 and beyond."
The year 2000 date problem, often called "Y2K" or the "millennium bug," refers to the failure of a computer program or system because the "00" year designation is mistaken for "1900." The Stamford, Conn.-based GartnerGroup, a leading authority on information technology issues, has reported that as of 1997, 88 percent of all companies worldwide with fewer than 2,000 employees had not yet started year 2000 remediation projects. Many companies that are addressing problems with their computer systems may be overlooking potential problems embedded in other systems such as machine controllers and building control systems.
As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST promotes economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards through four partnerships: the Measurement and Standards Laboratories, the Advanced Technology Program, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Baldrige National Quality Program.