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January 2020 Contents:

  1. Featured Article: Training is not an Expense. It's an Investment! by Rich Wolin
  2. Thank you to event attendees!
  3. In the News: Capical coming to TC, What to watch in 2020, Lean at Moeller
  4. On the Web: All about 2020: tips for small manufacturers, optimizing supply chain and sustainability
  5. Manufacture Smarter Blog: Catch up on missed posts from December
  6. Upcoming Events: LLC and training
  7. The Ron Jolly Show featuring TC Guitar Company

Happy 2020!

The new year begins with a level of optimism that outweighs the worry.  It is a time of restarts, resolutions, and renewal of our route. Also this year, 2020, happens to align with the metaphor about 20-20 vision (clear sight) which we would all like in our eyes as well as our business planning.

As a fellow organizational leader, I would like you to consider the long-standing concept that, like any investment, you have to plant seeds today in order to reap the harvest tomorrow. The farmer does not look at the seed as a nonessential expense but rather a necessary investment which, when nurtured, will return much more than its current state.

Employee development is the investment seed of organizational productivity. Knowledge and skill are the investments in people that allow them to be more productive, more efficient, and more valuable. To any organization, this means higher quality, quicker turnaround, less waste, and lower cost. Lifelong employee development is the reason the U.S. is still in the top five nations in productivity all of which invest heavily in knowledge and skills.

This year dire predictions about the looming retirement cliff of baby boomers, the evitable economic cycles, and unfair foreign competition are not going to resolve themselves. Change will continue to come and the only way to win is to have a better educated, more committed workforce.

Continue Reading...

Thank you to those of you who attended one of our events in Cadilac, Grayling, Petoskey, and Traverse City, on creating your company's 2020 professional development plan! We appreciate the opportunity to help companies and their employees benefit from all the advantages training can provide!


From Cherry To Freshwater Capital: It’s Time To Expand TC’s Identity

As we begin the new year, it’s time to expand our community’s identity.
For years, Traverse City has been known as the Cherry Capital due to our beautiful orchards and national festival. While this identity remains important to our heritage, Traverse City is now uniquely positioned to become the Freshwater Capital of the world.
The first element to gaining this title is geography. As Great Lakes residents, we sit on 84% of the fresh surface water in North America; a fifth of the world’s fresh surface water. If wealth is measured in fresh water, we are naturally set up to be on top. Water scarcity in other parts of the world is driving massive population displacement and migration, conflict and war. We are fortunate to have an abundance of fresh water and we should use our geography to become known as leaders in fresh water.

Continue Reading...


What To Watch: What Will Make Headlines In 2020?

The economy. Millennials. Marijuana businesses. These are just three hot topics we’ll be reading and hearing about this year. The TCBN has once again compiled a list of the people, places and products that we predict will be making headlines in 2020.

Below are five items from the What to Watch list. See the January print edition for the entire list, which includes a look at the continued growth at Hagerty, a potential sports complex, the hotel scene shake-up, canned wine and much more! 

Continue Reading...


Moeller Aerospace employees take part in LEAN Certification Program

EMMET COUNTY, Mich., (WPBn/WGTU) -- It was not a normal day at work for some Emmet County employees. On Thursday and Friday, Moeller Aerospace employees have gathered at the VFW Building in Harbor Springs tom complete what is called The Lean Certification Program. It focuses on problem-solving, teamwork, employee engagement and improving productivity.
Employees that do not interact on a day-to-day basis get to see how their work affects other departments.
Continue Reading...


26 Tips for Small Manufacturing Business Owners in 2020
Dear ambitious manufacturers,  
As another year is (already) drawing to a close, we thought we’d reflect on the past year in the world of small-scale manufacturing.  
As an owner of a small manufacturing business yourself we’re sure you’ve had your fair share of challenges and surprises during 2019. It goes with the territory of owning any small business.
As the global economic and political landscape continues to shift in new and unexpected ways, it’s no time to sit back and be complacent.  
For example, there’s been turbulence for the manufacturers who have been using outsource manufacturing, or even just simply buying their materials from China, as there has been an ongoing US-China trade war, which has been affecting many different industries.   
This alone is enough of a threat for businesses to figure out how they can fully optimize their practices to survive periods such as this.  
That’s why we’ve put together a list of small business manufacturing tips to help you make it through 2020.  
Continue Reading...


How to Optimize Your Supply Chain in 2020

Sometimes the end of the calendar year can be so chaotic that it’s a miracle we’re ever in a position to take a vacation. Stumbling over the finish line with a messy desk (and an even messier computer desktop), unfinished projects, and an ever-lengthening to-do list not only cast a shadow over your Christmas vacation but will mean you’re unable to begin 2020 with a clean slate.
So, why not make a New Year’s Resolution to get organized?
One initiative that appears on the to-do-lists of many manufacturers but is frequently put-off as being “too hard” is supply chain optimization. This includes tackling bigger issues such as compliance, supplier relationship management, risk and disruption, responsible sourcing, and transparency.
If you think this sounds like an enormous task, you’d be right. But it’s a bit like unpacking a box of Christmas lights to find they’re hopelessly tangled – it will take time to sort out the mess, but the results will be illuminating.

Continue Reading...


How to Make Your Business More Sustainable In 2020 

If you’ve ever performed an act of kindness like picking up someone else’s litter or donating to a charity, you’ll have experienced that little rush of dopamine that comes with doing a good deed. “Giving back” is not only good for society but good for you as well. While individuals make a New Year’s Resolution to give back more, businesses can do so on a company-wide scale by making 2020 the year your organization takes meaningful action on supply chain sustainability.
Businesses have been talking the sustainability talk for some years now, but pressures to implement meaningful changes that transform the way businesses operate are mounting. The Sustainability Consortium’s Impact Report revealed over 60% of greenhouse gas emissions, 66% of tropical deforestation and 80% of global water use are a direct consequence of global supply chains.
Continue Reading...


12/27/2019 - THE CENTER
Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Read More


12/20/2019 - THE CENTER
Wishing you Happy Holidays! Read More


12/13/2019 - BY: JEFF WILLIAMS
Over the past decade, cyber threats have grown exponentially more sophisticated and frequent, with trillions of dollars lost each year due to cyber-attacks. This threat is especially prevalent for those in the defense industry, as suppliers at all levels are being targeted. Read More


12/6/2019 - BY: ANDY NICHOLS
Former versions of ISO 9001 detailed the need for a Quality Manual, documented procedures and, at the process-control level, work instructions. These types of documents are no longer prescribed by the international standard.  However, once an organization has determined specific documentation is useful, that documentation must still be controlled to an extent.  Read More


Lean Learning Consortium (LLC)
Monthly Events


Date: Friday January 10, 2020
Host Company: Petoskey Plastics
Topic: Changeover & SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies)

Register here to attend

Date: Friday February 14, 2020
Host Company: Rexair
Topic: Mistake Proofing
Register here to attend

Date: Friday March 13, 2020
Presenting Company: Britten, Inc.
Topic: Using Continuous Improvement to Empower Employees to be Agents of Change

Register here to attend


Bill Duperon

Upcoming Workshops

Click on the training topic to see the flyer and learn more.  Registration links are below each session date and time.  Contact the Northern Lower Office of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center at 231-995-2218 for more information.

Digital 5S Document Management - $395
Thursday, January 23, 2020
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
To register click here

Lean Manufacturing Practitioner - $1,500
Thursdays, February 6, 13, 20, 27, March 12, 19, and 26, 2020
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
To register click here

Lean Manufacturing Champion - GAYLORD - $3,500
Two Tuesdays each month, February 11 - July 14, 2020
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
To register click here

Lean Manufacturing Champion - TRAVERSE CITY - $3,500
Two Tuesdays each month, February 12 - July 15, 2020
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
To register click here

Lean Office Champion - $3,500
Two Wednesdays each month, February 12 - July 15, 2020
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
To register click here

Applied Project Management - $1,950
Tuesdays, March 10 - May 19, 2020
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
To register click here

Leadership Development Program - $1,295
Thursdays, March 12,19, 26, 2020
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
To register click here
WTCM AM 580 is hosting a monthly segment the second Monday of every month at 8:35 AM to showcase local manufacturing.  Each segment will feature a local manufacturer to discuss what they make, why they make it here, their market, what kind of jobs/careers they support, and what employee needs they have.

The November segment featured Traverse City Guitar Company with Rob Summers, Senior Business Advisors at Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, NL Office.
Click here to listen>>

So tune in to WTCM AM 580 the second Monday of every month at 8:35 AM as the series continues!
Are you a project manager looking for professional development and networking?  Traverse City now has a local branch of the Western Michigan Project Management Institute.  WMPMI offers a variety of events to network, learn, and earn Professional Development Units (PDUs).
WMPMI Dinner Meeting
January 13th, 2020
Meetings are currently held at either:
Munson Medical Center
1105 Sixth St; Traverse City
Northwestern Michigan College
Aero Park Campus
2600 Aero Park Dr; Traverse City

$30 for WMPMI members
$40 for non-WMPMI members
$25 for full-time student

For more information, contact:
             Shari Hufford, PMP            
937.725.7956 cell
Jeff Kissinger, PMP, FCT, FCP, CSM
616.706.4427 (mobile)
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