For more than two years, GR8T Manufacturing (a next generation industry partnership for northwest PA), had been discussing the need for manufacturers in the region to better connect, especially for trying to source products and services on a regional level and better understand or become aware of one another’s capabilities. What started as a project for students at Clarion University to develop a prototype of a B2B website, evolved to a collaboration with a regional developer (weCreate Website Design and Marketing) for a website that has been up and running for several months. Manufacturers in all of Pennsylvania, not just those in the Partnership, are able to register their company profile and add this resource to their toolbox for making new connections.
Chair of the Partnership’s B2B Connections Action Team, Matt Lucco of Precision Profiles in Titusville PA, put it simply that “a B2B platform is a critical tool that will aid in connecting manufacturing companies in the region with the ultimate goal of expanding Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and jobs in the region. This can be achieved by providing companies with greater visibility concerning the capabilities and potential deliverables of their fellow manufacturers.” Prior to retiring, the previous Chair of the B2B Action Team (Franklin Bronze’s Dave Greene), had noted that having worked in manufacturing for over 40 years he had many connections and knew the regional business capabilities. But after getting involved with GR8T Manufacturing, he realized there were many businesses that he wasn’t aware of. He also noted an influx of new employees to purchasing and engineering positions across the region in recent years who don’t necessarily have a regional network yet, so they are dependent on the internet for searching information. He thought the development of a regional database could become the first stop for any manufacturing vendor research done by anyone in the region.
While the roll-out of the website was initially focused on manufacturers who participate in the GR8T Manufacturing Partnership, any manufacturer in Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio will be able to participate. Manufacturing companies outside of the tri-state area will not be permitted to register on the site, but they will have the opportunity to view the capabilities of all the great resources in the region.
As the Convener of the GR8T Manufacturing Partnership, NWIRC is promoting the new B2B website and assisting companies to establish their profiles. The website can be found by visiting www.gr8tmanufacturing.com.