Evaluating Customer Profitability

by Michael Griffith, NWIRC, Chief Operating Officer Even if your company is having a banner year, now is the time to look not only how to gain new customers, but also how to shed customers who may be a drain…

Getting Back to Class

by Robin Keller, NWIRC, Training and Strategic Programs Coordinator Every year we experience the end of lazy summer days and welcome the fall with kids going back to school. Even though you may have graduated, and working in your manufacturing…

Building an Employee Development Program

by Kevin Smith, MBA SPHR HCS President, Leaderstone and The Kevin Shabaar Smith Co. The search for skilled talent continues to be a significant challenge for many companies. As a result, many leaders are more aware, not only of the…

Tool City and the Next Generation

By Bob Zaruta, President/CEO, NWIRC My recent road trip to feature a regional manufacturer took me to Meadville – AKA Tool City, USA. In the 1980’s, a major decline in heavy industrial manufacturing unfolded in the Great Lakes region. Fortunately,…

Culture Assessments: What We’ve Learned, So Far

by Lisa Pustelak, NWIRC, Strategic Planning & Culture Development Specialist NWIRC has conducted dozens and dozens of company culture assessments for small- to medium-sized manufacturing businesses in northwest and northcentral PA. The labor shortage challenges led us to understand quickly…

ESG on the Horizon: Environmental. Social. Governance.

by Bob Zaruta, President/CEO, NWIRC I’ve had several conversations in recent weeks with Small Mid-sized Manufacturers (SMMs) who are in the automotive supply chain. There is a set of new challenges on the horizon for SMMs, or opportunities depending on…

Uniquely Abled Academies in Northwest PA Enrolling Students

There are now two Uniquely Abled Academies (UAA) in Northwest PA and they are enrolling students for their fall cohorts. UAA is a CNC machinist training program to create career opportunities for young adults with high-functioning autism by matching unique…

Improving Your Supplier Selection Process

by Art Thomas, Director of Business Development, Purdue MEP (Indiana)  Many manufacturers have had to make significant changes in suppliers in recent years because of various disruptions. Small and medium-sized manufacturers are often resource-challenged and do not have supply chain…