by Bob Zaruta, President/CEO, NWIRC

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERATaking the cue from a popular holiday song, Grown-Up Christmas List, I was considering the things that would be on my list if I were writing a letter to Santa this year.  Aside from the obvious choices we would all ask for, like healthy family and world peace, here are a few things I would consider on a professional level to help our region’s economy.

Dear Santa,

I know you have a lot to manage, so allow me to give you a little background and update.  I lead an organization that exists to help manufacturers improve their competitiveness, achieve operational excellence, and grow profitably.  Like you, I have a highly skilled staff that works relentlessly, with incredible passion and dedication, every day throughout the year to serve others.  Also like your team, we’re focused on getting the job done and meeting or exceeding expectations even among issues and challenges.  Last year, we were ‘good boys and girls. In fact, according to Project Impact Surveys sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and conducted by an independent research firm, NWIRC’s clients reported that our 2015 projects accounted for for $22.7M in new sales, $9.8M in retained sales, $4.7M in cost savings, and $8.9M for reinvestments in plant and equipment.  NWIRC clients also reported that our projects last year created and retained 396 jobs.

Manufacturers in our region face many challenges, including 1) implementing cost reduction strategies and building a culture of continuous improvement, 2) diversifying their business and successfully entering new markets, and 3) recruit-ing, developing and retaining the workforce that the future demands.  With production facilities of your own at the North Pole, I’m sure you can relate to these and other critical business issues and problems that our manufacturers encounter. 

So Santa, my wish for this Christmas as 2016 comes to a close, is that the manufacturing industry in our 13-county region becomes bigger and stronger. I hope that the focus on growing manufacturing we’ve seen in recent campaigning stays in the spotlight with law- and policymakers in order to get the results that our local, state, and national economies need. And lastly, I’d like manufacturers to find their way to NWIRC for support in driving their profitable growth, whether through training, business planning, or technology-related projects. We can help with initiatives on their wish list for this coming year and beyond. And Santa, if you are having any issues in your North Pole production facilities, you can call upon us for assistance too!

Happy Holidays to All!