For 33 years, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) have helped expand the number of small businesses that successfully compete for and win federal, state, and local government contracts. This month, PTACs from around the country are coming together for one special day to celebrate the success of the tens of thousands of small businesses who have benefitted from training and technical assistance delivered by their local PTACs.[Read More ...]
A small Maquoketa company that sells dog training equipment around the world is boosting production and expanding its product offerings—all after CIRAS helped the company arrange important testing and other steps to get it off the ground.[Read More ...]
There are many things affecting your business that you can’t control. Did you know that your personal attitude is something you can control? Your attitude affects the way you approach people and circumstances in business. Choosing to approach potential customers positively, confidently, enthusiastically, and with a helpful attitude – even when you’re tired, stressed, or frustrated – may help improve your sales and grow your business.[Read More ...]
Iowa’s nationally renowned campaign to encourage the statewide celebration of national Manufacturing Day has gotten a slight makeover in 2018—with new people leading Iowa State University’s efforts and an increased emphasis on reaching out to children and educators.[Read More ...]
Are you anxious for inspiration? Excited to learn more about techniques that will help your company continuously improve and grow?
CIRAS suggests you make plans to attend the 2018 Fall Conference of the Iowa Lean Consortium. More than 375 Lean and learning-minded professionals are expected to wend their way to a West Des Moines hotel next month for a chance to tour successful companies, learn from innovative speakers, and network with their counterparts from around the state.[Read More ...]
For Bill Zimmerle, plant manager of the Valent BioSciences Corporation (VBC) facility in Osage, it all comes down to planning for the future.
The future, you see, requires water.[Read More ...]
A Davenport manufacturer of alternators and other electrical equipment for specialty vehicles expects to more than double the amount it sells overseas within the next three years.
Officials at American Power Systems Inc. predict the company will at least double its current six-figure export sales once it fully implements everything leaders learned during a CIRAS-driven class presented via the Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub.[Read More ...]
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is forecasting a 35% chance of above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic for the 2018 hurricane season (June 1 – November 30). The disastrous 2017 hurricane season had companies scrambling to position themselves for a piece of the “recovery” pie.[Read More ...]
It happens every day. The news fills with words like botnets, malware, ransomware, heartbleed, phishing, and sniffing. We are told we must make passwords “long and strong,” avoid “unsafe” websites, and keep computers “up to date.” We wonder what hackers could ever want with us.
Mostly, we just wonder what is safe and what we should do to protect ourselves.
Here are a few ways businesses can start to address cybersecurity:[Read More ...]
Iowa manufacturers have been slow to take proven steps toward improving their businesses—and now face a widening technology gap and workforce challenges that are placing increasing pressure on smaller companies, according to a recent CIRAS review of the state of Iowa manufacturing.
CIRAS’ 2017–2018 Iowa Manufacturing Needs Assessment Report, a document based on comments derived from six public forums and a survey of leaders at 228 manufacturers across Iowa, shows Iowa companies continuing to sort themselves onto one side or another of a widening profitability gap.[Read More ...]