Toward the back of a long, narrow office, tucked away in a storefront that has been a south Des Moines landmark for more than 107 years, Frances Graziano sat behind a paperwork-laden desk last September and chuckled. Was she scared? Absolutely. “It’s terrifying,” said Graziano, president and CEO of the Graziano Brothers food company. “It’s absolutely terrifying. Is the product going to work? Do we have everything in place? Are we going to have a handle on the quality control? Is there going to be a market for our product outside of its current geographic area?” Early this year, for the first time since 1912, the manufacture of Graziano Brothers sausage took place somewhere outside the small brick building on South Union Street. The change, which followed roughly 18 months of planning and preparation alongside CIRAS experts, is part of a broad, multistep plan to breathe new life into a historic family business and position it for a much longer future.
Author: Jeff Eckhoff
It all started roughly 38 years ago, when John Tiefenthaler needed a job to take part in a high school vocational program. Tiefenthaler, then 18, visited the local Holstein, Iowa, meat locker. Uncertain how to act, he clumsily introduced himself and assumed that somebody would call him later. When no one did, he eventually admitted … Continue reading Planning for Future at Tiefenthaler Quality Meats
For Steve Cochren, it amounts to sustenance—and it arrives at about the same time. “I read my BidMatch every day at lunch,” said Cochren, who works in sales at Triplett Office Essentials in Urbandale. “It makes me aware of opportunities that I may not have been aware of before.” BidMatch, a software service that’s available to all active clients of the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), scours government databases to deliver a list of government procurement opportunities tailored to what an individual client sells.
March 16, 2020 At CIRAS, our mission is to Enhance the performance of industry through applied research, education, and technical assistance. During times of crisis, we do everything we can to continue serving Iowa industry while ensuring the health and safety of our team and your team.
It’s time to begin thinking about spring floods and the emergency management responses that go with them. How can your company participate in these relief efforts? While many procurements are done by the local agencies affected by the disaster through their existing contracts, there is often a need for additional support. Here are various ways you can position your company for opportunities during a disaster.
Craig Klocke believes machines one day will be much more efficient because an electronic eye will constantly be checking what they make. Installing scanners at the end of a production line would allow manufacturers to continuously watch for the changes that come when cutting tools are wearing out, said Klocke, head of additive design and manufacturing for Danfoss Power Solutions in Ames. “As tools wear, as machines wear, the scanning would allow the machines to adjust,” Klocke said. “You’d end up with a better product, and you’d know exactly when it was time to replace a part or tool. You’d have continuous adjustment of the process.
A Holstein, Iowa, maker of doors and countertops saved time and money last summer after CIRAS experts helped the company quickly identify problems with two potential products. Aron Fleischmann, an engineer with VT Industries, said his company will avoid tens of thousands of dollars in potential warranty work because CIRAS helped pinpoint the cause of cracking discovered during inspections of shipments from a supplier.
It’s an Internet world out there, but it’s not easy. Those page views, clicks, and online sales don’t just happen automatically when you turn on your company’s computer. Are you sure your website is actually working?
Roughly one month after the outbreak of coronavirus began, authorities now estimate that more than 75,000 people have been infected and more than 2,000 are dead. Thousands of manufacturers across China have struggled to reopen after travel restrictions prevented employees from returning from Lunar New Year holiday. With work delays still uncertain, large sectors of the U.S. economy seem to be holding their collective breath waiting for additional shoes to drop. In manufacturing, the impacts to the complex global supply of parts are not fully understood, but the slowdown seems likely to impact the demand for U.S. products in China.
We’re looking for a few good Lean stories. The CIRAS Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC) is pleased to issue a call for presentations for our 2020 Annual Conference to be held October 27-29 in Des Moines. This conference is the ILC’s largest annual gathering, and we’re pleased to hold it once again as part of our continuing effort to promote the exchange of information and resources among continuous improvement professionals.