Attending a tradeshow can pay big dividends for even small companies. The right show can provide networking opportunities, give insights on competitors, and update you on developments in your industry. But tradeshows can be overwhelming, especially if you decide to attend a large-scale event. To maximize the experience, consider these suggestions from CIRAS staff members: … Continue reading Getting the Most from Tradeshows
On October 7 (and throughout the month), manufacturers, community colleges, and universities around the nation will open their doors to show the next generation the amazing careers available in manufacturing as part of MFG Day. This is a big deal. Today’s manufacturers face two major issues: workforce and supply chain. While we can’t predict exactly … Continue reading 2022 MFG Day
An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) can be a powerful tool for saving jobs, recruiting top talent, retaining people, and building retirement wealth. And white it may not be the best option for all companies, a growing number of Iowa businesses are finding success in using ESOPs to meet their workforce objectives. Folience Inc. is a … Continue reading ESOPs Achieve Workplace Goals in Retention, Productivity, and Retirement Wealth
To say that the current economy is unpredictable is an understatement. One of the most frequent questions we get from businesses in Iowa is whether we are going to have a recession. There are countless approaches to analyzing the economy and whether there will be a recession. Even highly technical approaches have a lot of … Continue reading Watching Iowa’s Economy
Workforce shortages are impacting businesses of all types and sizes across the country. These challenges are more onerous in Iowa because of our slow population growth. Here is some advice that members of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network™ have published recently on strategies to help small- and medium-sized manufacturers address their workforce issues. … Continue reading Leading through the Workforce Crisis
ACT Safe, a Sioux City business focused on assisting companies with compliance issues, is looking forward to a record year after receiving their 8(a) certification. ACT Safe plans to hire 15–20 new employees and hopes to secure more government contracts like the one that currently has founder Lorna Puntillo working with the Florida Veterans Administration … Continue reading ACT Safe Expecting Record Year
A Sioux City construction company now handles a majority of its accounting work in-house thanks to the help it received from the Iowa Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program. I&A Construction’s primary focus is flat concrete work like sidewalks, driveways, trails, and curbs and gutters, as well as cast-in-place intakes. I&A Construction is DBE certified, which … Continue reading Connections Help Business Assume Financial Management
We’re at a rare inflection point that will change the landscape of American manufacturing over the next 50 years: the transition from internal combustion engines to electrified motors in vehicles. As the automotive industry transforms, very few hardware manufacturers will be unaffected. In 2016, just under 300,000 electrified (battery, plug-in, and hybrid) vehicles were produced … Continue reading The Powertrain Supply Chain is Transforming. Are you ready?
Most companies use computers to manage at least some part of their business operation so ensuring that data remains safe is a priority. Data breaches that expose sensitive, confidential, or proprietary information can be costly…and not just in terms of the immediate monetary impact on productivity and sales revenues. Additional damage to intangible assets like reputation … Continue reading Protecting Your Business From a Cyberattack
Fox River produces high-performance socks at a plant in Osage. The company has increased sales, invested in new equipment, and added jobs since implementing a new sales approach based on a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model. The Osage manufacturer has seen revenues increase by $1.5 million since updating their sales approach with a TCO … Continue reading Sales Grow After Rethinking Supply Chain Costs
The COVID-19 pandemic taught Iowa companies many things about their operations, but perhaps the greatest lesson was the need to develop more resiliency to better handle business disruptions regardless of their origin. To help companies with preparedness, CIRAS hosted a series of business resiliency webinars last spring on 19 topics ranging from building resiliency in … Continue reading Webinars Address Need for Resiliency
A networking group launched seven years ago by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry in partnership with CIRAS continues to help its members learn from people who do the same work they do. MarketWise provides marketing and sales leaders opportunities to expand their skills through education, shared experiences, and best practices with their peers. … Continue reading Marketwise Helps Leaders Face Challenges Together
By Melissa Burant The risks of having a global supply chain have never been more apparent. Severe weather events, the pandemic, and geopolitical issues have disrupted the global supply chain. The impacts of this are felt by every Iowa manufacturer. Finding new suppliers, especially local ones, is hard. A Google search is a great starting … Continue reading CIRAS Expands Supplier Scouting Capabilities through IEDA Partnership
A central Iowa manufacturer of sports performance equipment credits CIRAS with getting the company back on track after a fire left them dealing with extensive smoke and water damage. “Without them, we would’ve been set back a year or more, and if we’d tried to move forward on our own through trial and error, it … Continue reading CIRAS Helps Company Rebound after Fire
This fall will mark the second anniversary of the CIRAS Digital Manufacturing Lab powered by Alliant Energy, and we’re still growing.
We opened the lab in September 2019 as to experiment with ways to de-risk technology adoption for Iowa manufacturers. Since then, we have served the Industry 4.0 needs of many businesses in Iowa via in-person events, counseling sessions and projects.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 kept most people out of the lab last year. But we haven’t been dormant. Instead, CIRAS used the opportunity to expand our technology partnerships, upgrade our technology, and evolve our services from in-person to virtual engagements.
April showers in Iowa quickly can turn dangerous thanks to flash flooding.
CIRAS wants to take this opportunity to remind you yet again about the potential peril that can come with severe weather season. Are you ready?
As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, Iowa companies always come out better when they plan for the worst and take steps ahead of time to identify what should happen if trouble strikes