Once every other month for five years, Donna Bruesewitz has taken a day away from her office and driven somewhere to learn from others who do what she does.[Read More ...]
Getting a radically revamped business on the right long-term path generally equires fresh insight and some concentrated planning.[Read More ...]
Iowa is out of people.
Almost every company I talk to, regardless of size, industry, or location, says that finding good people is their number one issue. The few exceptions are expert Lean practitioners—such as members of the Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC)—who tend to look at the issue differently: If every single person in our business was better at seeing, communicating, and solving problems, they ask, wouldn’t it help our workforce needs?[Read More ...]
Michael Nunn hasn’t yet found the product improvement idea he was searching for, but at least he now knows that he’s on the correct path.
Nunn is the owner of Birmingham Manufacturing, a four-person shop in Birmingham, Iowa, that makes condensated evaporating pans for use in commercial coolers. The pans, which contain a heating element and sit below refrigeration units, work to evaporate the water that drips from inside coolers.[Read More ...]
Maintaining competitive advantage in a growing business is a lot like finding yourself in a leaky rowboat 10 miles from shore, Jim Lancaster told members and guests of the Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC).
Business leaders tend to focus most of their energy on putting out the daily fires, Lancaster said. But a company can easily stagnate if no one works to push the operation toward a distant goal.[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 ...]
Kay Park Recreation was born in 1954 because its founder, Keith Borglum, was in the right place at the right time.
“His older brother happened to know some guys on a county conservation board,” said Keith’s son, Larry Borglum. “In the 1950s, when they started making parks everywhere, his older brother said, ‘I know some guys who could do that…’ ”[Read More ...]
About 18 months ago, CIRAS announced its new “Future of Manufacturing” series to help manufacturers become ready for what is “next” in manufacturing. While this was a significant leap, it was based on a simple premise: changes in technology, workforce, and business models were moving so fast that we needed to help get Iowa manufacturers out in front.[Read More ...]
Industry experts from around the state are developing a detailed plan for growing Iowa manufacturing—with CIRAS slated to play a leading role both in the plan’s design and its implementation.
The ongoing effort stems from 2017’s governor’s Year of Manufacturing initiative, which charged the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Innovation Council (IIC) with finding ways to increase a $29 billion manufacturing gross domestic product to $32 billion by 2022.[Read More ...]
By the time CIRAS walked through his door, Adam Gold was ready to listen.
It was 2014, and it was clear that The Dimensional Group was a company with problems. The Mason City custom packaging and commercial printing firm had stretched beyond its capabilities.[Read More ...]