Q. Tell me about your role at CIRAS and the type of clients you work with? A. I lead the CIRAS Business Team, which offers services in the areas of marketing, supply chain, and other non-technical business functions. As part of that team, I serve as a project manager focused on marketing strategy, and … Continue reading Q & A with Marketing and Growth Project Manager, CJ Osborn
Manufacturers agree that a robust marketing plan plays a strategic role in their short- and long-term growth objectives. But finding time to develop or update a plan can be challenging. So to make marketing content more accessible, CIRAS offers on-demand training using recordings from its successful Digital Marketing Strategy Boot Camp series. “I’d talk to … Continue reading Participation Soars at Virtual Boot Camp
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
A Decorah manufacturer of precision zinc die castings expects to see more than a $1 million increase in sales thanks to work by CIRAS to help the company improve its internet marketing. Dave Magner, director of sales and marketing for Deco Products Company in Decorah, said his company first turned to CIRAS about five years … Continue reading Deco Products Uses CIRAS Team to Tackle Internet Marketing
A Waverly cutlery manufacturer expects to see more than $1 million in new sales after CIRAS helped the company analyze its changing market and launch new initiatives during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rada Manufacturing Company, which has been making knives for fundraising groups and small retail operations since 1948, sought out CIRAS for … Continue reading CIRAS Helps Rada Manufacturing Sharpen Its Marketing
A Coralville bakery catering to the culinary needs of dogs expects to triple in size over the next three years after CIRAS gave it the confidence to expand its service of two different parts of the market for high-quality treats.
Woofables, a gourmet dog treat bakery established in 2004, is wrapping up a major expansion that included creation of two separate production lines to serve both small pet boutiques and large commercial supermarkets. Company leaders say the investment will make Woofables more efficient at serving two growing segments of a growing industry—segments with competing interests that don’t always align.
A Le Mars manufacturer of side-dumping truck trailers believes his business is on the road to steady growth after CIRAS helped improve the company’s management structure and confirm that its marketing is on the correct path.
SmithCo Manufacturing Inc. was founded in 1994 to make side-dump trailers for the construction industry. Change loomed, however, as the company entered its third decade. SmithCo, long popular in construction, agriculture, and municipal waste hauling, had discovered a lucrative new market in the mining industry. But could the business handle it? Operations manager Scott Lovell saw the potential for enormous growth over the horizon, and he wanted to make sure his company was ready.
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.
Subcontracting opportunities can be a lucrative avenue in the government sector, which allows businesses to participate in government contracting without dealing directly with the government.
Why subcontracting? The federal contracts that are awarded to prime contractors often come with subcontracting plans containing goals for doing a percentage of the work with small businesses.
Every two years, CIRAS asks manufacturing leaders to step back and help us understand the condition of manufacturing in Iowa. What’s your greatest struggle? What’s working? Just as importantly, what’s not?
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.
Smart manufacturers are continuously searching for new ways to diversify their customer base, expand into new markets, and grow. Are you ready to see what the future holds? CIRAS can help you find the path.