It’s the dawning of a new era for the Iowa Lean Consortium, and Teresa Hay McMahon is focused on a new world of service.
McMahon, executive director of the ILC since 2015, just finished leading the consortium through a new phase of its evolution. On July 1, the ILC formally moved under the CIRAS umbrella as part of a merger that’s intended to give both entities more resources to achieve their goals.
It surprises me when I meet business leaders who still believe environmental responsibility beyond meeting regulation, or social responsibility outside their four walls, is a cost versus an investment with good returns. CSR and sustainability work around the world, and in Iowa, has proven that leading companies have found ways to do both while profiting along the way.
Only about 15 percent of small- to mid-sized manufacturers in Iowa consider exports as one of their top three growth strategies. Yet in most industries, there are substantial opportunities for growth and profit outside of the United States.
One of the leading reasons that companies, especially smaller ones, avoid exporting is the potential complexity and risk associated with international sales. In Iowa, we have a great set of resources to help de-risk the process at any stage.
There are a vast number of resources available to Iowa businesses. One of the roles of CIRAS is to help companies connect with the right one of those resources at the right time. One entity that CIRAS partners with a great deal is the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC).
On January 24th, we at CIRAS hosted our first Future of Manufacturing event, focused on how Augmented and Virtual Reality are changing manufacturing. Experts from Mechdyne, ISU Mechanical Engineering, Newport News Shipbuilding, and Daqri gave an update on current and next generation technologies that are beginning to change manufacturing around the globe.
There are a vast number of resources available to Iowa businesses. One of the roles of CIRAS is help companies connect with the right one of those resources at the right time. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is one entity with which CIRAS partners a great deal.