SmithCo Sees Growth Ahead

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.

CIRAS Receives New Funding to Expand Assistance

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) is proud to announce that we have obtained several new contracts over the past month that will aid in our efforts to help Iowa manufacturers respond to a rapidly changing world.

CIRAS Survey UPDATE: Business Impacts of COVID-19

June 19, 2020 — As COVID-19 proliferates across our nation, the crisis continues to negatively impact our economy and spark concerns for the future of small and medium-sized businesses. CIRAS has been conducting a phone survey so we can better understand the needs of Iowa companies and better connect them to appropriate resources.

Here is what we’ve learned so far:

CIRAS Survey UPDATE: Business Impacts of COVID-19

June 12, 2020 — As COVID-19 proliferates across our nation, the crisis continues to negatively impact our economy and spark concerns for the future of small and medium-sized businesses. CIRAS has been conducting a phone survey so we can better understand the needs of Iowa companies and better connect them to appropriate resources.

Here is what we’ve learned so far:

CIRAS Survey UPDATE: Business Impacts of COVID-19

June 5, 2020 — As COVID-19 proliferates across our nation, the crisis continues to negatively impact our economy and spark concerns for the future of small and medium-sized businesses. CIRAS has been conducting a phone survey so we can better understand the needs of Iowa companies and better connect them to appropriate resources.

Here is what we’ve learned so far:

Did you Know?… Adapting to Meet Customer Needs

There is no getting around it – the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound and far-reaching effect on all of us. 

The way we interact and do business has been forced to change with very little notice. One of our mantras at CIRAS is “working at the speed of the customer” because we truly do care about everyone we serve. To accommodate our unexpected new environment, we “re-calibrated” as quickly as possible to best meet the evolving needs of our clients.

CIRAS Survey UPDATE: Business Impacts of COVID-19

May 29, 2020 — As COVID-19 proliferates across our nation, the crisis continues to negatively impact our economy and spark concerns for the future of small and medium-sized businesses. CIRAS has been conducting a phone survey so we can better understand the needs of Iowa companies and better connect them to appropriate resources.

Here is what we’ve learned so far:

All-Electronic: The newest CIRAS News in Online

Attention CIRAS News readers:

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all corners of Iowa industry. CIRAS exists to help Iowa companies overcome problems like these, and our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to deal with the challenges that lie ahead.

Toward that end, we have decided to only send an electronic version of the spring 2020 edition of CIRAS News so you can download it on your schedule and hopefully, share it with others you think may benefit from the content.

ILC Moving to a Virtual Annual Conference this Fall

This is a complicated world we’re living in, but Lean practices require us to say it simply:

The ILC Annual Conference that was scheduled to take place October 27-29 in Des Moines has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, we will deliver a Virtual Annual Conference online on October 28.

Martin to Receive Award for Economic Development Achievement

CIRAS Account Manager Brenda Martin will receive Iowa State University’s Award for Achievement in Economic Development during a ceremony in September.

Martin has been serving Iowa manufacturers since 2003, when she began working with CIRAS through a partnership with her previous employer, Iowa Central Community College. Since 2016, she been employed as a CIRAS account manager focusing on the food industry and building relationships throughout the state. Brenda also serves on the board of the Iowa Meat Processors Association and is active in the Iowa Sustainable Business Forum.