As Manufacturing Day approaches, we recognize that the U.S. manufacturing industry is a key driver of economic growth – manufacturers contributed $2.33 trillion to the U.S. economy in the first quarter of 2019 alone. In fact, manufacturing has the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector: for every $1 spent in manufacturing, another $1.89 is added to the economy.
While the economic importance of U.S manufacturing is undeniable, the industry is not free of challenges. Globalization, evolving consumer demands, and complex regulations demand continuous evolution and innovation from small and medium sized manufacturers (“SMMs”) to survive and thrive.
What Small and Medium Sized Manufacturers Need
To face these challenges, SMMs need support developing their business strategies, constantly improving their technology, navigating government regulations, and accessing available services.
This can be overwhelming for SMMs, which is why we need comprehensive support systems. Public-private partnerships, which blend resources from both private organizations and government sectors to achieve a set of goals that are mutually beneficial, play a critical role here.
These collaborations are effective because they combine the long-term investment and commitment of public institutions with the industry experience and expertise of private institutions.
Ask any SMM and they’ll tell you that their end game is to deliver better products, faster and more cost-effectively. A collaborative approach to support allows partner organizations to respond to that need by each providing expertise in a specific area. Whether it’s technology, process and engineering, business strategy, financing, or understanding of the government incentive and certification landscapes, access to a range of resource and expertise is essential for SMMs.
Next Street offers two collaborative programs that provide these services – the Shift program in Western New York and the Manhattan Industrial Business Service Providers program in New York City.
Shift is a collaboration between Next Street, EWI, and Insyte Consulting that provides free consulting solutions to help SMMs in the region identify and prepare for technology and process innovations. Shift has engaged over 175 SMMs in WNY since launching in late 2017, completing 10 Innovation Audits and working with over 50 SMMs in workshops covering strategy, process, and technology.
The Manhattan Industrial Business Service Providers program is a partnership between Next Street and NYC Department of Small Business Services that provides manufacturers with financial assistance, and assistance accessing incentives and navigating government, recruitment, and training. Each year we serve hundreds of businesses through this program connecting them to the support they need to launch, sustain, and grow their business.
These are just a couple of examples of collaborations that are having a positive impact on the manufacturing industry. In celebration of Manufacturing Day, we’d love to hear about programs you’ve seen or would recommend that could support small and medium sized manufacturers in your area. Please contact us.