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Circular Economy: Part 2

In this ongoing coverage of the circular economy, we discuss how the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has been working to incorporate these strategies into manufacturing and other industries as well as the barriers being encountered with implementation. Bringing the Circular Economy to Small and Medium Sized Manufacturers The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a leading proponent of the circular economy approach, identifies three main benefits for businesses who adopt these practices. First, they gain a competitive advantage by lowering material costs, reducing energy costs and improving customer retention (think about social media and the power of positive business in today’s marketplace). Second, busin

SEWN SUCCESS: Machine Shop

A Southeastern PA machine shop lost one of its largest customers and sought assistance from SEWN on how to position their business to attract new clients. Major customers were demanding pricing concessions, while domestic steel price increases made raw material more expensive, creating cash flow issues in every piece of the business. Cost saving opportunities were being pursued, but the decision was made to move to a solutions focus for the business. In addition to these challenges, succession planning issues were being addressed as multiple family members participate in the business. Meeting and analysis of SMS provided several opportunities to discuss business enhancement options with the

Cash Forecasting: 13 Week Cash Flow Statement

Companies often utilize some form of cash forecasting, typically in the form of a monthly or annual budget. This is fine for long-range planning but is severely limiting for companies where cash is tight. A standard tool in the turnaround world is the rolling 13-week cash-flow. Companies that are operating in a cash-constrained environment do not have the luxury of thinking months ahead and need a tool that provides better insight to cash inflows and outflows. They need something that can be updated even daily as assumptions and conditions change. This enables the company to predict a liquidity event and react before it happens. If they are under, say vendor pressure, this method can keep t

NIMS Workshop - Pittsburgh Area

NEW with NIMS Workshop: PERFORMANCE MEASURE SYSTEM Thursday, March 12 10:30AM - 1:30PM Penn Hills Comfort Inn You asked, and we heard. The Pittsburgh Chapter NTMA is hosting a workshop open to all companies interested in finding out about the most up-to-date ways to utilize NIMS in their shops. We're bringing the information right to you in this one day event with NIMS Director Montez King. Custom Performance Evaluation is here and this is your opportunity to learn about how you can use it in your own business. Would you like to use your own hands-on projects to validate performance for NIMS credentials? Now, you can using the NIMS revolutionary Performance Measure (PM) System-- A collection

Penn College students earn manufacturing scholarships

Four Pennsylvania College of Technology students are among 14 individuals nationwide to receive scholarships from a foundation dedicated to promoting skilled manufacturing careers. The $1,500 to $2,500 scholarships from Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs, the foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International, are for full-time students enrolled in an engineering or manufacturing-related course of study. The Penn College recipients are automated manufacturing technology students Tyler J. Bandle of Slatington; John A. Provenza Jr. of Marysville; Sean A. Bush of Williamsport, an electrical technology major; and Cinnamon A. Digan of Mifflinburg, majoring in welding and fabrication

Gearing Up the Next-Generation Workforce

The growing demand for a skilled manufacturing workforce becomes more apparent as global competition increases and products and processes become more complex. Solving manufacturing problems in this new era of globalization and digitization requires diversity of thought, skill and background, and women are valuable in these environments. However, according to the latest U.S. Census, women make up just under half of the working population in the United States, but account for only 29% of the manufacturing workforce. The lack of female representation in manufacturing can be attributed to a variety of factors including significant gender pay gaps, negative perceptions of manufacturing jobs, and


The Steel Valley Authority (SVA), headquartered in Pittsburgh, with four other offices across Pennsylvania, stands out as a comparatively small organization that works to avert layoffs, save jobs and strengthen communities dependent on the manufacturing industry throughout the Commonwealth. “Since 1993,” emphasizes Bob Value, SVA Deputy Director, “we’ve intervened with 1,300 manufacturing businesses and averted or deferred the loss of over 30,000 jobs plus the jobs of companies that service or supply these manufacturing companies.” Value points out that the SVA works only with manufacturing companies, because these organizations remain prime employers throughout Pennsylvania. And saving comp

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