Welcome to the IMA Executive News & Views Blog. The blog format reflects our efforts to provide IMA members with timely, relevant and thought provoking information in a form that is accessible for easy reference. IMA’s Executive News & Views Blog will be updated on a regular basis. Weekly news update emails will be sent out to notify subscribers of new information posted on the blog. IMA members are welcome to submit material for the blog, or request specific information. Simply email Editor Stefany Henson at shenson@ima-net.org with your information or request. Editorial submissions are subject to review. 

Wednesday
Dec172014

Illinois Trucking Association: Hours of Service Relief Passes

On December 13, 2014, Congress passed the FY 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill providing funding for the vast majority of the federal government, including the Department of Transportation, for the current fiscal year. The President is expected to sign the bill into law shortly. Officially titled the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, the bill is over 1,700 pages long and, as you can imagine, has a host of detailed spending and policy-related provisions affecting many industries.

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Wednesday
Dec102014

IMA Appointed to Governor-Elect Rauner’s Economic Development Transition

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association outlined goals for revitalizing Illinois’ economy in the first meeting of Governor-elect Rauner’s economic development transition committee the week of December 1st. The IMA was the first business group to endorse Rauner earlier in the year and coordinated activities with the campaign over the summer and fall that included being one of the largest financial contributors. Greg Baise, IMA president & CEO, was asked to sit on the small committee designed to provide a blueprint for making Illinois more competitive.

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Wednesday
Dec102014

Powering Africa: Summit set to advance deals and partnerships for Africa’s power industries in Washington D.C. this January

Powering Africa: Summit To Be Held in Washington DC, January 28-30th 2015, With Commitments From 12 African Countries To Further Advance Private Sector Participation In Africa’s Power Sector

Over the last 20 years EnergyNet has coordinated investor meetings with some of the most reliable and successful power developers operating on the continent of Africa. Symbion Power, GE, Siemens, Copperbelt, Goldwind, Azura Power, Aldwych, Karpowership, Globeleq, Schneider Electric, ESBi, Transcorp, Chint, China State Grid, Hanergy and others have all been companies that have made long term commitments to the sector and invested in sustainable solutions. These are powerful companies with strong balance sheets backed by some of the biggest banks.

Despite all this interest, knowledge and experience, billions of dollars has been spent on development over the last 20 years and many projects have not reached financial closure. Therefore, one key question is how sustainable is the current way of doing things?

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Thursday
Nov202014

The Industrial Internet: Six Critical Questions for Equipment Suppliers

By Massimo Russo, Richard Helm, and Grant McCabe, The Boston Consulting Group

For manufacturers of large capital equipment, the Industrial Internet offers tremendous potential value: they can help customers improve their operations and reduce downtime in their facilities.

Capturing this potential requires an understanding of how data creates new value and how fast new business models are emerging—in part due to new market entrants.

Manufacturers should start by developing compelling use cases on the basis of real customer needs for an integrated hardware, data, software, and service offering.

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Thursday
Nov202014

Can the world get by with 3 percent average growth?

From the Conference Board’s Economy & Business Environment Blog — By Bart van Ark | November 12, 2014

Last week’s annual release of The Conference Board Global Economic Outlook projects global economic growth in 2015 at 3.4 percent, just a fraction faster than 2014’s 3.2 percent growth. This will make 2015 the fourth year in a row of modest and disappointing growth. Job growth, business investment, and productivity growth continue to be weak. Factoring in rising geopolitical tensions, we see a new pessimism emerging about long-term growth potential. Indeed, we may see a mere 3 percent average annual growth between now and 2025.

What does this projection mean for the global economy? Compared to the immediate pre-crisis period, the global economy is clearly slower today. But what about a longer view? If we go back to the 1980s, we see that average growth is pretty much what it was then: roughly 3 percent. And going back two centuries, using data from the Maddison Project, we find that we are still well above the historical average.

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Thursday
Nov202014

How to Become a Supplier to Larger Manufacturers

By Caron Beesley, Contributor, SBA.gov

Across the country, manufacturing and production is returning to the U.S. And it’s a trend that’s likely to continue thanks to lower energy costs, higher U.S. worker productivity, increasing labor costs overseas and, of course, the logistical advantages of U.S.-based production.

This is great news for the U.S. economy and the small business community.

Tapping into a large commercial supply chain and becoming a supplier to a big company can be a game-changer for small businesses — and the data proves it. Studies show that when a small supplier lands a contract with a larger company, its revenues increase in the region of 250 percent and they create 150 percent more jobs in only two to three years.

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Thursday
Nov062014

2014 Election is over, now the work begins . . .

This week, voters headed to the polls to elect a United States Senator, Governor, members of Congress and the General Assembly. At the end of Tuesday night, despite record levels of campaign spending, there was very little change in the makeup of the General Assembly but a massive shift in executive leadership with the stunning victory by Republican businessman Bruce Rauner who will be the first Republican Governor in Illinois since 2003. The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association was the first business group in Illinois to endorse Bruce Rauner earlier this summer in addition to making a very large financial contribution to the campaign. During the course of the election, IMA staff worked in concert with the Rauner campaign and we look forward to working with the new administration to implement pro-growth and pro-job policies.

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Thursday
Nov062014

Safety and security business development mission to Morocco, Algeria, and Egypt

The United States Commerce Department will host a free webinar on Thursday November 12, 2014, which will provide an overview of the US Department of Commerce March 2015 Executive-led Business Development Mission to Morocco, Algeria and Egypt. Speakers from the US Commercial Service in Morocco, Algeria and Egypt will provide a brief market overview and discuss opportunities for American exporters in these markets.

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Wednesday
Oct292014

Advanced Robotics to Revolutionize the Manufacturing Industry, According to PwC US and The Manufacturing Institute

Industrial robotics paving the way for ‘factory of the future’

As industrial robots become smarter, faster, more affordable, and develop advanced capabilities such as sensing, dexterity, memory and trainability, industrial manufacturers across industries are looking to advanced robotics to gain a competitive business advantage, according to a report released today by PwC US in conjunction with The Manufacturing Institute. Based on a survey of 120 industrial manufacturers, The new hire: How a new generation of robots is transforming manufacturing found that while 59 percent of companies are currently using some form of robotics technology, barriers to adoption still exist due to limitations such as cost, the lack of perceived need, and access to expertise and skills.

According to PwC’s report, there are currently over 1.5 million robots working in factories across the globe, with an estimated 180,000 in the U.S. alone. That number is only expected to increase with the global industrial robot market estimated to reach $41 billion by 2020.

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Wednesday
Oct292014

Accelerating Top-Line Growth Fuels Middle Market Job Creation

Mid-Market executives say labor dynamics, Baby Boomer retirements will affect future financial performance

Middle-market executives report accelerating revenue growth over the past four consecutive quarters, which peaked at 7.5 percent, the highest rate since the launch of the Middle Market Indicator (MMI). According to the National Center for the Middle Market’s (NCMM) survey of 1,000 C-suite executives, 68 percent report company revenue increasing in the past year, with mean total revenue growing two percentage points faster than the S&P500.

Concurrently, middle market employment growth has been consistently above three percent for all of 2014, adding workers at levels even above strong hiring in 2013. Although the nation’s nearly 200,000 mid-sized firms represent only three percent of American businesses, they are projected to create 61 percent of all new jobs in the coming year. Notably, the healthcare industry has seen the largest jump in employment among middle-market firms.

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