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. 

Tuesday
Jul282015

Health Care Top Business Challenge for Manufacturers

NAM White Paper Highlights 78.2 Percent Increase in Expenditures Over Next Decade — by Mallory Micetich, NAM

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released a white paper on July 23rd, titled “Shaping Up: Manufacturers Seek Flexible Health Care Options to Reduce Costs,” that examines health care costs, outlook and changes relating to the Affordable Care Act.

“Health care spending and rising costs continue to hurt manufacturers’ competitiveness and inject uncertainty into their operations,” said NAM Vice President of Human Resources Policy Joe Trauger. “Manufacturers need a solution that reduces costs and addresses the inefficiencies and problems that cost manufacturing in the United States billions of dollars a year.”

Key highlights from the white paper include the following:

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Tuesday
Jul282015

Seyfarth Releases 2015-2016 50 State Desktop Reference: What Employers Need to Know about Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Law

Seyfarth Shaw LLP has released the 2015-2016 edition of its 50 State Desktop Reference: What Employers Need to Know about Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Law. The one-stop desk reference surveys the many questions related to the use of employee restrictive covenants and intellectual capital protection in all fifty states. “There is no denying that there exists a variety of statutes and case law nationally on employee non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, as well as the protection of proprietary information,” said Seyfarth’s Michael Wexler, chair of the national Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud, and Non-Competes practice group. “For the HR professional, in-house counsel, or company executive, this booklet will provide a starting point to answer questions about protecting a company’s most valuable and confidential assets.”

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Thursday
Jul232015

DMDII Announces Public Kickoff of Digital Manufacturing Open Source Software Project

The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), a UI LABS collaboration, has announced the public kickoff of its open source software project, the Digital Manufacturing Commons, DMDII-15-16. The Digital Manufacturing Commons (DMC) is a software platform that can be used to share and access manufacturing data and analysis tools. The project has the potential to generate millions of dollars of savings for small, medium and large manufacturers by democratizing the flow of innovative digital manufacturing data. DMDII announced the availability of up to $2 million in project funding to develop open software applications that can interact with the Digital Manufacturing Commons. This funding is available to teams, entrepreneurs and technologists proposing innovative ideas for manufacturing software solutions.

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Thursday
Jul232015

29th Annual Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference — September 2

The Women’s Business Development Center in Chicago will present its 29th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference on Wednesday, September 2, 2015, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Chicago’s McCormick Place-West, 2301 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The conference, themed Fueling Growth, Driving Change, is designed to accelerate the growth of women businesses through powerful workshops and a dynamic trade show, connecting women entrepreneurs with prospective corporate and government clients. Highlights includes:

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Wednesday
Jul152015

Women In Manufacturing SUMMIT 2015: September 23-25, 2015 in Minneapolis

IMA member Plante Moran is a proud sponsor of the 5th annual Women in Manufacturing Summit. The annual Summit is geared toward women who have chosen careers in manufacturing and want to share perspectives and network with others in the industry. This year’s summit is expected to attract 300 professional women in manufacturing with titles ranging from production to CEO.

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Wednesday
Jul152015

Go global with the SBA

Exporting

Have you ever asked how you can expand your business abroad? More than 95% of potential customers for U.S. small businesses live outside the country’s borders, providing you great opportunity for expansion.

On July 30, 2015, at 10 a.m. the Illinois District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration will host a webinar to introduce you to international markets and educate you on how to use our network of government resources for exporting goods and services.

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Thursday
Jul092015

Trade and the Manufacturing Economy — Roundtable discussion with Congressman Mike Quigley — Monday, July 20th in Melrose Park

WHEN: Monday, July 20, 2015 — 1:00-2:00 pm CDT

WHERE: Navistar International Corporation, Engine Plant and Technical Center, 10400 West North Avenue, Melrose Park, IL 60160-1065

On Monday, July 20, Navistar International Corporation, in partnership with the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), will host a special roundtable discussion on the importance of trade to the manufacturing economy. The program will feature a discussion with Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL-05) and will be held at Navistar International Corporation’s Engine Plant and Technical Center, at 10400 West North Avenue in Melrose Park, IL (please enter through Gate 6).

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Thursday
Jul092015

The Importance of Hedging Currency Risk for Illinois Manufacturers

By Jack Euston of AFEX

Is your business involved in the international trade of goods, services or capital? Would you like to hedge your operations against the risks of currency fluctuations, and protect your margins? If you cannot invoice your goods or services in US Dollars, or if your imports are paid for in foreign currencies, you will almost certainly be confronted by currency fluctuations.

Nearly a decade of continued economic and political turmoil in the global economy has led to prolonged volatility in the currency markets, impacting businesses across virtually all industries. Particularly affected have been those organizations conducting business across borders. Dramatic swings in relative currency values can mean the difference between profitability and bankruptcy for import-export companies, manufacturers, farmers or international contractors, large and small.

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Tuesday
Jun232015

DMDII and World Business Chicago 1,000 jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing: You are invited to a panel discussion of technologies driving factories of the future on July 23, 2015

The future of advanced manufacturing depends on a highly-skilled workforce: Innovative solutions for a demand-driven system.

Please join the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) and the World Business Chicago (WBC) 1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing campaign for a panel discussion on the intersection of advanced — specifically, digital — manufacturing and workforce development, and a firsthand look at the technologies driving factories of the future.

WHEN: July 23, 2015, 3:00-6:30 pm

WHERE: Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, 1333 N. Hickory Avenue, Chicago Illinois.

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Tuesday
Jun232015

Plante Moran: Become a Future-Proof Manufacturer

From industry megatrends to international strategy to cultivating talent, discover strategies to help your business endure. Read Plante Moran’s report (PDF).

Source: Plante Moran