Session Descriptions-2012

2012 Conference Breakout Session Descriptions

Track #1:  Customer Focused Innovation

1A - Innovation Engineering Leadership:
Overview and Problem Solving

Ted Theyerl, Project Manager
Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center 

Do you have ideas that need initial evaluation and testing to determine whether it is viable to move forward? The world is changing and if you want to stay ahead, you need to be changing faster than the marketplace. As a leader within your organization, you must be willing and able to lead innovation. This session will provide you with a variety of realistic tools to provide you with a way to evaluate your ideas, make appropriate approximations with a simple math tool, use real world case studies to explore an estimator tool and more!

1B - Technology Scouting: Identifying Technology Needs and Search Methods to Find Solutions
Roger Gehring, Project Manager
Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center

Have you ever read an article about a great new technology and all the things that it might be used for?  Often times, new technologies are developed, maybe for a singular purpose, and then ‘pushed’ out to the marketplace to see who else might need it. In contrast, Technology Scouting starts with the unmet needs of manufacturing companies and then new technical solutions are “pulled” in to address those specific needs. Technology Scouts are not limited by historical precedents, industry practices, equipment manufacturers or any existing paradigms that can and often do limit the range of possible solutions. This session will show you the value of technology scouting, including examples and success stories of how it has been successfully applied.  

1C - Manufacturers Go Mobile: Can You See Me Now?
Lori McDonald, President
Brilliance Business Solutions

According to Gartner Research, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide by 2013. Learn how manufacturers are leveraging mobile technology to increase the value of their organization. Whether improving tools for your sales team, providing quick key performance indicators to your executive team, or providing easy insight into the status of a customer’s order, mobile solutions offer a strategic opportunity to increase the speed and value of your business. In this session, you will see examples of how other manufacturing companies are using mobile solutions, learn how to project and measure ROI for your mobile solutions, and gain a decision making tool for creating a road map for your mobile strategy. Join us at this session to get ahead of the curve and prepare to offer mobile solutions to your customers and your team.

Handout (PDF)

1D - Grow Through Diversification: Market Sector Exploration
Bud Gayhart, Director
Center for Innovation and Business Development

Over time many businesses gravitate to certain industries and often focus their attention on a handful of customers. Diversification into new markets and new customers is an absolute necessity for any company. This workshop will address that subject head-on. You will understand how market information may be gathered to identify hot emerging sectors of new industries where your company's capabilities can be effectively applied. The discussion will include "next steps" in the process that are critical to insure this information is acted upon in a timely manner. This process has been delivered to more than 120 contract manufacturers and other B2B service providers; all have secured contracts in new industry sectors that they never thought they could serve. You can also expand your work into new industries. This workshop will help you develop that process. 

Handout (PDF)

Track #2:  Workforce Engagement, Development and Retention

2A - PART A:  Defining Success and Achieving It
       PART B:  Aligning Employee Performance and Business Results
Mark Tyler, President
OEM Fabricators

PART A:  Mark Tyler will share views and vision on success and how it can be achieved based upon personal examples from his life and career.  The presentation will not contain the typical academic approaches to success, but rather a series of real life stories that have helped mold Mark's attitudes toward helping people and organizations be successful.

PART B:  Join us for this presentation and open discussion about the connections between Employee Alignment and Business Results.  What works?  What doesn't?  Mark will share a different view of what contributes to successful team member alignment.

2B - Recognizing the Skills Gap and Taking Action Now 
Mark Tyler, President
OEM Fabricators

Manufacturers in Northwest Wisconsin are growing and once again face the challenge of not having a sufficient pipeline of potential skilled employees to fill current and future positions. There are a number of structural issues in our areas’ demographic makeup that will make developing the pipeline of worker’s for advanced manufacturing even more challenging in the future. Today, Wisconsin has nearly 70,000 high school seniors. In ten years, we will have only 60,000. Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are beginning to enter retirement and while they will be leaving the workforce in record numbers, there will be a corresponding reduction of people entering the workforce. Discover grassroots initiatives underway and the interest being generated within industry and at the state and national level. Together we can overcome the barriers to remedy the skills gap challenge.

2C - The Competitive Advantage: Uniting Innovation, Governance, Collaboration and Intelligence
Arik Johnson, Founder and Chairman
Aurora WDC

The organizational silos that divide us are killing our most important institutions. The lack of perspective and shortsightedness of decision makers is due to overspecialization by expert advisors in four elemental areas of responsibility: Governance and Leadership; Innovation and Design; Intelligence and Analytics and Collaboration and Engagement.

But there is hope. Social enterprise technologies are breaking down these artificial barriers and enabling everyone in the company to understand their role in strategy formulation and execution for competitive advantage. This session will explore case studies showing the achievements of well-known companies. Examples and stories of companies that have broken through their own limitations will allow participants to "cherry-pick" the tools and lessons learned that make the most sense to them and fit best with their company culture.

2D - Strategic Mindset: Working Effectively ON Your Business
Jon Fields, Growth Coach
Midwest Business Support Services, LLC

This practical and hands-on workshop will help you identify strategies to work ON your business versus working IN your business. Business success is dependent on how well the business works internally and how well it implements effective strategies that reach out externally. This workshop will lead you through a strategic planning process that culminates with each participant leaving with the essentials of a customized 90-day planner that you begin to develop during the workshop. This will effectively move you toward your one year, three years and long-term visions and goals. It will also help you focus on the important issues and activities and to delegate or manage the clutter in effective ways.

Track #3:  Superior Process Improvement Focus

3A - Lean Principles and Value Stream Mapping: Present and Future State AND Lean Transformation Best Practices
Bill Amsrud, Senior Management Engineer
Brad Nasset, Senior Management Engineer
Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center
Manufacturing Company Leaders TBA

Join us for this interactive session which will kick off with a quick snapshot of basic Lean tools. You will then put these tools to use in a hands-on, simulated setting to outline the current state of the value stream map, create a future state and see how this measures up to the ideal future state. The knowledge you gain from this session will start you on a path to significant benefits. Lean manufacturing is changing businesses around the world through techniques that translate directly into bottom line profits. You will also hear from companies who have implemented Lean practices at their organizations and learn about their experiences on the Lean continuous improvement journey. 

Handout (PDF)

3B - Lean Hits the Office: Taking Process Improvement Company-Wide
Barb Nicol, Senior Management Engineer
UW-Stout Discovery Center, Center for Operational Excellence
Traditionally, the benefits of Lean have been experienced primarily in the production areas of manufacturing companies. This session will open your eyes to the benefits of applying Lean concepts in all areas of your business, including administrative functions. Administrative Lean is a set of guidelines used to improve office efficiency by eliminating waste or non-value added activities. You will be introduced to Lean principles and tools that will help you and your office identify areas and processes that could become more efficient and increase customer satisfaction by applying Lean.

3C - The Impact of Safety on Your Bottom Line: A Healthy Return on Investment
John Leenhouts, Safety Instructor
Chippewa Valley Technical College

Managing a safety program in today’s business climate can be challenging. While many companies are “making do” with less, the investment in a well-managed safety process WILL have positive impact on your company’s bottom line. But how much investment is enough? What is the true cost of a safety program and what is your return on investment? This session is designed to provide you with thought-provoking methods to evaluate the impact of your organizations’ commitment in safety – and determine where to reinvigorate and improve your efforts. You will walk away with methods to determine the direct and indirect costs associated with safety, key reasons to invest time, effort and resources to improve the impact of safety and an informational “tool kit” designed to address the highest sources of loss.

3D - Quality Improvement through Experimentation: Show Me the Benefits
John Dzissah, Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin-Stout

Product and process design has experienced major changes in recent years. These changes have greatly influenced quality improvement activities which include a set of operational and engineering activities that a company uses to ensure that the characteristics of a product and process are at the required levels. New cutting edge trends are continually being developed to improve these operational and engineering activities. One of these activities is designing and analyzing experiments. This focuses on improving products, service and process quality. This is achieved by determining the most influential factors or the characteristics to improve and determining where to set the influential factor so that the characteristic to improve is near the desired value.
Discover how the application of scientific methods to design and analysis experiments, known as Design of Experiments (DOE), can optimize production operations systems by eliminating waste and help your organization perform at a competitive level. Learn how this focus on improving products, service and process quality by reducing waste will help you produce products and services cheaper, better and faster.

Handout (PDF)

Track #4: Global Engagement/Supply Chain

4A - Going International: Things to Know and Hot Markets to Consider
Damian Felton, Director
US Commercial Service, Milwaukee Office
Craig Letourneau, Managing Partner
AmeriChannels, LLC

Going international? Not sure which markets offer the best opportunity? Did you get an unsolicited order from another country and now you think it’s about time to put together an international strategy? Learn important tips you need to know when entering an international market and discover the next hot markets – where they are, what will sell and how to succeed.

Handout (Felton PDF)

Handout (Letourneau PDF)

4B - Export Strategy and Best Practices: Peer Manufacturing Insights
Brad Schneider, Export Development Manager
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Manufacturing Company Leaders TBA

Hear firsthand from Wisconsin manufacturers at various levels of international engagement. Learn about the strategies they have implemented, resources they have capitalized on to move them forward in their exporting initiatives and the outcomes they have experienced as a result. You will be provided with an opportunity to ask questions surrounding key topic areas in the development and growth of your exporting strategy.

4C - International Sourcing: Practically Speaking
Roger Hershman, Principal
Jim Reid, Senior Associate
National Logistics Associates LLC

Manufacturers often get bogged down in non-critical minutia when planning or conducing international sourcing, related logistics and supply chain operations. Participants in this session will learn to oversee international manufacturing and logistics performance and to be proactive in identifying and averting prospective shortfalls. You will identify the risks inherent in international sourcing and how to plan to resolve contingencies. You will walk away with insights of the normal challenges of doing business south of the border and in China along with considerations and techniques of succeeding in global sourcing operations.

Handout (PDF)

4D - Issues in Negotiating and Drafting Contracts for International Purchase or Sales
Jeffrey Dunn, Attorney
Michael Best & Friedrich LLP 

This session will offer a "nuts and bolts" focus to provide you with practical advice for negotiating and drafting international purchase and sales agreements. It will involve a wide ranging discussion of topics frequently encountered during this process. You will learn how to identify and assess major issues relating to the negotiation and implementation of supply-chain contracts. You will also understand the pros and cons of using standard terms and conditions of purchase and/or sale. In addition, you will walk away with some of the contract drafting techniques used to mitigate risk.

Handout (PDF)

Track #5: Sustainability

5A - Focus on Energy: Sustainability Opportunities for the Future
Randy Urness, Energy Advisor
Focus on Energy

Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus information, resources and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed, or to complete projects sooner than scheduled. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control the state's growing demand for electricity and natural gas. The Focus on Energy program will be reorganized in April 2012 and many of the programs will be changing. This session will include a general update on the program and its structure, resources available for manufacturers, and a plan of action to increase energy efficiency for all customers.

5B - Understanding the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ Rewards of Sustainability Business Practices
Bob Cedergren, Partner
Jay Mayer, CPA, Partner in Charge, Manufacturing and Distribution
Wipfli LLP
CPAs and Consultants

Sustainable business practices aren’t just for large manufacturers. Companies of all sizes are successfully implementing sustainability programs and reaping economic and social rewards as a result. Sustainability can have a sizable impact on what’s known as the triple bottom line (TBL), a term coined in the mid-‘90s that puts people and planet measurements alongside profits. Like a balanced score card concept, the triple bottom line reflects a similar need to create a more balanced view of sustainability and evaluate its full, true impact. By including metrics for the environmental and social dimensions of sustainability, manufacturers can account for the full costs and returns on their investments. In other words, TBL provides a measurable framework and a business case for sustainability.

This workshop will expose you to an introduction of what sustainability is from a broader perspective and the key concepts behind implementing sustainable business practices. You will walk away with a thorough understanding of the TBL and how sustainability programs trickle down to bottom-line benefits. Takeaways will include a “sustainability toolkit” that will provide you with guidance for creating a sustainability program and for measuring the success of your program.

Handout (PDF)

5C - Implementing a Profitable Sustainability Initiative: Taking Action to Reduce Costs and be More Sustainable
Sam Cooke, PE, CEM
SCS BT Squared
Ted Theyerl, Project Manager
Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center

Have you ever wondered how you could save money on your facility's energy bills or by reducing/reusing a waste stream? Join us for this session to explore how you can improve on your facility's energy efficiency and sustainability while saving money. The results of various manufacturing energy and waste reduction projects will be presented and discussed. The majority of manufacturing facilities have multiple low to moderate cost ways to save energy that have yet to be uncovered. Come and see what has worked for your peers.

5D - B2B Sustainability Straight Talk
Mark McDermid
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Dan Anderson, Phillips Plastics
Jeff Muffat, 3M Corporation
Hear firsthand about the sustainability work being done at three businesses and the business reason for that work. Each panelist will provide a snapshot of their experiences and how relationships, processes and products have changed. You will be provided an opportunity to pose questions, raise issues and share practices with practitioners prepared to share candid insights with you to help distinguish where the dollars versus the dimes are as sustainability now touches over 50% of businesses in some way and continues to grow. The panel will be moderated by a manager from DNR who will answer questions about Green Tier profit making, performance-based strategies coming from business and government working relationships.

Track #6: Create Your Own Track

Mix and match the sessions from the various tracks to create your own program.