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Study will benchmark state's manufacturers on world-class manufacturing

News Release — 11 February 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contact: Edward Latson, (800) 625-4876, edward.latson@tmac.org

ARLINGTON - A research study to assess the progress state manufacturers have made in adopting strategies to win in the global economy was launched today by the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center, based at The University of Texas at Arlington's Automation and Robotics Research Institute. The study is the first step in a long-term effort to help state manufacturers weather today's recession and improve manufacturing competitiveness during the next decade.

The web-based Next Generation Manufacturing Study questionnaire can be accessed at www.NGMStudy-Texas.com. Any manufacturing owner, CEO or senior level executive is eligible to participate. Participation in the study is confidential and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. Participation also can be anonymous. Deadline for participation is March 15. Study participants will receive a customized benchmarking report comparing their progress to the overall results as well as to other respondents of similar revenue and number of employees.

The study asks manufacturers to rank their progress toward the world-class performance benchmarks of Next Generation Manufacturing, a framework of strategies that will drive manufacturing growth and profitability in the 21st century. The elements of Next Generation Manufacturing are customer-focused innovation, systemic continuous improvement, advanced talent management, global engagement, extended enterprise management, and sustainable products and processes.

"What we see here in the U.S. and around the globe is that the adoption of these strategies aligns with better business performance," said John Brandt, CEO of the Manufacturing Performance Institute (MPI), a global research firm that is conducting the study. Brandt said a recent Wisconsin study of more than 500 manufacturers confirmed the strong correlation between next generation strategies and readiness to compete globally.

"This study gives businesses the insight to be competitive, now and in the future," said Susan Tully, director of TMAC Business Operations with the University of Texas at Arlington. "The value to state policymakers is that it identifies opportunities to support progress towards world-class competitiveness."

The study is part of a coordinated multistate effort announced today by the American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC) that includes 15 other states. "The adoption of Next Generation Manufacturing strategies represents an historic opportunity to strengthen and improve the nation's manufacturing base and achieve a long-term competitive advantage across all industries and sectors," said Mike Klonsinski, ASMC board chair.

The study results will provide a wealth of valuable data for manufacturers, business leaders and state and national policymakers. Manufacturers can see how they rank against world-class performance benchmarks and target improvements where needed. Policymakers can strengthen and improve programs and services supporting manufacturers knowing where the critical needs are. "The study results will provide a scorecard, and the scorecard will tell us what we need to do to improve," Klonsinski said. For example, a low score on global engagement may indicate resources are needed to help manufacturers sell into overseas markets, he said.

Manufacturing contributes $196 billion in added value to the Texas economy and employs nearly 1 million people.

Contact Edward Latson at 800-625-4876 or edward.latson@tmac.org for more information on the Next Generation Manufacturing Study.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.