Taking The Lead
February 24th-25th, 2016

The Wisconsin manufacturing sector is taking the lead. It is taking the lead on job creation, technological innovation, and state GDP impact, and is moving Wisconsin forward. Examples of how Wisconsin manufacturers are taking the lead include:

  • Discovering and adopting technologies that create value and efficiencies
  • Becoming faster, stronger and more agile
  • Reducing resource utilization and environmental impact while growing profits
  • Reaching new countries, industries and markets

Over 400 people accepted the call to take the lead for their own organizations by attending this year’s Manufacturing Matters Conference on February 24 and 25th at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee.


images from Manufacturing Matters 2015



Giacomo Fallucca


Our keynote speaker is Giacomo “Jack” Fallucca, Owner, President and CEO, Palermo’s Villa, Inc. (dba Palermo’s Pizza). Giacomo, who has led Palermo’s since 1985, will inform and inspire you with his presentation on Pizza, People, and Passion. He will also discuss Palermo’s commitment to employee engagement as well as innovation from ideation to commercialization. Read more – Innovation Key Ingredient to Success at Palermo’s Pizza

Main Conference Program – Thursday, February 25th

The Conference features a terrific line-up of 18 break-out sessions in 6 tracks (see below).  You can build your own agenda and select whole tracks or individual sessions from different tracks.  We are very proud of this year’s line-up and believe you will leave the conference with practical and thought provoking ideas to apply in your organization.   More detailed information on individual session and presenters is available here.



Download a printable PDF of this schedule


Pre-conference Workshops – Wednesday, February 24th 

For more in-depth learning we are offering several pre-conference workshops on Wednesday February 24th including:

HACCP Certification One-Day Seminar
Wednesday February 24th, 8 am – 4 pm

An intensive one-day seminar designed to achieve Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) knowledge and competency led by WMEP HACCP expert Peg Dorn.

Companies need to develop and maintain a robust food safety system in order to conform with Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and regulatory standards. This seminar provides the tools you need to build a successful food safety system. Upon successful completion of the course, the attendee will be able to write a HACCP plan (standard starter templates provided)and implement a HACCP system. Certificate of Completion provided upon successful completion of the course. [There is a fee for this workshop.]


Lean New Product Development Workshop
Wednesday February 24th, 8 -11 am

In the current economic climate, doing more with less is a mandate for virtually any firm. Unfortunately, much of the effort expended by product development teams is often unnecessary and potentially wasteful.

The objective of this applied workshop is to provide participants with an opportunity to experience and apply several critical tools of Lean Product Development, discuss their specific projects and challenges, and answer any detailed questions they may have.

This workshop is based on the recently published book Mastering Lean Product Development by Ronald Mascitelli, and is presented by the author.

Exclusively offered to Manufacturing Matters! 2016 registrants at no additional fee.


Turbocharge Your Quality Management System

If your Quality Management System feels sluggish and stalls, then it’s time to clean the cylinders, change the filters, and boost your horsepower!

In the past ten years we’ve observed changes in auditors’ interpretations of the ISO 9001 standard, focusing more on achieving results and less on the components you installed to get there. While converting customer orders to shipped products or delivered services is still important, more emphasis is now placed on improving system performance through valuable measures and targets, meaningful management reviews, and implementing improvements that drive real results. The result is a QMS that embodies continual improvement rather than just talking about it. WMEP has assisted over forty-five organizations to become ISO 9001 certified, and we’ve seen what auditors look for in a well running quality management system, and have collected best practices for almost all areas of the standard. ISO 9001 is more than a quality program it is business operating system strategy to grow your business through proven International Standards of Quality.

In this session you will learn some of the best practices for your QMS and new requirements in the 2015 standard. You’ll see the most common non-conformances and learn how to address them with practical solutions. Finally you’ll see what the new requirements are and tips for how to address them. You’ll leave this session with ideas and templates for super-tuning your QMS into a racing machine!


Quick Response Manufacturing Workshop: The Competitive Edge for the Future
Wednesday February 24th, 1 -5 pm

Many manufacturers are facing a challenging trend: customers are increasingly requesting highly customized products at short lead times. Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) provides a proven solution to reduce lead times throughout your operations – manufacturing, engineering, supply chain and new product development. If you manufacture high-variety or custom-engineered products, join us for this introductory workshop and learn how QRM can give you a competitive advantage for the future.

This workshop is led by Dr. Ananth Krishnamurthy,  Director of the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

Available to Manufacturing Matters! 2016 registrants at no additional fee. $100 fee to those not registered.


Lakefront Brewery Tour
Wednesday February 24th, 3:30 – 5:30 pm

The WMEP has arranged for a private tour of Lakefront Brewery especially for attendees of Manufacturing Matters! 2016. This industrious and inventive microbrewery located on the Milwaukee River has become a Milwaukee landmark. Its rich history includes partnerships with local taverns, preservation of local historical pieces, unique tours, family style dining options and most importantly, great beer.

Please join us to view firsthand the manufacturing processes and innovations implemented at Lakefront Brewery. The Lakefront Brewery Tour is ranked the 4th best brewery tour in America by Trip Advisor.
Don’t miss it!

Free transportation to/from Lakefront Brewery provided from the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. An $8.00 per person fee will be collected at Lakefront Brewery.


Conference Location:

Hyatt Regency Milwaukee Atrium
333 West Kilbourn Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 53203
Tel: (414) 276-1234



If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities for our 2017 conference, please email Tammy Schwarzbauer or call (920) 238-2470.

Manufacturing Matters 2016 sponsorship information






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