We have a terrific lineup of presenters for this year’s Manufacturing Matters! Conference including a great mix of national and state manufacturing experts joined with Wisconsin manufacturing leaders sharing their stories.

There are 7 tracks with 3 breakout sessions (beginning at 10 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 2 p.m.) each giving you 21 excellent sessions to choose from.  We break down the tracks and session below to help you determine your plan of attack for the conference:

Advanced Talent Management/ Workforce Development Track:

Overview: Focused on attracting and retaining the workforce you need to succeed, this track provides a great mix of real world examples, insights into the future generation of manufacturers, and the keys to finding employees who are a good fit for your organization.

Sessions at a glance:

  • 10 a.m. – Securing your Future Workforce –  A how-to session on being proactive in cultivating the talent your company needs to succeed now and in the future.
  • 12:15 p.m. – Direct from the Source – Students Talk ­ – High school students interested in manufacturing careers share their aspirations and answer your questions.
  • 2 p.m. – Winning the Talent Game – An experienced talent game veteran, Tim Pappas, shares how to increase the effectiveness of your hiring process and overall employee retention by screening for organizational fit early in the selection process.

Growth Track:

Overview: Want to grow your business but are at an impasse of how to do that? Then this track is for you.  Growth strategies including rapid and successful new product development, identification of new markets for growth, and modern and effective online marketing practices are featured in this track.

Sessions at a glance:

  • 10 a.m. – Rapid Innovation and Growth – Theory meets practice in this session which describes and provides real life examples of using rapid innovation methodologies to increase the speed and success rate of new product development.
  • 12:15 p.m. – Expanding into New Markets ­ – Overly reliant on too few customers? This session explains and gives examples of approaches to finding new markets and customers through targeted and cost-effective market research.
  • 2 p.m. – How to use Linkedin and Other Online Tools to Grow Your Business – Ever wonder how Linkedin and other social media websites can help manufacturers grow their business? Then this is the session for you.  Learn how to maximize the value of these platforms for your business, both in identifying business leads and getting your messages out to prospective clients.

C-Suite Essentials:

Overview: This session which is by the big guns for the big guns provides a preview of things to come locally, nationally and globally and their impact on Wisconsin Manufacturing.

Sessions at a glance:

  • 10 a.m. – State of the State Update  –  WEDC Secretary Reed Hall will describe plans and programs to Move Wisconsin Forward, and DWD Secretary Reggie Newson will discuss Developing Wisconsin’s Talent Pipeline.
  • 12:15 p.m. – Global and National Economic Trends impacting Manufacturing ­ – Chief Economist Susan Helper – US Dept. of Commerce will discuss the globalization of the supply chain and how US Manufacturing can be revitalized.
  • 2 p.m. – National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) – Chief Manufacturing Officer Mike Molnar of the US Dept. of Commerce’s Advanced Manufacturing Program Office will discuss the sources of manufacturing innovation and how public/private investments in Manufacturing Innovation can increase the success of US Manufacturing.

Trends that Matter to Manufacturers Track:

Overview: The Manufacturing Landscape is changing rapidly. This track describes advances in materials technologies, the increasingly productive connections between machines and internet based software, and the future of robotics in manufacturing.

Sessions at a glance:

  • 10 a.m. – Emerging Materials Technologies that Matter to Manufacturers –  NASA’s Chief of Structures and Materials Division, Dr. Ajay Misra describes collaborations between industry and government that deliver the latest materials technologies and equipment to the American Space Program and which can in turn advance manufacturing.
  • 12:15 p.m. – Internet of Things & Connected Enterprise – This session dives deeper into Rockwell Automation’s technology driven Connected Enterprise and shares real examples of how it creates value in Manufacturing.
  • 2 p.m. – Robotics Trends for Advanced Manufacturing – Erik Nieves, Yaskawa Motoman Robotics Technical Director will talk about the rapid growth in robotics technologies and how this is changing the face of Manufacturing.  Advances in safety now enable robots and people to work together collaboratively on the shop floor.

Actionable Ideas for Manufacturing:

Overview: Actionable ideas are where the rubber hits the road and this track highlights manufacturers putting good ideas to work in their companies.

Sessions at a glance:

  • 10 a.m. – Using Technology Scouting to Identify Hidden Solutions and Enable Growth –  Do you ever find yourself saying “If only…” or “There has to be a way to do this…”?  If so, this session is for you and explains how tech scouting can identify practical and cost effective solutions to your challenging development and operations challenges.
  • 12:15 p.m. – Additive Manufacturing – Real uses for Today’s Manufacturing – Additive Manufacturing and 3-D printing are future focused technologies, but what about today?  This session explores how a foundry is successfully using Additive Manufacturing today to deliver cost-effective solutions.
  • 2 p.m. – Proactive Supply Chain Management and Supplier Councils – Inpros VP of Supply Chain Management, Michael Sekula, will share approaches and tools, including supplier councils, Inpro uses to proactively manage and effectively work with their supply chains.

Continuous Improvement:

Overview: Getting better all the time is what most organizations strive for.  This track can help you get there, whether staying current on certifications, improving profitability through sustainable practices, or using continuous improvement principals strategically in your organization.

Sessions at a glance:

  • 10 a.m. – ISO/DIS 9001 Changes – Significant changes to ISO/DIS 9001 are on the horizon and this session provides a preview of upcoming changes.
  • 12:15 p.m. – Driving Top and Bottom Line Growth Through Sustainability – The Wagner Company shares their 10 year sustainability journey which has evolved from simple energy upgrades to an all encompassing resource efficiency and zero waste initiative.  The bottom line to all of these practices is an improved bottom line! Learn how you can achieve the same.
  • 2 p.m. – Using Six Six Sigma for Strategic Planning – “All men can see these tactics wherby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy of which victory is evolved.” – Sun Tzu.  This session describes how Bruce Church, Global VP and General Manager of Glue Dots International has used Six Sigma both tactically and strategically to achieve impressive business results.

Best Practices:

Overview: The Best Practices Track provides models others can adapt to their own organization.   This track includes best practices in the area of Inventory Management, Profitability Management, and Global Expansion.

Sessions at a glance:

  • 10 a.m. – The Hidden Profitability Killer: The Impact of Inventory Accuracy on Sales, Profits and Company Valuation – Successfully managing inventory can significantly impact a company’s bottom line and valuation. This session describes several best practices in inventory management.
  • 12:15 p.m. – 80/20 –Identify the Gold, Silver, and Bronze in your Business – One size does not fit all, and your business has components that differentially contribute to your company’s bottom line.  This session helps you identify the Gold, Silver and Bronze components of your business and shares strategies for effectively managing each.
  • 2 p.m. – Global Expansion – Reactive and accidental exporting leaves potential revenue untapped.  Companies with export strategies are enjoying explosive growth. This panel will share best practices in global expansion including do-it-yourself, and doing-it-with-help.