Companies belong to EMC for a lot of different reasons. The one thing they have in common is the need to participate to get value from their membership
Membership in the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium offers a wealth of opportunities to extract value for all companies who participate. In its simplest form EMC is an organization that facilitates networking between manufacturers of all types where they can exchange ideas, information and experiences for the betterment of all involved.
Networking today comes in many forms at EMC, our Strategic Interest Group (SIG) events, our online Member Needs Help (MNH) system and facilitated connections through your local Field Service Advisors (FSA's)
This article will focus on the value of participation in SIG events.
Participation in SIG's comes in two distinct forms. Hosting and Attending.
Many members already know the value of being a host, for those who don't or are not clear on what it entails here are a few reasons to host an event.
- Member best practice presentations, these give you and your staff the opportunity to shine. Explain a new process you have just perfected, show the results of changes you have made in the organization, spread the word on something you know will help others in your region.
- Group discussions, these conversations based on member driven topics are a great way to bring up a challenge you are having in your plant with a group of unbiased, experienced manufacturers. Work together to solve a problem or perhaps validate you are on the right track.
- Plant tours, you walk through your facility week after week and it all looks fine to you. Being a host gives you the chance to take the same walk with a new group of "eyes" who are available to help you see things, perhaps a little differently.
- Networking Breaks, often the most overlooked part of the session, meet your fellow members on a more personal level and start to build a relationship. As host you get to pick what type of muffins you'll be chatting over!
I had no idea one of our local manufacturers built snow melting equipment!
Attending events is a great chance to see manufacturing in a new light. Whether you're an old veteran of industry or new to it all, you will be amazed to see what they actually do in that big brown building down the road. Other benefits of your company regularly attending are:
- See what changes are happening in your consortium, new technology, new products, and new markets. Your business may not be changing but your neighbours may well be, use the event to stay informed.
- Find out how fellow manufacturers are dealing with local events and changes that affect you all. Talk about local labour issues, impacts of new legislation etc.
- Get information on new ways to operate. Share "lean" stories, learn what things like Kanban or Kaisen actually are and hear and see some practical applications.
- On occasion, when a subject requires a bit more detail or is a new challenge for everyone we will arrange a guest speaker to talk to the group. These subject matter experts can really help to get members pointed in the right direction.
- Make believers out of sceptics, can't get buy in on a new process? Have a few nay-sayers on the production floor? Send them to a local event to have them see for themselves what others are doing on the topic, it can be an eye opener for some.
- Networking breaks, meeting your peers can help in too many ways to mention here. Have a chat over a muffin and get to know your host or regional manufacturers.
Meet your peers over a coffee and muffin...
Guest speakers are sometimes a treat!
In conclusion, participation is good... no great, for you, your organization and your local consortium. Take a minute to think about good info you have gathered at a past EMC event or by using MNH. Now, think about challenges you are facing today or new information you need or would like to share. The solution you need may lie in increased participation with your fellow manufacturers at EMC.
If you have any questions or are interested in hosting an event feel free to contact your local FSA, we will be happy to assist and we hope to see you at an upcoming EMC event!