SCMEP Launches Next Generation Manufacturing Study

State Manufacturers Encouraged to Participate by March 15

COLUMBIA, S.C., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP) has launched an online survey of the state's manufacturers to assess their progress in adopting strategies to help them compete globally. The study is the first step in a long-term effort to help manufacturers weather today's recession and improve manufacturing competitiveness over the next decade. The SC Technical College System, the SC Manufacturers Alliance, and USC's Center for Manufacturing and Technology are joining with SCMEP to sponsor the study.

The web-based Next Generation Manufacturing Study questionnaire can be accessed at 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.

"We are strongly encouraging every manufacturer in South Carolina to participate, regardless of the size of their facilities," says SCMEP President John Irion. "Study participants will receive a benchmarking report comparing their facilities to others the same size in South Carolina and to the general manufacturing base. Participants will be contributing to regional and national policy discussions regarding the outlook for manufacturing in South Carolina, the U.S., and overseas."

The study is part of a national effort announced by the American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC) being spearheaded by 17 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 scorecard, and the scorecard will tell us what we need to do to improve," says Klonsinski. For example, a low score on global engagement may indicate to policymakers actions are needed to help manufacturers sell into overseas markets," he said.


The South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP), headquartered in Columbia, SC, is a private not-for-profit organization that helps manufacturers throughout the state solve business and supply chain process problems. Supported by the state legislature and an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST), SCMEP offers business and technology assessments, engineering expertise, lean manufacturing solutions, and innovation & business development services to South Carolina manufacturers through its suite of services. SCMEP provides this business and technology support to manufacturers through onsite consultations, partnerships with state technical colleges, research universities, and the S.C. Department of Commerce to provide educational programs, online assessment, and other business tools. Using SCMEP's services enables manufacturers to see business benefits at a faster rate and enhances economic development in South Carolina. To learn more about SCMEP, call 803.252.6976 or visit the web at

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