Manufacturing’s Moment by Crain’s Chicago
by Chelsea Sher
Small and mid-sized manufacturers are the backbone of Illinois’ economy, and they are innovating, investing and positioned for growth.
The roundtable discussion included manufacturing executives and economic developers and was moderated by Crain’s Group Publisher and Executive Editor Jim Kirk. David Boulay, president of IMEC, set the stage for the state of manufacturing in the region. Our own Joel Sher, Vice President of Evanger’s, was invited to the roundtable discussion.
“Manufacturing is having a moment…the sector is in transition,” said Boulay. Comprised of mostly small and mid-sized companies, Illinois manufacturers face a variety of complex issues: workforce challenges; questions about the effective use of technology; and reshoring to avoid supply chain disruptions are three that are front and center of the industry right now.
Manufacturing has shown its resilience to adapt and keep working to lead the way through recessions, wars and even a pandemic, Boulay said. But he characterized the current, post-pandemic transition as different in tone and urgency from previous periods of disruption.
This time, there’s more talk among manufacturing executives about making investments in the workforce and technology.
As a result, Illinois’ manufacturing sector is poised for growth.
Manufacturers are creating career paths for employees and adopting new technologies that are radically changing the way products are made. Artificial intelligence, robotics and automation are improving efficiency and revolutionizing the nature of factory work. Laptops are as common on the shop floor as milling machines.
“In challenging moments, innovation can occur,” he said.
NutriPack is a family-owned maker of canned pet foods. The business is growing, and owner Joel Sher has reached his personal business goals. But his children, next in line to run the company, are eager to automate production: one daughter is an engineer.
Read the full article here: https://www.chicagobusiness.com/crains-content-studio/executive-insights-manufacturings-moment
(featuring Joel Sher, roundtable discussion contributor)
December 13, 2022
December 05, 2022