A new program will help manufacturers benefit from in-depth planning and tailored business solutions. 

Almost all manufacturing firms can use some kind of help, expecially if they are working to onshore their operations or begin exporting. Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, an accounting and advisory firm, is launching a new initative to be of assistance in those areas.

In February, Baker Tilly formed the Center for the Return of Manufacturing (CFRM) – a resource to help U.S.-based middle market manufacturing companies execute their strategies by initiating or returning operations to the United States and unlocking export and revenue growth opportunities abroad. The CFRM will provide similar services to companies located abroad and for those with an interest in launching manufacturing operations in the United States.

“The United States manufacturing sector has undergone significant and fundamental changes in recent years, particularly in traditionally heavy manufacturing states,” says Jeff Jorge, CFRM leader. “We created the CFRM for our clients and those manufacturers who have been looking for advice and guidance to help manage those changes as well as those we expect to come.”

The CFRM is a community of influence and experience, providing the knowledge, proven processes and proprietary methods for successfully assisting with a range of manufacturing-related issues. Those issues include reshoring, global manufacturing, site selection, project financing, domestic and international tax, import/export and supply chain and technology services in addition to ongoing industry insight and tax reform updates.

“The CFRM will play an important role in the future of U.S. manufacturing by offering tools and hands-on support to manufacturers. We emphasize balance in our approach to help companies analyze, understand and confidently execute the favorable business case for reshoring, relocating, growing and optimizing operations in the U.S,” Jorge adds.

The CFRM community includes the knowledge and insight of hundreds of Baker Tilly professionals and is led by Jorge who also leads the firm’s international growth services practice and the Latin America service desk.

“We represent a great number of manufacturing firms and we are preparing them for anticipated changes in tax and trade policy,” Partner and Baker Tilly Manufacturing Industry Leader Brad DeNoyer says. “Baker Tilly’s depth and breadth of manufacturing experience positions the CFRM to play a uniquely important role in helping U.S. manufacturers achieve their goals in a complex and ever-changing global marketplace.”

“The global landscape for manufacturers is changing,” Jorge says. “They need foresight, advice, advocacy and resources and the CFRM is very well positioned to help those companies navigate the new future in manufacturing and product demand – both in the U.S. and abroad.”



EPA Issues Final TSCA Reporting Rule for Nanoscale Materials

By Lynn L. Bergeson

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued on Jan. 12, 2017, a final rule under Section 8(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) establishing reporting and recordkeeping requirements for certain discrete forms of chemical substances that are manufactured or processed at the nanoscale. This column summarizes the rule.

Reportable Chemical Substances

The final rule applies to chemical substances that are solids at 25 ºC and standard atmospheric pressure; that are manufactured or processed in a form where any particles, including aggregates and agglomerates, are in the size range of 1-100 nanometers (nm) in at least one dimension; and that are manufactured or processed to exhibit one or more unique and novel properties. The rule does not apply to chemical substances manufactured or processed in forms that contain less than one percent by weight of any particles including aggregates and agglomerates in the size range of 1-100 nm.

The rule defines unique and novel properties as “any size-dependent properties that vary from those associated with other forms or sizes of the same chemical substance, and such properties are a reason that the chemical substance is manufactured or processed in that form or size.”  Under the final rule, a reportable chemical substance is not just a substance containing particles in the size range of 1-100 nm, “it must also demonstrate a size-dependent property different from properties at sizes greater than 100 nm and is a reason the chemical is manufactured or processed in that form or size.”


Onshoring Profits: Rethinking Sourcing Strategies

By Lisa Anderson

Seventy percent of manufacturing and distribution executives think near-sourcing strategies will increase in the next five years, according to LMA Consulting Group’s proprietary research study on outsourcing, insourcing and near-sourcing.  This is a reversal of prior trends towards outsourcing.  In our experience with clients across all sectors and sizes of manufacturing and logistics, this is not uncommon. Executives rushed to outsource, following the in-crowd and have realized that they need to evaluate before jumping off the deep end of the pool when they haven’t learned to swim.

Although executives noted on the survey that they jumped on the bandwagon to outsource with an eye on cost, they are re-evaluating.  Several compelling factors are driving this re-assessment:


Canada is supporting the development of electric vehicle batteries that will be longer lasting, easier to charge and higher capacity. 

Canada's automotive sector is the country's largest manufacturing sector, producing more than 2 million vehicles per year, which translates to roughly one car every 14 seconds. Additionally, the auto sector employs more than 125,000 Canadians directly and another 398,700 indirectly. The auto industry creates more spinoff jobs than any sector. For every assembly job, six spinoff jobs are created.

To further the progression and innovation in this market, the Government of Canada is investing up to $1.9 million in Vancouver-based Nano One to support the development of cutting-edge electric vehicle battery technology. Nano One produces low-cost high-performance energy storage materials for batteries as well as a wide range of advanced nanostructured composite materials. The new technology will reduce the cost of the energy storage materials in electric vehicle batteries, resulting in batteries that are longer lasting, easier to charge and able to produce more energy. 

The funding, made available through the Automotive Supplier Innovation Program, will support the development and production of electric vehicle battery material in Nano One's pilot plant. The facility will simulate full-scale production of lithium-ion cathode materials and showcase Nano One's patented processing technology. The pilot will also demonstrate the cost, scalability, performance and novelty of Nano One's technology and will enable Nano One to significantly enhance the production of lithium-ion cathode materials. The investment is part of the Innovation Agenda, the Government of Canada's plan to create good-quality jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

"The Government of Canada's Automotive Supplier Innovation Program supports automotive suppliers in developing ground-breaking products and bringing them to market,” says Jonathan Wilkinson, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “We are proud to support these technologies, which will help create quality jobs and support Canada's middle class. By investing in Nano One, we are also promoting automotive sector innovation that will lead to a greener, more sustainable future."  

By investing in Canada's automotive sector, the Government is securing jobs, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises and ensuring the right conditions for innovation. The announcement was made by Jonathan Wilkinson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of the Honorable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.   

"These projects illustrate how Canada's automotive suppliers are at the forefront of designing and building the super-efficient cars of the future—cars that are more energy-efficient and better for the environment,” Bains says. “The made-in-Canada innovations that come from these companies strengthen the skills, knowledge and business expertise that create well-paying jobs for Canadians. These innovations make our country's automotive sector a global success."


With a new partnership, Georgia Tech is connected to manufacturing professionals throughout the SME network. 

SME – an organization dedicated to training and developing the manufacturing workforce – has chose Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) as one of its inaugural institutional members. Georgia Tech joins Harper College of Palatine, Ill., and Grand Valley State University of Allendale, Mich., as SME's first institutional members. 

"By taking advantage of this membership, colleges and universities can increase their awareness of manufacturing trends and technologies for their instructors, helping connect students to knowledge, resources and people in manufacturing," said Thomas Kurfess, PhD, FSME, PE, professor of mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech and 2017 SME president-elect.

Georgia Tech is known for top-ranked schools and programs, including the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. The department provides programs such as acoustics, bioengineering, materials, manufacturing, and robotics; as well as highly ranked nuclear and radiological engineering and medical physics programs.

SME's institutional membership program, now offered to all academic institutions, connects universities or colleges to manufacturing professionals of the SME network. Along with networking opportunities, it includes reduced member pricing for SME trade shows and conferences, access to industry-focused publications, and opportunities for research and certifications. Additionally, five of the institution's faculty or staff will receive a one-year SME membership.

Georgia Tech provides a focused, technologically based education to more than 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Georgia Tech has many nationally recognized programs, all top-ranked by peers and publications alike, and is ranked in the nation's top 10 public universities by U.S. News and World Report. It offers degrees through the Colleges of Computing, Design, Engineering, Sciences, the Scheller College of Business, and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech has more than 100 centers focused on interdisciplinary research that consistently contribute vital research and innovation to American government, industry, and business.

As a nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. SME is dedicated to advancement of manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skills needed for the industry.

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Macola Evolve 2017.3

At its 2017 Macola Evolve conference, Exact connected with customers and demonstrated the advances it is making to fuel their manufacturing and distribution businesses. By Staci Davidson

Exact’s Macola Evolve event in New Orleans in April featured a level of excitement that matched the well-known vibes of its host city. Not only did Macola Evolve bring together customers and solutions providers, but it also underscored the advancements Exact is making with its ERP software systems.

“Manufacturers and distributors are using Macola offerings to simplify and streamline their operations, to make more product and ultimately more profit. That is surely worth celebrating and the Crescent City is the perfect place to do so,” Managing Director Alison Forsythe said in her opening statement.

Director of Development Derek Ochs stressed Macola is focused on enhancing usability and ensuring consistency for its users. This means its systems are being designed to deliver clarity, accessibility, mobility and responsiveness.

“In any given day, our customers may be on the shop or warehouse floor managing operations, out of the office visiting customers or suppliers, or sourcing new materials. The latest update to our ERP and business software is focused on empowering users to more efficiently and seamlessly access the information they need to do their jobs, wherever they are at the time,” Ochs said. “With Macola 10.5, we are matching our software to the way our customers do their jobs. In the end, if Macola is truly doing its own job, the user hardly knows the software is there.”

To demonstrate its dedication to moving customers forward with cutting-edge technology, Exact announced the creation of Macola Labs, which uses company hackathons to explore new technologies and determine what will be developed in the future. Through this initiative, Exact is exploring a facial recognition application, a service-focused “chat bot” and a number of other developments.

Already, customers are having great success with Macola 10, and the company continues to enhance the ERP systems to aid client growth. Exact believes Macola 10 can help customers go beyond core ERP, become paperless in key departments, establish workflow for every critical business process and automate warehouse processes.

“We were looking for an ERP system about 18 months ago,” explained Ben Barber, general manager of Solaire Medical. “We had a custom ERP system and we would sell it, but as we evolved into a manufacturing and sales company, the proprietary system wasn’t working for the operational team. We needed a system that could help us increase productivity and lower lead time.”

Solaire went live with the Macola system last year and Barber described it as a “positive experience” because Exact viewed the company’s processes and procedures and helped fine tune the system in several areas to meet Solaire’s needs. “We are looking to Macola to scale with us,” Barber added. “We believe our internal lead times will be able to go from 30 days to 14 days.”

Ochs explained the expertise at Macola helps its customers have similar stories. “We’ve been doing this for 30 years,” he said. “There is not a scenario when sales talks to a customer where we haven’t seen before and haven’t solved. We know manufacturing and how you run that business better than anyone else, and we will continue to build on that legacy and modernize.” 

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