In March 2017, one third of the RI manufacturing sector attended the first ever Manufacturing B2B event (RIMFGB2B), created by Polaris MEP, with support from the U.S. Office of Economic Adjustment, Commerce RI, and the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association (RIMA). Out of the 403 exhibitors and attendees, nearly 40% of them took the Needs Survey.
Fewer than 20 employees
More than 50 employees
152 manufacturing representatives voted with 5 votes each
Participants were presented with four large boards highlighting needs under four categories: Growth, Talent, New Product Development, and Operations. They were given five stickers based on their size company and asked to rank their highest needs / priorities.
This is what they told us
(R&D, prototyping, testing)
Need help breaking into new markets
Need help growing sales of existing products in established markets
Need to understand new market applications of current capabilities
Small manufacturers are four times more likely to need access to capital.
Medium manufacturers are three times as likely to need bigger or better facilities.
Need to hire machine operators
Need training for floor workers on new technology and to advance skills in technology
Need to hire engineers
Medium manufacturers are twice as likely to need training on process improvement
Need people with strategic skills to develop our company
Need people with technology background to drive our company forward
Need to meet entrepreneurs with an idea that needs to be manufactured
1 in 4 small manufacturers want to meet entrepreneurs with product ideas.
1 in 5 large manufacturers want to meet designers who can help expand their opportunities.
Small and large companies are approximately 3x more focused on new product development than medium-sized manufacturers.
Defining Opportunities for Growth and Innovation / Accelerating Growth Through Technology / Developing Skills Among Your Workforce / Collaborating with Designers and Engineers to Create and Commercialize New Technology
Need help with process flow for quality improvement
Need help finding a material or parts supplier
Need help with manufacturing engineering
44% of all operational needs relate to improving systems and processes. Small and medium manufacturers need quality improvement the most, whereas help with manufacturing engineering was highest need for large manufacturers.
New Product Development
New Product Development
Created by Polaris MEP, with support from the U.S. Office of Economic Adjustment, Commerce RI, and RIMA.