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Manufacturing Success in Illinois

The Midwest is known for being a hub of industrial manufacturing in the United States and the state of Illinois is no exception. A leading manufacturer of machinery, Illinois is a large producer of machine tools, construction equipment, and farming machinery. After machinery of this kind, processed food is the second largest among manufacturing industries in the state. These foods include breakfast cereals, sausage, baked goods, and candy as well as sauces, spices, dairy products and soft drinks. Chemical manufacturing is the third largest sector in this regard. Chemical products produced in Illinois include pharmaceuticals, paint, resins, cleaning solutions and other industrial chemicals. Becoming a leading manufacturer in any of these industries does not just happen, so how has the state risen to and stayed in this position?

Exciting New Look and Search Coming Soon from Microsoft’s Bing

Microsoft announced that new updates are coming to their products and a new stage of search is will be launched to Bing, Microsoft’s search engine. The updates will be rolling out over the next week. Immediately, you will notice a new logo, but the primary changes will be in the new search features and capabilities.

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Up to Date with Search Engine Marketing

Unless you force yourself not to use the internet for a day odds are at some point you will be online for work, pleasure, curiosity or some sort of need. Search engines are the avenue to find our desired interests. Both organic searches and paid advertisements catch our attention. Therefore, in order to be noticed a company must have a powerful internet presence and solid marketing plan. The internet has made the world a much smaller place and as a result has increased industrial competition over the web. We are entering the fourth quarter of 2012 with 2013 right around the corner. It is time for industrial businesses to analyze their 2012 marking plan and adjust for the upcoming year.

Will Google’s New Privacy Policy Make You Think Twice About Using Google?

If you’ve opened a newspaper recently or read any tech blog, you’ve likely noticed headlines about changes to Google’s privacy policy. If you use any of Google’s products or services, you’ve doubtless been exposed to their notifications about the change as well. Here’s what’s happened: Google has overhauled its privacy policy and will apply it to all of its products and services (with a few exceptions) starting March 1st. The most notable and controversial implication of this change for Google’s users is that information Google collects about its users’ behavior will now be shared amongst all of Google’s services, and no user will be allowed to opt out of the terms of the new policy.

Georgia: A Major Industrial Player

Flag of GeorgiaWhat’s the outlook for Georgia manufacturing? There’s good news and bad news. Let’s start with the bad news: October was not a good month for Georgia manufacturing. The Purchasing Managers Index, a monthly survey of manufacturing activity released by Markit Group and the Institute for Supply Management, indicated an index value drop of more than five points in Georgia for the month of October. This drop brought Georgia’s overall PMI to just above 43. Based on the PMI scoring system, any figure below 50 indicates contraction, and any figure above 50 indicates growth. This month’s loss is a continuation of a trend that began two months ago. “It’s not clear why Georgia manufacturing is operating substantially below the level of the national PMI,” noted Don Sabbarese of Kennesaw State University in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Mr. Sabbarese speculated that the causes for Georgia’s poor performance may be related to the weakness of the state’s economic recovery.

Pennsylvania: Manufacturing Optimism

Pennsylvania is a manufacturing superpower. Don’t believe me? Consider this fact. If Pennsylvania were a country, its economy would be the 18th largest in the world, and according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, manufacturing accounts for 12.5% of the state’s economy and 90% of its exports. So why do so many people seem to be down on Pennsylvanian manufacturing’s prospects? Why is Pennsylvania included in conversations about the Rust Belt or about the decline of American industry? Does Pennsylvania deserve that distinction? It’s true that Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector faces real challenges today, but it’s important to think about those challenges in context.

Flag of Pennsylvania

Flag of Pennsylvania

Industrial Marketing – An Opportunity, Not an Obstacle

Every good businessperson knows the importance of product quality and customer service. These two elements will always be at the core of good business practice, and without them no business can be successful on any sustainable terms. However, in a competitive environment, it is not always enough for a company to offer its customers exceptional products and service. In order to compete, a company must make efforts to make its products known to customers and to distinguish itself from competitors. The technical term for this process is marketing, and in the context of industry, marketing has always been important.

New Jersey and the Changing Manufacturing Landscape

In his autobiography, the author and comedian Lewis Black suggested that “…for an industrial economy, we don’t really make anything anymore. And one way or another, people still have to put food on the table.” Of course his second observation is right. Broad access to work and wage earning is a pillar of economic stability. But that access has become less of a guarantee to more people since the recession began, and the ensuing rise in unemployment and the decline of industry have been demoralizing. This backdrop could conceivably lead someone to make a comment like Mr. Black’s first comment. But look around you. How are you reading this text in front of you? Chances are that if you’re in an office or even if you’re at home, everything touching you except for the air you’re breathing is likely to be an industrial product, and many of those products were likely made in the US. Some of them may even have been made in New Jersey.

Wisconsin: An Important Gear in American Industry

You might not have known this about America’s Dairyland, but on a yearly basis Wisconsin’s agricultural sector is actually outperformed by manufacturing across several metrics by a wide margin. Consider these quick facts. According to the US Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Manufacturers for 2009, Wisconsin was tenth in the nation in terms of its total number of employees in the manufacturing sector, 11th in terms of annual manufacturing payroll, 10th in terms of manufacturing worker wages, 14th in terms of manufacturing capital expenditures and 13th in terms of total value of manufacturing shipments. And let’s remember: this is out of 50 states. That means that 74% of the country ranks behind Wisconsin in terms of the total value of their shipped manufactured products. Translation: Wisconsin is an important manufacturing state.

Industry and Agriculture in WisconsinIndustry and Agriculture in Wisconsin.

Illinois Manufacturers Still in Top Five

Take a look at Illinois in the context of the USDA’s map of corn production by county for 2010. Look closely at the breakdown for Illinois, and you can see clearly that over half the counties find themselves in the 20 million+ bracket for corn production, the Chicagoland area being the most notable and visible exception. These may be the two things people think of when they think Illinois: Chicago and farmland. But what about industry? What about manufacturing? It’s fair to say that Illinois has historically been known less for its industry than for its agriculture. Even the most famous historical example of Illinois industry, the Chicago Stockyards, could be considered more of an agricultural accessory than a purely industrial operation. Is Illinois an industrial presence?

Illinois Corn Production

Illinois corn production for 2010

A Turning Point for Ohio Industry

There’s a certain fatalism that pervades observations about the performance of America’s economy. Out of that fatalism was born the cynicism that generated the “Rust Belt” designation for parts of the American Midwest and Northeast whose industries were perceived to be in decline. They were decaying, people said. They were outmoded. Rusty. But consider, for example, the state of Ohio. Does Ohio really deserve to be placed on the Rust Belt shelf?

Flag of OhioFlag of Ohio

Why Michigan? Bringing Manufacturing Back Home

Michigan, arguably one of the worst-hit states by the economic recession over the last few years, has in recent months become a focal point for re-investment and tentative re-growth in the areas of manufacturing and industry. For example, wind turbine tower manufacturer, Ventower, opened an 115,000 sq ft state-of-the-art facility at the Port of Monroe, Michigan this month. A couple of weeks ago, President Obama visited an automotive company in Holland, Michigan where efforts are being taken to work on technology for improving car performance – creating much needed jobs and over time reducing our dependency on oil. In addition, of the forty new administration grants allotted to aid in the development of these new automotive technologies, nine of those grants are coming to Michigan. Efforts towards using bio-manufacturing such as soy-based products and bio-fuels are growing in the state, with organizations such as Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee leading the way. As nationwide efforts such as these begin to turn in the direction of domestic investment and manufacturing support, can those of us in Michigan expect to see more signs of real progress in terms of job creation and local industry growth?