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?
One possible reason could be because organizations such as the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC). IMEC is an organization that was founded in 1996 with the goal of bettering both competitiveness and productivity in manufacturing firms in Illinois. Specialists at the company, most of which have 18+ years of manufacturing experience, look at a manufacturer’s long-term goals and then assess current operations. Performance issues and discrepancies are then identified and solved. Generally, this leads to operating capacity optimization, innovations in processed and products, new markets, increased sales and improvement in profitability. IMEC works closely with each company in order to meet and understand each unique organization, and then train, mentor, and coach employees in a way that will provide lasting success.
Other reasons for manufacturing success in Illinois include its central geographic location in the United States. This provides for an excellent transportation network, and many overseas companies haven chosen locations in the state for new U.S. facilities because products are easily shipped throughout the country from there. Illinois is also known for its capable and skilled workforce. Companies are running at capacity and increasing employment at higher rates, and machine operators are making more money at these jobs than some may think. When skilled workers are being employed and compensated appropriately for their trade, increased productivity and quality can be seen.
Though certain issues such as tax rates could make Illinois rank even higher as a top manufacturer in the country, it still has seen a lot of success. In fact, when several company executives spoke on a panel about business in a global market, they said they still would chose Illinois over other locations if they had a chance to start over.