Indiana’s manufacturing labor shortage

Finding new skilled workers for the Indiana manufacturing industry has become a challenge due to low unemployment rates. Kris Turner of The Indianapolis Star reported that the state's manufacturers are having a difficult time finding qualified workers to fill open positions. They have about a one in 10 chance of finding the right employee due to the worker shortage

As of October 2015, the Hoosier state's unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, its lowest since 2001, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. That level had risen as high as 10.9 percent in February 2010. Since January 2013, the state has added 90,000 jobs, and now considers itself  "fully employed."  This high employment rate is great, except for manufacturers who want to expand. 

Indiana leads the nation in manufacturing, employing nearly 17 percent of the state's workers. The Hoosier state also leads the nation with 30 percent of its gross product coming from manufacturing. In short, Indiana needs workers. This shortage will need to be addressed so manufacturers can continue to grow and hire more workers to remain the backbone of Indiana's economy.

One outcome that could have a positive effect is that enterprises will need to hire different types of workers than they usually do, leading to more training opportunities. This could have a great benefit for workers looking to make a career change into an important industry that offers extensive benefits, competitive salaries and access to cutting-edge technology. 

Indiana manufacturers rely on Accent Software to help them implement enterprise resource planning systems. Manufacturing ERP software centralizes data, optimizes workflows and helps enterprises run more efficiently. Contact us to learn more about how we can help. 

Indiana enjoys growth in tech sector

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has reported that in 2015, 20 percent of its deals were in the technology sector. The IEDC reported over 300 deals this year, an increase of 150 percent from 2014. This summer the IEDC reported the Hoosier state was employing more workers than any other time in the state's 200-year history. 

"These moves have been major victories for the Indiana economy."

High-profile tech companies have opened offices in Indiana, including cloud computing company Appirio and digital marketing firm Emarsys. These moves have been major victories for the Indiana economy, which will benefit from 400 jobs at Appirio and 170 at Emarsys. The moves also open more possibilities for current Indiana businesses. Experts cite Indiana's highly-skilled workforce, excellent technical and engineering schools and strong concentration of Fortune 500 companies nearby. All of these factors are making Indiana, and in particular Indianapolis, a very attractive location to open satellite offices or move headquarters. 

The tech growth should come as good news for Indiana's manufacturing industry, which has long been a mainstay in the Indiana economy. Recently, manufacturing has become a far more technical job with increased automation, noted US Steel CEO Mario Longhi.

An editorial from The Times of Northwest Indiana noted, "We need to produce producers, but also thinkers who can retool our production lines and create new products." Whether it's in aerospace, pharmaceuticals, electronics or other industries, successful manufacturers are using more technically-skilled employees to implement innovative solutions and optimize the supply chain.

At Accent Software, we understand the need for technological solutions for Indiana's manufacturing industry. Implementing the right business management software can help your growing enterprise work more efficiently, adapt faster and continue to innovate. We train and support your employees so they can make the most of our robust business management software solutions

2015 Indiana Manufacturing Survey Results

Katz, Sapper & Miller has released the findings of its annual survey of Indiana manufacturers. Co-sponsored by Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, Conexus Indiana and the Indiana Manufacturers Association, the yearly survey gathers information on the state's manufacturing enterprises and the overall health of the sector. 

This year's outlook is less optimistic than 2014: 38 percent of manufacturers listed their financial performance as "healthy" while 27 percent responded with "challenged." However, there are many opportunities for Hoosier manufacturers to continue to improve. The executive summary highlights the need to continue investing in advanced technologies. 

Manufacturers have two priorities: skilled workers and advanced technologies.

The report finds that Indiana manufacturers have two main priorities for modernization: finding and developing technically-skilled workers, and investing in more advanced facilities and information technology systems. As the manufacturing industry modernizes, it's increasingly more important to hire talent with advanced technical skills, to use new information systems and adopt advanced management philosophies. Respondents highlighted the need for increased automation to reduce human error, trim waste from the workflow and boost productivity — in essence, working smarter instead of harder. 

Focus on quality
The survey notes that the majority of enterprises believe it's most important to concentrate on providing superior quality products and service, rather than lower prices. Added Jason Patch, Katz, Sapper & Miller's Manufacturing & Distribution Services Group chair, "Indiana can't just be the lowest-cost state — we have to deliver higher value in terms of workers, supply chain capabilities and more."

The right manufacturing software is important, because it can implement industry best practices to limit waste and improve both product quality and order fulfillment. 

Accent Software, Inc. supports Indiana manufacturers with manufacturing software systems that streamline processes, facilitate automation and boost productivity. Based in Indianapolis, Accent understands the challenges of Indiana's manufacturing sector and can set up an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that will promote efficiency and success. 

Manufacturing helps Indiana reach top 10 for business

Forbes recently unveiled its 2015 Best States for Business Rankings, and Indiana ranks at number eight in the country. This is the first time the Hoosier State has reached the top 10 in the Forbes rankings. On their profile, Forbes cites the manufacturing industry as the main reason for Indiana's successful business climate. Kris Turner of the Indianapolis Star reports that Indiana is a leader in the "manufacturing rebound," as 17 percent of the population works in manufacturing.

A more technical role
Indiana manufacturers rely on a highly skilled work force to lead the way. After all, manufacturing has become a far more technical job over the years, and it's becoming increasingly more automated, according to US Steel CEO Mario Longhi. Whether it's in aerospace, pharmaceuticals, electronics or other industries, successful manufacturing companies develop complex systems to manage resources and optimize the supply chain. 

Manufacturing requires many technical skills. Manufacturing requires many technical skills.

The right software for the job
By taking advantage of business management software, Indiana manufacturers can automate administrative tasks, eliminate waste and optimize their workflows to maximize performance. Using an ERP system such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV ensures a small business can manage inventory, share information across departments and deliver products on time. Manufacturing has long been an industry that embraced innovation, and Indiana manufacturers are no exception. 

At Accent Software, we understand manufacturing companies play an integral role in Indiana's economy. Implementing the right manufacturing software can help your team work more efficiently, adapt faster and foster innovation. Accent Software trains and supports your manufacturing team so they can make the most of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and see a major difference. 

National Survey Highlights Indiana’s Thriving Manufacturing Economy

Veterans day marked the release of Katz, Sapper & Miller's annual survey of Indiana manufacturers. The organizational capacity of organizations that represent the businesses that are encompassed by this sector of Indiana's community have allowed them to work with state lawmakers to cultivate a business climate that encourages growth and development within this industry. The report is a significant economic indicator as manufacturing is the foundation of the Hoosier state's economy.

The report conveyed optimism regarding the growth of Indiana's manufacturing base. Over 77 of manufacturers who responded to the survey expressed their financial performance as being stable and/or healthy. A similar margin responded positively when asked about the future of state's marketplace.

Steve Jones is an associate professor of finance at Indiana University and the chair of its Kelley School of Business Indianapolis Evening MBA program. The school has been one of the nations most renowned academic institutions since its inception over 90 years ago. As a co-author of the survey, his insight expresses the results of the study.

"So we're pleased to report that the mood of our manufacturing employers is upbeat and bullish on investment – but they also have real worries about rising energy and regulatory costs, and about Indiana's workforce." he stated.

Workforce concerns convey the need for manufacturing software solutions that can enhance ERP. In doing so, automating and making processes more efficient  enables enterprises to measure the success of their workforce and gage how to make improvements. Business management software is a vital resource for improving disparate operations within a single enterprise.

Accent Software, Inc. provides business software solutions for Indiana based manufacturers. The software provider is headquartered in Indianapolis and provides an expertise of Indiana's manufacturing economy that can facilitate the success of an enterprise.

Indiana Manufacturers Association Selects New Vice President Of Governmental Affairs And Tax Policy

Collectively, the Indiana Manufacturers Association (IMA) represents over 1000 manufacturing enterprises in the Hoosier State. The manufacturing network has been a critical agent in acting as a medium between the private sector and government. The state's robust manufacturing sector demonstrates the success that the IMA has had working with the gubernatorial administration of Mike Pence. The relationship the IMA has cultivated in the Capitol shows how effective its leadership has been.

That leadership is now in the midst of a transition as the IMA has selected Andrew Berger as its Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Tax Policy. On December 1st, 2014 Mr. Berger takes the helm at a time where tax policies legislated by the statehouse have enable manufacturing to be an expansive industry within Indiana's whole economy. The challenge of sustaining this economic climate as well as achieving more growth is one that IMA President Patrick J. Kiely believes Mr. Berger is particularly capable of accomplishing.

Mr. Kiely remarked on the appointment with optimism.

"We are pleased that Andrew Berger will be joining the IMA as the association's Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Tax Policy and will continue our long history of business advocacy and political action. Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge of the legislative process, a history of experience with legislative leaders, as well as a strong legal background." he stated.

If the IMA proves to be successful in keeping the economic landscape of Indiana intact than the  manufacturing industry would greatly benefit. By implementing business management software, a manufacturing enterprise can improve the totality of its operations from accounting to inventory management. Accent Software, Inc. provides manufacturers with software to fit their unique needs to facilitate their success within Indiana's manufacturing sector.

Industrial coating manufacturer to expand Angola facility

Industrial manufacturer Baril Coatings has announced its plans to expand its U.S. facility, which is located in Angola, Indiana, and nearly double its workforce. Baril is a Dutch company with distributors in nine European countries as well as its American headquarters, which currently consists of a 17,000-square-foot manufacturing plant with 19 full-time employees. Now Baril will invest $1 million to build and equip a 4,000-square-foot warehouse adjacent to the existing facility and hire 16 more workers.

The warehouse will open in January, and company executives hope that it will allow them to double their sales within two or three years by helping to streamline processes as well as increasing capacity. Baril has a patented dual cure coating technology that it uses to manufacture coatings for the agricultural, architectural and automotive industries, among others. The hiring process will begin in December for production and administrative positions.

"When international companies consider where to grow, Indiana is competing and winning time and time again for their jobs and investment," said State Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith. "Baril Coatings' new coating technology fits perfectly here, with a Hoosier workforce known for its skill in manufacturing and knack for innovation. As a state that works for business, we welcome Baril Coatings' new jobs to Indiana."

Baril director of operations Michael Williams said the company decided to remain in Angola because of the close ties with the region, the state's favorable business climate and its well-prepared workforce.

Manufacturing ERP software can help Indiana's companies continue to grow by streamlining their operations and tracking every step of the process, from planning to distribution.

Midwest manufacturing grows at one-year high

The Midwest's manufacturing industry has seen significant gains in recent times, and last week the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed just how notable that growth has been. The October Chicago Business Barometer, which quantifies the sector's evolution on a scale of 0 to 100, reached 66.2 points, its highest level in 12 months. That's an increase of 5.7 points over September, and well above the analysts' expectation of just 60.

The main driver last month were new orders, which increased to 73.6 points. This is especially significant for American manufacturing as a whole because recent data shows regression in both China and Europe. Other areas of growth included production, employment and inventories.

"The strengthening in the Chicago Business Barometer suggests that the U.S. economic recovery is more entrenched," said Market News International chief economist Philip Uglow. "The October survey also provided clearer evidence that companies are taking on more workers to keep up with higher demand. Concerns about the global economy and the continued low level of inflationary pressures may persuade the Fed to keep rates lower for longer, but the domestic economy is growing healthily."

Inflationary pressures have been eased because the price of crude oil is down worldwide. This has had the noticeable effect of lowering gas prices for consumers, and has also reduced the prices paid component of the Barometer.

Manufacturing ERP software can help Midwestern companies contribute to the industry's continued good health. This software automates and streamlines a manufacturer's business processes, from planning and inventory to sales and distribution, leading to simplified operations and improved results.

Lens manufacturer to take over Wabash facility

Indiana's manufacturing industry continues to thrive, with local companies expanding their facilities and bringing new job opportunities to the Hoosier state. Midwest Eye Consultants, which serves Northern Indiana at 27 locations, has announced that it will invest $2.39 million to lease, renovate and equip Lens Source Optical Lab, a 14,000-square-foot facility in Wabash. The company will center its lens design and manufacturing operations at its new location, which will be fully operational in May.

Midwest Eye will open the hiring process in January and intends to add 31 new jobs by 2018. The 22-year-old company already employs 450 workers at its clinics. Midwest Eye now intends to equip Lens Source with state-of-the-art equipment that will make the eyeglass lens manufacturing process more affordable and efficient and produce higher-quality lenses.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation has offered Midwest Eye up to $130,000 in tax credits and $50,000 in training grants, which are conditional upon the company meeting its hiring goals. Wabash County is also considering issuing benefits, and local authorities expressed their satisfaction with the news.

"Midwest Eye's growth shows that this community is built for business growth," said Wabash County Council president James Kaltenmark. "We're so thrilled to see these new jobs coming to Wabash County, where we've crafted just the right environment for companies to succeed."

Manufacturing business software can help Indiana's companies continue to grow by streamlining their operations. A local provider can assist with the implementation and provide all the necessary support to ensure that users take full advantage of the system's capabilities.

Purdue Calumet names head of manufacturing center

Purdue University Calumet is the latest school to join the effort to continue growing Indiana's manufacturing industry. In April, the university announced that it would launch a Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center with the help of a $2.74 million federal grant. The 18,000-square-foot center, which is still in the construction and fundraising stage, will consolidate all of Purdue Calumet's manufacturing training programs, which are currently held at four different sites throughout the campus in Hammond.

This week, College of Technology dean Niaz Latif was announced as the executive director of the Center. He will oversee its development in two phases. The first phase is scheduled to be completed next April and will focus on manufacturing excellence, aided by a financial endowment from Dave Roberts, the CEO of manufacturer Carlisle Companies and a Purdue Calumet alumnus.

Aside from providing training, the Center will serve as an incubator for emerging businesses and technologies and as an exchange link between the university and the community. University leaders also hope to establish partnerships with the other campuses of the Purdue University system.

"The center will provide opportunities for Purdue Calumet faculty and students to commercialize innovative ideas resulting from their research or other intellectual endeavors," said Latif. "It is a facility that will make a difference in Northwest Indiana advancing economic development."

Indiana's manufacturers can benefit from the implementation of manufacturing ERP software, which is available from local IT companies. This software streamlines business by tracking every step of the process, from inventory to distribution, and recording job costs to help manufacturers make more informed investments.