WMEP: Wisconsin next generation manufacturing study announced

Study to Rank Competitiveness of State Manufacturers, Update 2008 Findings

Wisconsin Manufacturers Encouraged to Participate

MADISON, Wis. — Are Wisconsin manufacturers more competitive today than they were in 2008? Are they moving aggressively to drive exports, sustainability, innovation and other world-class strategies? A new study will provide the answers.

The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) today launched the 2011 Next Generation Manufacturing Study to benchmark the global competitiveness of state manufacturers. The new research effort is an update of Wisconsin’s 2008 landmark study of more than 500 state firms.

“We strongly encourage state manufacturers to participate in this study,” said Lee Swindall, WMEP’s acting executive director. “The study gives manufacturers the tools to benchmark their performance across several strategic areas crucial to 21st century manufacturing success and target improvements where needed.”

Manufacturers who complete the study’s confidential questionnaire will receive a comprehensive Next Generation Manufacturing Performance Report that will allow them to see how they stack up against other firms surveyed. The web-based Next Generation Manufacturing Study questionnaire can be accessed at Any manufacturing owner, CEO or senior-level executive is eligible to participate. Participation in the study is confidential or anonymous and takes 20-25 minutes to complete. The deadline for participation is June 21, 2011.

Next Generation Manufacturing refers to a framework of world-class performance attributes essential for manufacturing success today and in the future. The six attributes include innovation, continuous improvement, global engagement, talent management, sustainability and engaging suppliers and customers as partners.

Scheduled to be released this fall, the 2011 study results will provide a wealth of valuable data for manufacturers, business leaders and state and national policymakers.

“Manufacturing is leading the economic recovery here and across the nation,” said Swindall. “The study will provide critical insights and data to accelerate growth, competitiveness and strengthen Wisconsin’s economy.”

Manufacturing contributes $42 billion to Wisconsin’s economy annually and is the state’s second largest private-sector employer.

The 2011 Wisconsin study is part of a national effort sponsored by the American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC), an organization composed of the nation’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers.

“A focus on the six Next Generation Manufacturing strategies strongly correlated with success in the first version of this study,” said John Brandt, CEO of the Manufacturing Performance Institute (MPI), a global research firm that is conducting the study. “Two years later, we’re interested in finding out what’s changed for U.S. manufacturers in a post-recession economy.”

Wisconsin was the first state in the nation to conduct a Next Generation Manufacturing Study in 2008. The following year, more than 2,500 manufacturers participated in similar studies spearheaded by 18 states and coordinated by ASMC. Click here to review the findings of the 2008 Wisconsin study.

For more information on the 2011 Next Generation Manufacturing Study, click here or call 1-877-856-8588.


WMEP is a private, nonprofit organization committed to the growth and success of Wisconsin manufacturers. Since 1998, WMEP has helped to create and save more than 13,000 state manufacturing jobs, according to results documented by customers. WMEP receives financial support from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, and partners with many public and private organizations to serve Wisconsin manufacturers.


WMEP: Linda Abbott, 608.826.6215, [email protected]