Networks, Not Just for Computers Anymore!


What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say networks?


Internet connections?

Manufacturing company leaders meeting at a plant, taking a tour, and doing lunch to talk about their biggest challenges?

While networking is a valuable activity for manufacturing leaders, unfortunately, the opportunities to do so effectively are few and far between.  This is particularly true for companies located away from large cities, where networking meetings tend to be more plentiful. 

This is the situation in Effingham, Illinois, where Versatech is located.  To help local manufacturers meet and share best practices and challenges, Versatech organized the Effingham Area Manufacturers Network.   The purpose of the network is benchmarking, education and networking for meeting participants.

Representatives from 16 Effingham area companies are invited and attendance has averaged approximately 60% for the meetings so far.  Since the network started in mid-2014, three mid day plant tours have been conducted and an after hours event is scheduled for 12/9/14. 

Attendees have discussed the following:

  • Lean manufacturing programs

  • Approaches to address the workforce skills shortage

  • Challenges to making and sustaining improvements

Attendees volunteer to host plant tours and pay for lunch during the meetings, which occur every 4-6 weeks.  Versatech coordinates the logistics for network meetings with the host company and the attendees.  Attendees have expressed satisfaction with the content and connections made through the network meetings. 

Do you have the opportunity to network with other area manufacturers?  If not, we have the solution for you!

Due to the success of the Effingham Area Manufacturers Network, Versatech is exploring other areas to organize manufacturing networks.  If you would like to experience the networking, benchmarking and education that the Effingham Network has provided, contact Micki Vandeloo at 618-977-8570 to discuss establishment of a network in your area.