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About the Author

Barry W. Miller

President & COO
DVIRC

  • 30 years of executive-level manufacturing experience, including 23 years with DVIRC and 14 years with Baldwin Manufacturing Company, a division of Fortune 500 Company Masco Corporation
  • 1998 Practitioners Award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology for outstanding achievement in developing high-impact services for small and medium-sized manufacturers
  • Hosts CEO Manufacturers Council Network Group
  • Syracuse University alumnus

Reigniting Manufacturing Through Innovation

Innovation Engineering provides a systematic approach to commercializing new ideas.

by Barry W. Miller
Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center

Manufacturing work is coming back from overseas for manufacturers capable of innovating technologies or products. The Electrical Engineering Times reports that innovative U.S. technology has been one of the key factors bringing manufacturing work back from China. The importance of innovation also applies to the OEM supply chain. Says Dr. Irene Petrick, managing director of TrendScape Innovation Group and a Penn State University professor, "You need to transition from supplier to co-creator. OEMs want suppliers to provide insights on new materials, new designs and new ways of developing products or technologies."

For many companies, innovation is considered risky business. Even when the need to innovate is obvious, pessimism and fear - often resulting from the lack of a systematic approach to making ideas real - can diminish the courage to take action. Innovation Engineering provides a system and structure for getting the job done, by bringing the discipline of engineering to the world of innovation.

The Innovation Engineering Management System (IEMS) is a scientific method for accelerating more profitable products, services, customers, markets and processes. Developed and optimized by the U.S. Department of Commerce's NIST/MEP System, the University of Maine and Eureka! Ranch, IEMS applies Dr. W. Edwards Deming's system mindset and principles to innovation and growth.

According to Doug Hall, Innovation Engineering pioneer and founder of Eureka! Ranch, companies that use the system are getting ideas to first sale in 10% of the time, at 16% of the cost, while doubling their odds of success versus how they worked previously. Innovation Engineering is a complete system in which all elements of creating, communicating and commercializing work synergistically.

By providing a structure for creating meaningfully unique services or products that are valued by your customers, Innovation Engineering provides a path to profitability and market strength. Innovation can take you out of the commodity quagmire and give your company new life.

For more information about Innovation Engineering, visit www.dvirc.org.

Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center
The Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center (DVIRC) is a private, not-for-profit regional economic development organization. Established in 1988 to help small to mid-size manufacturers compete and grow in the global economy, the DVIRC is one of seven Industrial Resource Centers in Pennsylvania, and one of 59 Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST/MEP) affiliates.

In addition to serving 4,500 manufacturers, DVIRC maintains multiyear performance-based contracts with Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (NIST, MEP).

Our mission is to improve the performance and competitive position of client companies and to increase the value of individual companies through consulting services (strategy, top-line growth and operations), executive network groups, training and education, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) talent development.

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