Working With Your Local MEP

[dot_recommends] February 16, 2022 Manufacturing Business Strategy

Taking a Fresh Look at Manufacturing Extension Partnership Growth Services

Image shows the Real Manufacturing GDP CAGR 2009-2019 from NIST and MEP data and shows one impact of manufacturers working with local MEP centers state by state

 

Data shows that America’s small and mid-sized manufacturers benefit from the MEP National Network™ of centers located in every state and Puerto Rico. Working with your local MEP on federally funded initiatives does more than save you money. It gets you access to experts.

How MEPs Serve Small and Mid-Sized Manufacturers

MEPs may be best known for services related to manufacturing process improvement, regulation compliance, and ISO certification.

Now, many of the centers in the MEP National Network™ also provide business growth services. The Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) is a great example.

As a small business marketing agency specializing in industrial manufacturing, we’ve been partnering with IMEC for years. We’ve seen the impact of MEP growth services first hand.

What Are Business Growth Services?

Exporting, marketing, sales, and workforce development all fit into the growth services category. The following are some examples we’ve seen over the years:

  • Updated marketing strategies and marketing automation solutions, as was seen in our Armology collaboration.
  • New strategies for cross-selling and up-selling along with lead generation as Lindy Manufacturing received.
  • Other common growth initiatives include the following:
    • Website SEO audits and improvements
    • Social media campaigns
    • Sales pitch development and coaching
    • Market and product research
    • Leadership development

Not all MEPs provide growth services, but those that do can get you access to a manufacturing marketing consultant who knows your industry well.

Getting Started Working With an MEP

Based on our experience, I recommend working with your local MEP if they have services that fit your goals in 2022.

So how do you start?

  • 1. Look up your local MEP on this NIST website. Then, visit the local MEP website to see what services they offer.
  • 2. Get on the email list of your local MEP and watch for announcements of new opportunities.
 New initiatives come along regularly.

For example, at the time this blog post is publishing, our partners at IMEC have recently launched the new Grow Your Future initiatives that provide fully-funded growth services projects to qualifying companies.

I’ve linked a couple of our success stories in this post as examples. We’d love to read your success stories! Connect with us on LinkedIn or Tweet us. We’re always happy to talk.

—parin

Managing Partner

Image source: NIST

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