Doug Hall is quite a guy. Part inventor, part evangelist, and part entrepreneur, he's a formidable character and has had quite a career. A brief synopsis:
Stellar career at Proctor & Gamble as a Master Marketing Inventor. Owns many patents. Founded and runs Eureka! Ranch, a think tank for developing products and ideas for businesses. Former panelist and co-creator of American Inventor television show in the U.S. And Doug comes from a long line of manufacturers. Today, Doug is leading the National Innovation Marketplace, a government-led initiative to help SMMs bring new products to market.
I've met Doug a couple of times. The Eureka! Ranch is located in Ohio, near a company I used to work for. Doug visited our offices there a couple of times, and I attended Eureka! Ranch one day for an idea creation event. And Doug came to visit the MFG.com offices earlier this year.
I can tell you in no uncertain terms: Doug Hall is passionate, capable, and a force of nature. And, folks - he knows manufacturing.
So when Mr. Hall spoke at the Rockford (Illinois) Chamber of Commerce Manufacturing Appreciation Dinner last year, his message for job shops and small manufacturers in the U.S. wasn't just poignant.
It was coming from experience.
"I bring you good news," Hall said (at the dinner). "Business growth is not random."
Manufacturers control more of their destiny than they think. But competing in the new global manufacturing environment isn't for the feint of heart.
It requires "... the same principles that once made U.S. manufacturing the best in the world: ingenuity, creativity, risk-taking."
His advice for competing and winning in this new landscape is growth via fresh ideas, differentiating service, new products, and embracing exporting - but NOT CUTTING COSTS.
"You think you've got problems with cost? Cost is for losers. Cost is what you do when you can't figure out how to add value."
Doug's developed a system that can help small and medium sized manufacturers develop new inventions, ideas and products, and it's available through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the National Innovation Marketplace. Simply put, this program can help you cut costs, grow your business, sell or bring new products to market, protect your intellectual property and determine the likelihood of your invention's success. Best of all, this program is subsidized by the US government and its cost is relatively low.
If you need help competing, or want to look for ways to expand and compete, you may wanna give look closely at this program. Visit the National Innovation Marketplace and see how this program can help your company capitalize on emerging markets.