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Archive for September, 2009

Business Resource Center Captures Regional Advertising Awards

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

The New Hampshire Business Resource Center was recognized with a “Best of Show” award at the recent Northeastern Economic Developers Association (NEDA) 2009 Conference held at the Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia.

NH Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy proudly displays the NEDA Award.

NH Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy proudly displays the NEDA Award.

The Center’s “Innovation Rocks!” ad captured top honors in the “Print Ad Campaign” category as part of NEDA’s 2009 Literature & Promotions Competition. Comments on the ad touting the Center’s “Innovation Rocks!” initiative which honors New Hampshire companies creating innovation products and services ranged from “captivating” to “well done” while one judge termed the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s No Bull Business Blog “ahead of the curve.” The blog merited a “Superior” ranking in the “E-News Communications” category.

“For years we’ve been happy to tout our marketing efforts as being cutting edge, and these awards certainly tell us that our aggressive approach is right on target,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “The New Hampshire business community demands an innovative approach and welcomes our willingness to reach out to them in new and exciting ways. They deserve nothing less than our creative best.”

The Northeastern Economic Developers Association (NEDA) was formed in 1956 to promote economic and industrial development in the Northeastern region of the United States. The association encourages an informal exchange of ideas and serves as a medium by which its members can benefit from the experiences of other professionals.

National Manufacturing Survey Results Announced

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

The New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NH MEP) today announced the results of the first national survey of world-class manufacturers, hailing the findings as valuable to both state policymakers and New Hampshire companies. 

nh_mepBased on an in-depth national survey of more than 2,500 manufacturers, including 74 firms in New Hampshire, the study identifies six crucial strategies necessary for world-class manufacturing success.  The most unique aspect of the ground-breaking study, however, is the evaluation instrument utilized in the study.  It provided participating manufacturers with a detailed assessment of how their management practices compare to global industry leaders and can evaluate whether individual firms are implementing the procedures and strategies that will enable them to thrive and succeed in the coming decade.

“The Next Generation Manufacturing Study is probably the most exhaustive and detailed survey of the US manufacturing base ever conducted. In today’s climate of globalization and the threat of lost manufacturing jobs, it’s important to know where the U.S. stands as a player in the international market. The study was also illustrative for Graphicast, as it highlighted where we stand compared to the more than 1,000 companies that responded to the study. This information gives us a clear path to follow to achieve world class status in technology and service,” said Val Zanchuk, president of Jaffrey-based Graphicast.

New Hampshire manufacturers like Graphicast that participated in the study received a free customized benchmarking report comparing their progress to the overall state and national results. Each confidential benchmarking report was prepared by the respected research and strategic consulting firm, the MPI Group.

Commissioned by Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers across the country, including NH MEP, and the American Small Manufacturing Coalition, the study offers the most detailed description yet of what it takes for American manufacturers to compete in the global economy.  The study was designed as the first step in a long-term effort to help U.S. manufacturers survive the recession and renew America’s manufacturing leadership over the next decade.

manufacturing_welding_lg“New Hampshire’s economic recovery depends on the ability of its manufacturers to maintain profitability in the face of fierce competition.  Manufacturing remains the state’s largest industry in terms of gross state product, accounting for more than 13 percent of state GDP.  The challenge to policymakers is not to give up on manufacturing but to support the transformation of the state’s manufacturing sector into a faster, more flexible industry capable of outperforming their non-world-class peers,” said Zenagui Brahim, NH MEP director of operations.

“The study itself is only the first step in NH MEP’s efforts to assist local manufacturers,” Brahim stated.  “Although the national study is complete, New Hampshire manufacturers can take advantage of the evaluation instrument and work with NH MEP project managers to conduct an assessment of their company’s strategic policies, investments and performance.  Every manufacturer in the state has the ability to utilize this valuable new resource.”

The Keys to Next Generation Manufacturing Success

Next Generation Manufacturing (NGM) refers to a framework of strategies that will drive manufacturing growth in the 21st century.  Developed by leading manufacturers, industry thought leaders and the MEP centers, Next Generation Manufacturing reflects the best practices and performance strategies of world class companies.  To remain competitive, manufacturers in New Hampshire and across the country need to achieve world-class performance in at least some of these key areas.  The study identifies six essential strategies:

• Customer-focused innovation: Deliver new and better customer solutions at a faster pace than the competition.

• Advanced talent management: Secure a competitive performance advantage by having superior systems in place to recruit, hire, develop and retain talent.

• Systemic continuous improvement: Record annual productivity and quality gains that exceed the competition through a companywide commitment to continuous improvement.

• Extended enterprise management: Leverage a flexible network of supply chains and partnerships to provide competitive advantages of speed, cost and quality.

• Sustainable product and process development: Design and implement waste and energy-use reductions at a level that provides superior cost performance and recognizable customer value.

• Global engagement: Secure business advantages through people, partnerships and systems capable of engaging global markets, talent and resources.

The survey administered to the initial 1,500 companies nationwide employed 63 questions to drill down and measure each firm’s progress, or lack of progress, in implementing strategies in these six essential areas.

Sobering Findings

• A serious gap exists between the strategies that New Hampshire and U.S. manufacturers believe are critical to their future success and their actual progress in implementing those strategies. Currently, only a fraction of New Hampshire manufacturers are at or near world-class in any of the six NGM strategies.

• Small and midsize manufacturers are less likely than larger firms to be at or near world-class status in each of the NGM strategies. One-third of respondents nationwide with less than $10 million in revenue were not at or near world-class in any strategy, compared to just 14% of manufacturers with more than $100 million in revenue.

• Measurement systems are inadequately deployed.  Even in one of the most fundamental and easiest-to-measure areas – process improvement – 46% of respondents in New Hampshire and across the country had no measurement system or only ad hoc measurement systems.

• Effective partnerships with employees, suppliers and regional support organizations are the exception rather than the norm.  Nationwide, a majority of respondents (56%) engage less than half of their employees in improvement initiatives, falling far short of industry best practices that require company-wide participation. In New Hampshire the results were modestly better, but 45% of respondents still engage less than half of their employees.

• In New Hampshire and across the nation approximately 40% of companies fail to reach or approach world-class status in the ability of their supply chains to respond to unexpected customer demand for existing products.  In part this is due to the failure of companies to implement supply-chain measurement systems.  More than 45% of New Hampshire firms said that they have no measurement system or only ad hoc measurement systems in place to review the return from supply chain management and collaboration.

• Energy efficiency remains a weak link. Less than five percent of New England firms are at or near world-class status in terms of annual reduction of energy consumption per unit of product output.

• Only 28% of respondents nationwide and 35% of firms in New Hampshire believe global engagement is highly important, despite a near-term future in which markets, talent, competitors and partner opportunities are growing faster outside the U.S. than within its borders.

New England’s Strength: Advanced Manufacturing

The survey data reveal a sobering picture of the challenges facing American manufacturers.  But the report highlights an important distinction that characterizes New England manufacturers in general and New Hampshire manufacturing sector in particular.  New England possesses a robust advanced manufacturing cluster that distinguishes itself from manufacturers nationwide in some very notable ways. 

• New England manufacturers devote more resources to new product development and R&D than their counterparts nationwide. 
o 23.8% of New England manufacturers invest more than ten percent of sales in new product development versus 14.6% of firms nationwide.
o 48.9% of New England manufacturers dedicate more than five percent of their workforce to new product development versus 34.6% of firms nationwide.

• New England manufacturers launch significantly more new products annually than their counterparts nationally (23.5% of New England manufacturers launch more than ten percent of their total SKUs annually versus 15.7% nationally.)

• New England manufacturers derive a significantly larger percentage of annual sales from new products than their counterparts nationally (33.7% of New England manufacturers derive at least one-quarter of their annual sales from products introduced in the last three years versus 24.8% of manufacturers nationally.)

• New England manufacturers derive significantly more value-added per employee than their counterparts nationwide, with 34.9% of New England respondents reporting that they receive more than $125,000 per employee versus 28.0% nationwide achieving that level of value-added.

manufacturingThese findings confirm the results of another recent study on manufacturing conducted by Deloitte Consulting LLP for the New England Council, which found that New England enjoys a strong cluster of advanced manufacturers whose productivity improvements have been transformational.  That report, Reexamining Advanced Manufacturing in a Networked World: Prospects for a Resurgence in New England, noted that advanced manufacturing has reversed the decline associated with traditional manufacturing in New England by developing a talent-rich network of advanced manufacturers with skilled workforces capable of creating complex product solutions.

“New England manufacturers clearly out-perform their counterparts nationally in terms of developing new products and gaining a higher value-add from each employee.  But the Next Generation Manufacturing study clearly shows how far many manufacturers still have to go to reach world-class status,” said NH MEP Operations Director Brahim.  “In many strategic areas our state’s firms are just as challenged as manufacturers nationwide and need to take major steps to improve their performance or else risk being left behind by the global competition.  New England’s economic future will be determined by how the region’s manufacturers respond to this challenge.”

Attention manufacturers! Growth and sustainability will be the theme of the seventh annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit, scheduled to take place from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord.

Coordinated by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Business & Industry Association of New Hampshire, the summit will provide participants with tips for accelerating reliable growth in their businesses.

Sponsors of the event are Citizens Bank, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Association for Operations Management and New Hampshire Business Review.

Registration fee for the summit is $85 per participant; lunch is included. Interested parties can sign up online by visiting http://www.acteva.com/ttghits.cfm?EVA_ID=23444.

Green Stuff, Harleys & Tweets

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Happy Monday everyone and hope that you all had an outstanding weekend. Why not start your week off right by visiting No Bull TV (http://www.youtube.com/user/nobulltv) and seeing what we’ve been up to?

img_0200We’ve just uploaded three new videos – one detailing all of the happenings at Greenerpalooza II, another chronicling our “No Bull Football Jam” at the Verizon Wireless Arena and the last showcasing the “No Bull Motorcycle Run” that we developed in coordination with our friends at Laconia Harley Davidson.

So if you want to be energy efficient, learn the benefits of tweeting in the middle of the third quarter and find out why “Born to Be Wild” would qualify as our summer theme song, visit No Bull TV today!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director


Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

We here at the No Bull Business Blog are dedicated to ridding the world of needless business jargon and acronyms. We believe that simplicity is best and that the business community wants clear and concise messages about the programs and services they require to succeed.

dodgeball-3With that goal as a backdrop, we are happy to unveil the newest addition to No Bull TV, a short video that combines dodgeball with business doublespeak. For those of you who’ve forgotten, No Bull TV is the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s  new YouTube channel that is geared toward providing a video component to our communications efforts – right now, the channel is being used to draw attention to this blog and our social media efforts. As we speak, we are sifting through footage culled from the No Bull Motorcycle Run, Greenerpalooza and Social Media Night at the Manchester Wolves and plan to upload those videos soon. We will also be featuring some of our upcoming events, our Open Invitation initiative and our Innovation Rocks winners.

dodgeball-2In terms of the dodgeball shoot (http://www.youtube.com/user/nobulltv) , special thanks to the very creative John Herman and his film crew and actors, to our own awesome ad team at Square Spot Design and especially to Allen and Lani Voivod, our social media gurus at Epiphanies, Inc. for having a huge red ball launched at them countless times over a one hour period.

Stay tuned for more No Bull TV and until then, avoid all unnecessary business mumbo jumbo or be prepared to duck!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

Sig Sauer Named September “Innovation Rocks!” Winner

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

The development of a modular pistol that allows the shooter to change caliber and size at will has earned Sig Sauer the New Hampshire Business Resource Center’s “Innovation Rocks!” Award for the month of September.

p250-c-n-detail-lExeter-based Sig Sauer’s P250 was designed specifically to address the future needs of the military, law enforcement and civilian shooters and features six different ergonomic combinations to accommodate varying hand sizes. Hailed by Gun World as “a pistol for all seasons,” the P250 is also renowned for having 30-40 percent fewer parts than a traditional semi-automatic pistol.

“Sig Sauer has created a product that truly revolutionizes our nation’s defense efforts,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “Sig Sauer weapons created right here in New Hampshire are being used to protect our President as well as to protect the United State’s interests abroad. The P250 is just another in a long line of outstanding innovations by this world class company.”

For more information about Sig Sauer, visit www.sigsauer.com.

“Innovation Rocks!” is an initiative sponsored by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s Business Resource Center in coordination with Rock 101 (WGIR-FM) and the The Pavilion at the Hilton Garden Inn Manchester Downtown to celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of New Hampshire innovators.

Congrats to a New Hampshire Icon

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Congratulations are in store to a New Hampshire icon and close friend to the state’s business community.

Alex Ray, owner of the Common Man Family of Restaurants has been named the winner of the National Restaurant Association’s 2009 Cornerstone Humanitarian Award.

Alex Ray and this team of volunteers assisted victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Alex Ray and this team of volunteers assisted victims of Hurricane Katrina.

A few years back, I remember sitting at the Common Man with Alex, his tremendous PR person Erica Murphy and then Business Resource Center Director (and now Interim Division of Economic Development Director) Roy Duddy to discuss partnership opportunities. Alex had just returned from New Orleans where he was part of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Armed with a Common Man van full of cooking supplies, clothes and food, Alex directed kitchen operations at the Baton Rouge River Center, feeding more than 2,500 victims and later assisting with pet rescue efforts.

Closer to home, Alex and his team have assisted local organizations ranging from The Salvation Army in Manchester to  The Humane Society for Greater Nashua, The Friendly Kitchen in Concord and many others.

Thanks Alex for all that you do and for always putting people first as you grow your many businesses. We are very fortunate to have excellent business professionals like you in our great state!

Here’s a link to the story that appeared in the New Hampshire Business Review’s online edition this morning: http://www.nhbr.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090918/NEWS06/909179982.

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

The Queen City is a “Recession Buster”

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

In the “great news” department, Manchester, NH has been named one of three “recession buster cities” by National Geographic Adventure Magazine.

manchester_nh_mHere’s what the story said about the Queen City:

Manchester, New Hampshire
Pop. 108,586
In Manchester, old mills have been refurbished into small businesses, while big players such as TD Banknorth, Citizens Bank, and Elliot Hospital employ thousands. The river town claims one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation: This summer it stood at 6.8 percent, compared to the 9.7 percent national average. And the state has zero income or sales tax. You can polish your ski and board skills right in town on McIntyre Ski Area’s 170 feet of vertical before taking on the steeper White Mountain runs an hour north. In summer, canoeists recoup from paddling trips on Massabesic Lake with fresh Buds at the nearby Anheuser-Busch Brewery.

To see more, visit: http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/2009/10/best-places-to-live/washington-dc-text/2.

Congrats Manchester!

H1N1 Webcast for Small Business Owners and Employees

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Our colleagues over at Emergency Management just sent us a note about an H1N1 Business Preparadness webinar being held tomorrow (September 18th) from 1-2 p.m. The info is as follows:

Join experts from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, U.S. Small Business Administration and the National Federation of Independent Businesses Legal Foundation.

Learn how to prevent and reduce the spread of the flu in a webcast conversation, hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ask experts your questions and share your concerns so that you can be prepared this flu season.

To participate, visit www.flu.gov.

“Doing Business in India” Roundtable Scheduled

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

With U.S. exports to India topping $18.6 billion in 2008 alone, the New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center will be holding a “Doing Business in India” roundtable at the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development (172 Pembroke Road) on Thursday, September 24th from 9 a.m.-noon.

india_new_delhiBoth large and small U.S. firms find India a lucrative market, especially for in the following sectors – aerospace and defense, airport and ground handling, computer technology, education services, electric power and transmission equipment, food processing, medical equipment, telecom equipment, retail and franchising, textile machinery, pollution control equipment and mining equipment. India’s GDP, growing at 6.7% (for 2008-09), makes it one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the second fastest in Asia.  India has potential for a sustained growth of 8-10% for the next couple of years.

Roundtable speakers will include U.S./India Business Council President Ron Somers, Charles Maddox, South Asia Desk, U.S. Commercial Service and Himanshu “Dicky” Desai of the India Association of New Hampshire.

The cost of the program is $40 per person. To register, please contact Katy Reno at (603) 271-8444 or katy.reno@dred.state.nh.us

Administered by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s Office of International Commerce, the ITRC plans, develops and administers programs for international trade promotion and foreign market development.  For more information about the ITRC, call (603) 271-8444, or visit their website at www.exportnh.org

H1NI Preparedness Guide for Small Businesses Unveiled

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

According to the Ready Business (www.ready.gov) program (an initiative of the Federal Emergency Management Administration), one in four businesses never reopens after an emergency. One in four……that’s a staggering statistic given the fact that business preparedness should be an integral part of any company’s long term planning process.

42-15620487In addition, a 2007 survey of small business owners by the Red Cross and FedEx showed that while 94 percent of small business owners believed there was a potential for disaster to seriously disrupt their business, less than half felt prepared for even a one-week disruption.

Recognizing the need for businesses to take precautions in the event of an emergency, especially given H1N1 fears, NH Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Chris Pope has asked the NH Division of Economic Development to pass on the following press release regarding a new guide to assist small businesses get the information they need to protect their employees and companies.


WASHINGTON—Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today joined Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Influenza Division Deputy Director Daniel Jernigan to announce a preparedness guide to assist small businesses in planning for the H1N1 flu.

Secretary Napolitano

Secretary Napolitano

“Small businesses play an essential role in our national effort to prepare for all disasters and emergencies—including the H1N1 flu,” said Secretary Napolitano. “This guide will help America’s small businesses maintain continuity of operations and resiliency as the fall flu season approaches.”

“Small Business owners should take the time to create a plan, talk with their employees and make sure they are prepared for flu season,” added Administrator Mills. “For countless small businesses, having even one or two employees out for a few days has the potential to negatively impact operations and their bottom line. A thoughtful plan will help keep employees and their families healthy, as well as protect small businesses and local economies.”

Outbreaks of H1N1 flu are occurring now across the country and will likely coincide with the return of seasonal flu this fall and winter. The preparedness guide offers small business employers tools and information to help them plan for and respond flexibly to varying levels of severity of an H1N1 outbreak—which may lead to increased absenteeism, and, if the outbreak becomes more severe, may include restricted service capabilities and supply chain disruptions. Additional preparations may be necessary if a more serious outbreak evolves during the fall and winter.

Employers are encouraged to put strategies in place now to protect their employees and their businesses in advance of the fall flu season. Included in the preparedness guide are tips on how to write a continuity of operations plan, steps for keeping employees healthy, frequently asked questions about the 2009 H1N1 flu and a list of additional resources that employers can access online.

Visit the following Web links for details: