May 12, 2014 NCMS is pleased to present Voice of the Customer: Talking and Listening to Backbone Manufacturers, an intimate new perspective on a little-understood sector of the American economy. The first step in a planned national outreach, it was the driving force behind a major industry roundtable hosted by NCMS and Lawrence Tech University.
An Executive Insight section in the latest issue of Crain’s Detroit Business features the March 20 roundtable, a candid discussion of the challenges faced by manufacturers with fewer than 2,000 employees – a sector NCMS refers to as Backbone Manufacturers.
“Unless you live in the woods, you won’t get through a day without the Backbone,” said Danielle Jones, the Business Development Manager at NCMS and the Voice of the Customer project lead. “They’re responsible for twice the global employment of all other manufacturers. They do 75% of the R&D. Practically every product you touch was touched by them first.”
Voice of the Customer sheds light on a sector that’s not always heard or understood. It involved nearly 10,000 Backbone Manufacturers in Michigan, with plans to roll out nationally within the year.
Jon Riley, NCMS VP of Digital Manufacturing, remarked that “Nobody’s really listened to the Backbone before. This is about starting a conversation.” At the roundtable, attendees discussed problems, opportunities, and new tools – particularly advanced Digital Manufacturing.
“The Backbone wants to engage, they want to plot their course, they want to sit at the table,” said Riley. “And they deserve to. After all, they probably built the table.”
View Voice of the Customer: Talking and Listening to Backbone Manufacturers in your browser (PDF)
Go to the Crain’s Detroit Business Executive Insight piece on the effort