Recognized nationally for leadership of the innovative Wisconsin Profitable Sustainability Initiative
At the national conference of the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEP) earlier this month, Randy Bertram of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) was named "Practitioner of the Year." This award recognizes MEP staff whose specialized capabilities enabled them to make a significant, innovative and sustainable impact within client companies and across the MEP system in the past year. The MEP, a program of the US Department of Commerce, is a public-private partnership that teams with industry as well as state and local organizations to support small to midsize manufacturers with services that drive growth, accelerate innovation, and promote sustainability and continuous improvement with 1,700 technical experts in nearly 350 manufacturing extension offices across the country.
Randy Bertram, Sr. Manufacturing Specialist (Photo: Business Wire)
At the awards ceremony, Bertram was commended for his role in leading the Wisconsin Profitable Sustainability Initiative (PSI). WMEP was awarded a grant in 2010 by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (formerly known as the Wisconsin Department of Commerce) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices by small and midsize manufacturers. The PSI program is the only one of its kind in the country, featuring a multidisciplinary approach that is flexible, customer-driven and focused on achieving immediate and long-term results in fast-paced manufacturing environments. Under the program established in 2010, a team of energy, environmental, logistics, lean and finance experts take a 360-degree view of the participants' business enterprises to diagnose, assess and implement improvements. Early results are astonishing -- the five year economic impact from the 98 firms participating in the program is projected to be $75 million, along with immediate and long term environmental benefits.
"This award indicates the national recognition that the innovative Wisconsin Profitable Sustainability Initiative has achieved," said Bertram. "Over the years, many efforts have been made to help promote sustainability in manufacturing, but none have approached the success of the PSI program. Our practical, three-step process is designed to help businesses grow and thrive while reducing consumption, waste and energy use."
"The Wisconsin Profitable Sustainability Initiative leverages a pragmatic, proactive, pro-business model with minimum regulatory authority," said Paul Jadin, CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. "The initial phases of this program have proven impressive successes and that this is a wise investment with business returns and environmental impact reductions that are nearly 30 times higher than program costs. Wisconsin is on its way to becoming the most sustainable manufacturing state in the nation through this initiative."
Ninety eight small to mid-sized manufacturers have benefited from the program to date, and over the next three years, electricity demand from participants will be reduced by 12,857,940 kilowatt hours and 8,931 tons of solid waste will be diverted from landfills as a direct result of this program. The three year ROI is projected to be 25:1 with $52,784,382 of reported aggregate economic impact to date.
The success of the Profitable Sustainability Initiative lies in helping manufacturers increase profitability through sustainable practices that fit the unique business environment of each client. Each individual project is developed based on its projected ROI, achievability and alignment with company goals. "Randy Bertram's background in manufacturing, combined with his experience as a WMEP manufacturing specialist, uniquely positioned him to lead this innovative program," said Buckley Brinkman, executive director of the WMEP. "He really walks the walk when it comes to our mission – to make Wisconsin manufacturing the best in the world. Randy has put PSI at the forefront of driving sustainable practices that make sense for manufacturing, and the rest of the country has taken notice."
PSI has demonstrated that manufacturers can realize significant financial and sustainable gains by adopting a broader strategy including:
• More efficient use of raw materials
• Substitution of high energy-intensive materials with materials of lower energy intensity
• Minimization of waste and unwanted by-products
• Improved machine and process optimization
• Reduced scrap and rework
• Transportation, logistics, and supply chain improvements
• Energy efficiency gains
• Environmental Improvements
• Development of green products
WMEP works with the following partners to assist Wisconsin manufacturers in their sustainability projects:
Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center (NWMOC) provides business assistance and management expertise to small and midsize manufacturers and is part of the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).
Focus on Energy (FOE) works with Wisconsin manufacturers to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. FOE provides information, resources, and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed, or to complete projects sooner than scheduled.
SCS BT Squared, Inc., delivers economical and environmentally sound solutions for solid waste management and other environmental projects throughout the world. SCS BT Squared provides engineering, construction, and long-term operations and maintenance services to private and public sector clients.
LogiServe®, a logistics management firm with offices in Wauwatosa and Rome, Ga., helps clients achieve optimum cost and performance in transportation, logistics and supply chain activities through tactical and strategic approaches.
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, with staff totaling more than 1,350, Baker Tilly provides a wide range of accounting, tax, assurance, and consulting services. Ranked as the 16th largest firm in the country, Baker Tilly serves clients from offices in Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, Washington D.C., and throughout Wisconsin.
WMEP is a private, nonprofit organization committed to the growth and success of Wisconsin manufacturers. Since 1996, WMEP has helped to generate more than $1.8 billion in economic impact and create and save more than 14,000 state manufacturing jobs, according to results documented by customers. WMEP receives financial support from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. WMEP also partners with many public and private organizations to serve Wisconsin manufacturers.
As the state's lead economic development organization, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) nurtures business growth and job creation in Wisconsin by providing resources, technical support, and financial assistance to companies, partners and the communities they serve.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology's Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) works with small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. The nationwide network provides a variety of services, from innovation strategies to process improvements to green manufacturing. MEP also works with partners at the state and federal levels on programs that put manufacturers in position to develop new customers, expand into new markets and create new products. As a public/private partnership, MEP delivers a high return on investment to taxpayers. For every one dollar of federal investment, the MEP generates around $30 in new sales growth. This translates into $3.6 billion in new sales annually. For every $1,570 of federal investment, MEP creates or retains one manufacturing job.
For more information, visit www.wmep.org or call 1-877-856-8588.
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Teresa Schell, 262.345.3381