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Exporter Resource: The NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)
December 29, 2015 Sean Luke
Tagged: Exporting Tips

Resources U.S. Exporters should know about: The NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership

There are a number of resources available to small businesses, but sometimes it is unclear how they can be helpful. This blog is part of an ongoing series to highlight business development resources for U.S. exporters. We explain in simple terms how these tools can help you develop and grow your business.

What is the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)?

The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program is a nationwide network of centers that focus on providing U.S. manufacturers with the services and access to resources needed to enhance growth, improve productivity, reduce costs and expand capacity. Located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and with more than 440 locations, each center can tailor its services to match the critical needs of small and mid-sized manufacturers’. Learn about the Impact of Manufacturing on America with NIST through this video.

What can MEP do for your business?

MEP has a wide range of services and initiatives to help manufacturers. This includes: process improvement, workforce development, supply chain integration, innovation and technology transfer. Below are some details on each:

Lean & Continuous Improvement – Lean manufacturing is a continuous improvement model that strives to minimize waste and maximize customer value. MEP has the experience and resources to help manufacturing firms transform into agile, more competitive and more profitable businesses. 

Export – ExporTech™ is an intensive program that provides a company’s leadership with the expertise needed to develop a robust export plan in just nine weeks. The specifics of the course are tailored to the goals of each firm participating, and instructors come from a wide range of organizations, including District Export Councils, state agencies, EXIM Bank, SBA, logistics companies, attorneys and bankers, etc.

Growth and Innovation – MEP provides tools and services to help manufacturers navigate all phases of the innovation process. This includes helping companies find new technology solutions, facilitating market viability assessments and supporting product design and development process. 

Make it in America – MEP has resources to assist U.S. manufacturers in either keeping or returning their operations  to the U.S. Additionally, when federal agencies have difficulty complying with Buy American provisions, MEP helps identify and connect U.S. manufacturers who can meet technical, production and/or demographic requirements. 

Supply Chain – MEP provides technical and business assistance in support of the different aspects of supply chain management and development. This includes implementing both domestic and international strategies that focus on supply chain optimization, supplier scouting, supplier improvement as well as research and reports. 

Sustainability – MEP has tools to help companies gain a competitive edge by reducing environmental costs and impact and enter new markets through developing environmentally focused materials, products and processes.

Technology Acceleration – MEP provides a variety of services that connect manufacturers and technology opportunities and solutions. 

Workforce – MEP helps manufacturers address workforce challenges by assisting with worker training, improving the public image of factory employment and helping manufacturers approach workforce issues strategically.

Contact an MEP Center

Does this sound helpful? Could you use help with  the issues listed above? If so look up the closest center and give them a call.

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EXIM’s Blog postings are intended to highlight various facets of exporting, but the postings are not legal advice, and are not intended to summarize all legal requirements associated with exporting.