We offer a wide range of services thanks to the experience and capabilities of ITAC’s team of business professionals, which includes internal consultants, external partner consultants, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s nationwide network of experts.
Our work often starts with a highly disciplined, customized approach to assessing our clients’ particular situations. We typically meet with your team to define your vision, values and competitive advantages; anticipate opportunities as well as obstacles in the marketplace; identify and prioritize major goals; hone in on the most effective strategies to reach your objectives; and establish action plans with tangible next steps, accountability and milestones.
You walk away from these sessions with a well-defined succinct strategy, that you can clearly communicate to your entire organization. More importantly, we give you the tools and training required for successful implementation. We check in regularly to help you track progress, move toward profitable growth, and keep your plan active and relevant.
ITAC helps it clients achieve transformational agendas by focusing on people, structure and strategy, while predicting and managing the associated risks. Embedded in the strategy to prepare for, manage and reinforce change, are powerful solutions that can help your business sustain lasting results. They include focus around readiness assessment, executive sponsorship, buy-in and ownership, structural transformations / organizational design, workforce transition programs, communication planning, resistance management, corrective action and success recognition.
What markets should you be in and which ones should you exit? What are your most profitable opportunities? With limited budgets, time and resources, how do you prioritize your various initiatives for maximum Return on Investment?
We work with your team to develop a tangible marketing plan that captures strategic growth opportunities, prioritizes marketing initiatives, optimizes product, pricing and distribution decisions, sets deadlines and accountability, and attaches the appropriate metrics to measure results.
ITAC is proud to be part of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s nationwide system of centers. Our diverse network has over 1,300 field staff serving as trusted business advisors and technical experts. We use qualitative and quantitative methodologies to help you objectively understand where you are, where you need to be, and how to get you there.
Whether through in-depth interviews, focus groups, online surveys, access to business and academic intelligence, or sophisticated data analytics and modeling, we bring you actionable insights. We regularly perform studies around market size and opportunity, industry analysis, competitive landscape, product development research, voice of the customer (perception, decision factors, unmet needs, usability) and communication effectiveness.
Integrating benchmarking into your business allows you to compare performance, strategy, costs and quality levels against your peers. It provides you with a “health check” as well as valuable insights to help support your strategic decisions. Benchmarking analyses can also encourage enthusiasm throughout the organization to outperform the competition, and promote objective decision-making based on hard data.
ITAC provides a range of benchmarking services to its clients. We use structured comparisons and proven techniques to gain an independent perspective about your performance compared to other companies, identify key changes to improve your business, prioritize improvement opportunities, set performance expectations, and manage change.
How well defined are your sales goals? Are you regularly missing your quotas, and forecasting revenue inaccurately? A well though-out, adaptable sales plan is a roadmap that will help you convert strategic priorities into sales deliverables, gain new clients, and generate additional business from existing ones.
We address the strategic and organizational issues that impact selling performance to help you positively transform your sales organization and improve sales productivity, performance and profitability. Starting with a data-driven approach to analyze your current sales channels and achieve deep understanding of the competitive landscape, we segment your customer base, identify the most promising opportunities, develop sales analytics, train/recruit your staff, and then review the effectiveness of the sales process.
ITAC will help train your sales people in generating increased interest in your products and services, qualifying prospects, and boosting conversion rates throughout the sales process. Our lead generation services can help you:
- Identify and target new customers
- Reach better-qualified prospects
- Diversify your customer base
- Expedite the lead conversation process
- Reduce costs per sale
- Give your business a competitive edge
- Grow your top and bottom line
Do you believe your product has international sales potential, but don’t know how to get started? Would you like to shift from a reactive to a proactive approach to expanding international sales?
95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the U.S. Increasing sales is a top priority for many manufacturers, and exporting helps businesses become more competitive and successful. Diversifying globally also protects firms from slow-downs in any one country, and international networking can lead to the development of new processes, technologies, skills, and product applications.
ExporTech™ is a program co-developed by MEP and the U.S. Commercial Service to help SMEs create or expand their presence in global markets. The intensive three-session program combines peer group learning (4-8 companies at a time) with individual coaching for a compressed learning curve. By the end, participants have not only formulated an export plan, but they have also had the extraordinary opportunity of having their plan vetted by a panel of experienced international businesspeople. Previous participants report that, after program completion, these experts become part of their company’s extended “export team”.
As products age, they lose their uniqueness, and profits erode. The pace of innovation in today’s market dictates that to stay in business, companies must continuously develop new offerings.
Using our wide network, which includes partnerships with the leading engineering and research universities and nonprofits, we make connections others wouldn’t. We help you generate innovative concepts, and find and source new equipment and technology cost-effectively. From concept to commercialization, we smoothly integrate with your existing product/process development efforts and work with you to:
- Identify the most promising opportunities
- Significantly accelerate the innovation process
- Better utilize your engineering and marketing resources
- Decrease risk
- Improve productivity
- Develop a pipeline of continuous improvement
- Increase profitability
We help you build a solid foundation to ensure that your company is using the right tools, strategy and timing to introduce new products and processes.
Are you considering launching a new product or entering a new market? Do you need better real-world insight into the specific barriers and opportunities – both technical and market – for your product? Would this type of insight help you make better strategic, development and investment decisions?
Technology-Driven Market Intelligence (“TDMI”) is a systematic and comprehensive approach that is becoming the recognized path to accelerate technology-based manufacturers’ business growth. ITAC works with you to provide you with a framework that facilitates new product development, commercialization endeavors, market expansion/diversification, as well as increased sales and profitability.
Unlike traditional market research, TDMI directly considers the technical and market viability of your asset and provides the customized actionable intelligence you need:
- Identification and characterization of the markets, trends, value chains, competition, and companies of most interest and relevance to you
- Understanding of the prevailing technical performance and user requirements, and assessment of how well your asset meets or could meet such requirements
- Description of your best options for moving forward with development, partnering and market entry
- Assistance with any key knowledge gaps you may have surrounding regulatory, intellectual property, or competitive issues.
This combined market and technical opportunity assessment provides the intelligence you need to make accurate and confident decisions for new technology-driven products and markets.
New or existing technology may be required in developing new products, as well as in correcting problems with products or processes. Unfortunately, small and mid-sized manufacturers may not have access to, or even be aware of, available technologies.
ITAC uses a systematic approach to help SMEs find technology solutions to:
- Enable new product development
- Solve current product issues
- Solve process issues
- Fill in unique gaps / access a specialized resource
This method, combined with MEP’s extensive partnership network (access to government, university, and private sector research), allows you to find technology solutions outside your industry and results in unexpected, effective solutions.
Who is capable of managing your business once you decide to move on, or retire? How will ownership be transferred? Is selling the best option? With the goals of increasing success, trust and productivity within your organization, ITAC’s succession planning program seeks to help you manage these and many related issues, and set up a smooth transition between you and the future owners.
More specifically, ITAC works with you to:
- Frame succession planning within the context of overall company growth
- Identify succession targets and analyze talent pool
- Ensure buy-in and organizational alignment
- Design sustainable succession planning initiatives based on strategic requirements and identified gaps
- Implement and evaluate succession management plan
Succession planning issues can often be complex and difficult to address, yet implementing a succession plan is always preferable to simply letting events unfold. The resulting financial benefits and emotional satisfaction will be invigorating on both the individual and the organizational levels.
Running out of space? Lease expiring? Planning a new layout? Considering a move?
Many New York City businesses regularly struggle with these issues, given the particularly high real estate costs. ITAC’s planning specialists can help you reconfigure your space for maximum output and efficiency, based on your unique situation, time frame, square footage, space constraints, location and operating costs.
- Produce more with less: increase your output while using your space more efficiently
- Reduce costs: given the high cost per square foot, contractions in industrial space can result in significant savings
- Avoid a move that you thought necessary
- Create rental space and a new revenue stream thanks to freed-up space
If you have any concerns about your plant, its layout or moving, the sooner you identify your options, the better it will be for your business. Planning ahead can save you both time and money and increases your chances of finding the most beneficial solution to your current situation.
First impressions matter, especially online. A professional website can help you grow your business, reinforce your brand, provide valuable information to existing and prospective customers, and distinguish you from competitors. ITAC works with creative designers and developers that help you engage your audience, tell your story in a thoughtful way, and ensure that your content is optimized for discoverability.
ITAC understands incentives, grants and other assistance programs, and can help you locate, apply for and receive funding for a variety of projects, including:
- Technical and non-technical training
- Energy cost reduction
- Lean manufacturing
- Relocation planning
- Developing sustainable products
- Waste reduction
- Pollution prevention
- High-tech innovation for small businesses
There are numerous programs to help manufacturers reduce their tax burden. As an example, some companies may be unaware that many of their efforts to design products qualify as Research & Development, and may make them eligible for tax credits for expenditures associated with these activities. ITAC can help you uncover and describe the activities that qualify and assist you in getting the appropriate tax credits.
ITAC’s budgeting and forecasting experts can help you reduce operating costs, improve cash flow, and achieve proper financial reporting. You walk away with clear dashboards, impeccable financial models, and insightful analytics to help you control and grow your business.
- Design and management of the budgeting process
- Analysis of historical operating results to identify trends and explain variances
- Rolling forecasts
- Multiple scenario modeling and sensitivity analyses
- Analysis of future cash flow requirements
Research consistently shows that many firms fail to execute their strategies, and that few employees have a strong understanding of their company’s strategy. If used effectively, the planning, budgeting and forecasting process can be a powerful tool to help translate strategy into actions throughout your organization.
Many businesses require greater clarity around where their costs are actually incurred. They need better understanding as to which products, processes and customers generate profits vs. losses.
ITAC’s accounting experts work with you to perform detailed costing analyses. We find inefficiencies, streamline processes and cut costs. More specifically, ITAC offers:
- Data analysis to determine costs of business activity, such as raw material purchases, inventory, and labor
- Identification of influential cost drivers and methodologies for applying costs to products
- Evaluation of changes in product design, raw materials, manufacturing methods, or services provided, to determine effects on costs
- Forecast preparation and trend analysis in manufacturing, sales, finance, and general business conditions
- Financial analysis of business results and recommendations around improvement opportunities
- Reports specifying factors affecting prices and profitability of products
- Recommendations for areas of improvement and streamlining
Continuous Improvement / Lean Manufacturing
To enhance their competitive advantage, manufacturing firms are increasingly adopting a Continuous Improvement philosophy. Designed to help achieve a lasting and meaningful impact, it is a complete shift in the way an organization operates. It is culture-driven, requires everyone’s commitment, and involves undertaking a comprehensive operations assessment to improve processes that increase bottom line results. ITAC views Lean Manufacturing as a component of the Continuous Improvement philosophy. Used to reduce lead times, minimize inventory and raise productivity, Lean techniques are accepted as best practice in manufacturing, front office processes and production functions. We offer several programs to streamline processes and systems, improve costs, manage materials, ensure quality, and measure performance. More specifically, our experts quickly hone in on the best opportunities to minimize overproduction, inventory, wait time, production bottlenecks, defects and any other inefficiencies. This results in improved production and financial performance, as well as enhanced customer satisfaction and increased competitiveness. ITAC’s Continuous Improvement / Lean tools include:
Experience first-hand how Lean techniques improve quality, reduce cycle time and improve delivery performance, enabling your company to increase its profits. ITAC can also present the Lean 101 Workshop to your workforce at your site, in English and Spanish.
Developing a material and information flow map for major products or processes that will help you identify Lean priorities.
5S is a simple, yet powerful framework that helps to improve housekeeping, workplace organization and work standardization. It translates into improved quality and space utilization, reduced costs, increased safety with well-maintained equipment and workspaces, and better morale linked to an improved work environment.
Total Productive Maintenance helps to improve quality and capacity and reduce equipment downtime. By maximizing equipment productivity, it fosters an environment that engenders safety, quality, delivery, cost and creativity by encouraging employee participation.
Set-up reduction can dramatically reduce or even eliminate changeover time, which will reduce inventory and increase your capacity and ability to meet customer demands for rapid delivery of high-quality products.
By linking manual and machine operations into the most efficient combination of resources, you can minimize parts movement and excess inventory while increasing productivity.
Kaizen events are intense, focused efforts to quickly improve a process by eliminating waste wherever possible. Kaizen events are about achieving several smaller, incremental changes that over time yield larger cumulative results. The importance of calling in experts as well as outsiders is fundamental to Kaizen events. When done right, these events produce measurable changes and ensure business stability and growth.
Kanbans are an integral part of a pull system that results in improved flow of information and materials based on actual consumption instead of forecasts. They help you increase customer satisfaction, dramatically reduce inventory investment, and eliminate waste in materials handling and storage.
Lean Office & Administration helps to streamline the flow of information throughout your organization. Improving your firm’s ability to gather, move and store information results in increased efficiency and lower costs.
An efficient production planning process is the critical link to product quality, system stability, and overall profitability. ITAC’s production planning services include site analysis, evaluation of current processes, feasibility studies, creation of process and production plan, implementation assistance and production ramp-up.
ITAC also works with you to review your current inventory management practices and develop solutions to reach your objectives – whether a high-level roadmap, a detailed analysis to be used as a decision-support tool, or an inventory optimization plan.
Maximize capital investment by ensuring that new equipment is selected carefully to work in concert with existing resources so as to achieve production goals.
ITAC’s planning specialists can help you (re-)configure your space for maximum output and efficiency, based on your unique situation, time frame, square footage, space constraints, location and operating costs. Thanks to solid experience, proven methodologies and a fresh perspective, we help you identify efficiency improvements throughout your operations.
Every process has a constraint, and focusing improvement efforts on that constraint is a fast and effective path to improving profitability.
Initially funded by the New York City Council, MoveSmart can help you to develop a plan to optimize new real estate. Through this program, ITAC has helped numerous companies to assess their current operations, improve their workflow, understand their relocation needs, and plan accordingly.
Strategies for improved sustainability have become critical for maximizing demand, attracting the best employees, and gaining community acceptance. How is your facility performing compared to industry averages?
ITAC works with you to gather relevant operational data and conduct on-site observations of processes and equipment. We then calculate key performance indicators on water, waste, recycling, or packaging, along with corresponding costs. After identifying opportunities for improvement and savings, we perform a detailed technical and economic feasibility analysis of the recommended upgrades, and provide you with solid estimates around required investments, your expected return on investment and anticipated environmental benefits.
ITAC helps you become more resource-efficient and economically stronger, by helping you to apply sustainable technologies, optimize your processes and reduce toxics and waste. In addition to a reduced environmental impact and safer working conditions, our companies benefit from lower costs and competitive positioning as environmentally-conscious businesses.
Corporate social responsibility reporting is quickly becoming standard, and many larger corporations are aggressively greening their supply chains. The direct consequence is that for thousands of suppliers throughout New York City, the bar has ben raised.
Whether a complete assessment of environmental impacts associated with your business is involved, or simply a focus on a particular area, ITAC can help you navigate confusing environmental requirements and prepare for audits. Although they are compliance-driven, these audits equip you with valuable information and recommendations to help you stay ahead of the curve.
Lean Product Development applies the waste-elimination philosophy of Lean to the product development process, allowing firms to reduce time to market, development expense, and other product development risk, while improving resource utilization and product costs.
Firms that embrace Lean Product Development have reported:
- Up to a 50% reduction in launch schedule
- Dramatic improvements in gross margin
- Enhanced customer satisfaction
ITAC helps you transform your product development process through services and resources such as Lean Product Development, Lean Product Design, and Lean and Sustainable Product Design Toolkits. These methods can easily be scaled to your company’s size and are recommended for manufacturers who are new to product development, or trying to improve their current product development process.
Setting up and maintaining an effective quality system entails having a thorough understanding of your current compliance. ITAC helps you achieve this understanding through:
- Gap assessments, to come up with a prioritized list of areas needing improvement, and evaluate the quality of your process
- Internal audits, as tools to prevent errors and ensure continuous improvement
- Supplier audits to ensure that the quality processes of your main suppliers are regularly evaluated
- Mock audits and training to ensure that you are ready for your next inspection
Whether or not certifications are compliance-driven, they provide a variety of internal and external benefits to companies large and small. The documentation of company processes leads to more consistent and efficient production processes as well as reduced waste. Employees gain greater understanding of their roles and responsibilities, and the documented system forms the basis for training current and new employees. Companies that have achieved certification have systems in place that help them increase their output, produce higher quality products, minimize rework, and thus benefit from increased customer satisfaction and profitability.
If you have been certified, how do you know if you are continuing to meet standards? And if you have not yet been certified, how near or far are you from meeting standards? ITAC works with you to regularly test and evaluate the quality of your processes, and help you maintain standards and improve performance throughout your organization.
The ISO 9000 family provides guidance and tools for companies that want to ensure that their products and services consistently meet customers’ requirements, and that quality is steadily improved.
ITAC can assist you review the documentation and procedures in anticipation of the ISO 9000 registration audit. We will:
- Assist in conducting internal audits to measure compliance to the documented quality system
- Provide guidance in correcting deficiencies noted during the review process
- Provide the necessary assistance during the ISO registration audit, and work with the registrar in resolving identified problems
Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects, and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes. Eliminating waste not only reduces costs, but more importantly allows a business to become faster and much more responsive to its customers, driving revenue growth.
Taking the guesswork out of quality control, Statistical Process Control (SPC) is a scientific, data-driven methodology for quality analysis and improvement. While all processes exhibit intrinsic variation, excessive variation can produces undesirable or unpredictable results. SPC, in a manufacturing process optimization context, is used to reduce variation. ITAC’s Statistical Process Control curriculum includes evaluating basic statistics and their application for process control, variation, probability, normal distribution curve, standard deviation, and control charts.
Heightened consumer demand for increased food safety assurances now has retailers and service providers asking suppliers to provide verifiable proof that robust food safety control systems have been effectively implemented.
Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points – HACCP -- is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.
ITAC’s experts quickly and efficiently integrate their knowledge of the food industry with requirements of the many regulatory agencies that oversee HACCP. We can develop your entire HACCP and safety programs, ensuring that each of the seven principle steps of HACCP is adequately addressed.
Safe Quality Food
The Safe Quality Food program is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world. ITAC can assist you in obtaining your certification, which generally takes an average of six to nine months depending on your facility’s level of readiness.
With proper training and on-going discipline, workers at all levels can prevent workplace accidents and health hazards. ITAC can help you keep the workplace safe, contain operating costs, and mitigate insurance losses. Our experts are trained to recognize problems, understand regulatory requirements, and bring companies up to compliance before fines or accidents occur.
ITAC helps you identify domestic suppliers that meet specific criteria. And if you are a qualified supplier, we can also connect you with the supply chains of large companies.
Supplier Scouting approaches are tailored to the specific needs of customers – from “small makers’” to more established companies – resulting in the delivery of interested and capable domestic manufacturers to solve the most challenging supply chain needs. Beyond the capacity to deliver products, we can also help you identify companies with process capabilities, or even demographic attributes.
From identifying new suppliers and materials through distributing to customers, manufacturers must remain strategic in their quest to increase visibility and mitigate risk. By assessing situations and implementing strategic solutions through collaboration with suppliers and customers, companies will develop a better understanding of the true total cost of their supply chains and achieve more consistent manufacturing growth.
ITAC helps you promote a better flow of production from suppliers to customers, resulting in reduced cost, improved quality and shortened lead times. Our Supply Chain Optimization roadmap includes a set of workshops and strategy sessions around:
- Executive Engagement, with a focus on the critical components required to create and implement a supply chain plan that delivers higher value, including profitability and satisfaction for every stakeholder within the system
- Partner Engagement, whereby suppliers and partners are introduced to Constraint Theory and a methodology to resolve bottlenecks within the supply chain
- Risk Management to evaluate, assess, and prioritize the probability of unexpected events
- Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), a method for quantifying the costs for every activity along the supply stream, and comparing multiple sourcing scenarios
Today’s best run businesses have an outstanding workforce that increases the company’s competitive edge and maximizes profitability. ITAC’s comprehensive approach to workforce development results in increased productivity and a change in company culture that empowers and motivates the entire team. We help you build strong teams and organizations by reaching alignment on what truly matters, focusing on those opportunities that will “move the needle”, defining roles and accountability, getting the appropriate certifications, and embedding a delivery culture.
ITAC can help you develop policies and procedures, and establish employee and employer expectations. We also work with you to develop employee manuals that outline these procedures, provide valuable information, enhance your work environment, and may protect you should employment-related claims ever arise.
ITAC works with you to design and implement fair and practical compensation programs that support your mission. We also help you link your compensation program to the performance appraisal process. This drives the outcome and behaviors that will contribute to your success, and creates a systematic approach to performance and compensation reviews.
ITAC help you plan, design and deliver the training programs you need. We start with determining your overall training goals and learning objectives, and then develop any materials you may need, plan the implementation of your training program, and evaluate the results to understand follow-up needs.