The first annual Worcester Business Journal’s (WBJ) Manufacturing Excellence Awards was held Tuesday, April 26, where members of Columbia Tech’s leadership team were present to accept the award for Collaboration in Manufacturing. This prestigious recognition was awarded based on nominations for manufacturers in several categories, including Green Manufacturing, Emerging Manufacturer, Workforce Development & Productivity, and General Excellence. The honorees and their supporters gathered together at the Cyprian Keyes Golf Club to celebrate the winners and discuss the future of manufacturing in Massachusetts.
Manufacturers from Central Massachusetts Gather to Celebrate the Best in their Industry
The evening began with brief, light-hearted welcoming remarks by WBJ’s CEO and Publisher Peter Stanton, introducing keynote speaker, Secretary Jay Ash, who currently serves under Governor Baker in the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development. Secretary Ash described several proposed funding initiatives designed to shrink the skills gap, provide educational opportunities for students and revitalize industrial properties that could be reclaimed and re-developed for new manufacturing ventures.
This was followed by a panel discussion led by MassMEP‘s Growth and Innovation Program Manager, Peter Russo. The four panelists represented a range of manufacturing styles and disciplines: Coghlin Companies’ Bill Laursen, Senior Vice President, Sales and Strategy; Michael Detarando, President and CEO of Incom; Leslie E. Greis, Owner and Director of Kinefac Corporation; and Neil McDonough, President and CEO of FLEXcon.
With a room full of manufacturing heavyweights gathered to celebrate their achievements both individually and as an industry, the theme of the night was collaboration and cooperation in the manufacturing community. The panel discussion focused on the concept of developing working partnerships between manufacturers, engineers, suppliers, and clients. Collaboration, the panelists agreed, allowed for companies to learn from one another and share unique perspectives that could enable them to solve client problems in new and innovative ways.
When Manufacturers Work Together, Great Things Are Possible
A major factor setting Columbia Tech apart in the realm of manufacturing collaboration is the development of their Referral Alliance Network (RAN), which connects respected engineering and manufacturing service providers in the New England region. Each provider included in the RAN contributes unique skills and services to the lifecycle of a product’s development. By leveraging these relationships with other specialized service providers, Columbia Tech is able to maximize opportunities for innovative solutions that can bring client products to market at a faster pace with higher quality results.
The Caring Associates at Columbia Tech are honored to receive the award for Collaboration in Manufacturing because it reflects the company-wide focus centered on building lasting relationships. When asked how manufacturers can align their goals in a cooperative relationship with clients and other manufacturers to ensure each party gets what they are looking for, Coghlin’s Bill Laursen replied, “For us, it’s easy. This is what we do. We take concepts and convert them into commercially scalable products…Relationships and collaboration are a critical part of what has built our business.”