The Next Generation of Online Marketing for MEP Centers

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The people at Auburn Works, the Alabama MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership), have created the future of MEP Center websites. The new website creates a community using the Ning platform and integration of traditional website functionality and social media.

Don’t know who your local MEP Center is in your state?  The are very helpful!  Click the NIST MEP list to find yours.

Take a look at what Auburn Works has created: Auburn Works MEP Center

Kudos to Mitch Emmons, David Mixson, and the awesome student team at Auburn that put this together!  Very impressive work people.

8 Reasons Why Every MEP Center Needs This Type of Website:

  1. Shows that manufacturers need more than just lean & quality. To paraphrase the great Blues Brothers movie – “Oh, we got both kinds of training.  We got Lean *AND* Quality.”    Manufacturers need innovation assistance (AKA Eureka Winning Ways assistance), sales training, and website marketing (in Arkansas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and others).
  2. It creates a community. A big challenge for manufacturing companies & MEP Centers is establishing a strong community that can work together.  There is so much duplicated effort and wasted resources.  This waste can be reduced (lean gurus rejoice!) when there is a strong communications infrastructure – that is what this website configuration can provide.
  3. Improves communication. Communication issues continue to limit manufacturers effectiveness – many do not even know about the resources they have in their own state.  The Auburn Works website will greatly improve this communication for their group.
  4. Rapid needs analysis for manufacturers. Surveys are time consuming and often do not gather the interest needed for valid data.  By participating in a conversation between manufacturers, MEP Centers can dramatically improve their service levels for their clients.  They will discover what is truly needed.
  5. It helps manufacturers compete. If manufacturers can see potential suppliers & customers in their state, that helps grow the manufacturing economy.  If manufactures can discover & implement best practices through a new website, that strengthens manufacturers.
  6. MEP Centers can better serve their clients. MEP Center field personnel love to help manufacturers.  Now the centers can have a tool that that identifies the needs of their manufacturers and helps their field staff to go help their clients.
  7. Improved sharing of best practices. Isn’t that the whole point of social media?  We can share the BEST of what is available with our peers and strengthen everyone.
  8. It reduces the use of antiquated “push” marketing. If an MEP sales person is sick of sending a blitz of e-mail on the next open enrollment Lean 101, be encouraged – the community can help.  If you think push marketing is a good idea, shame on you – go read Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing and learn how the rest of the world markets effectively.

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