Solving the Procurement Puzzle

It’s such a big, lumbering word for what should be a straightforward process. Procurement is the 11-letter moniker for what I like to call bringing buyers and sellers together. Or simply doing business. And now a new ePortal — Indiana Supplier INsight — is in place to make the job easier for Hoosier companies.

Launched by Conexus Indiana, the powerful but easy-to-use (and free) system encourages Indiana companies to do business with other firms within the state. Businesses create searchable online profiles, while others provide detailed listings of supplier needs. The technology helps do the rest. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

"Manufacturers look at suppliers all over the country, often unaware of qualified firms right here in their own backyard," says Steve Dwyer, president and CEO of Conexus Indiana. "This initiative shines a light on these companies and helps them forge new relationships."

Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar adds, "We welcome the opportunity to provide our members with this ability to connect with fellow Hoosier businesses, benefiting both organizations and the Indiana economy. The need for such a service was evident in the Chamber’s recent work studying Indiana mid-market companies and their potential for additional growth."

Companies ready to take advantage of this system can connect online or e-mail Lisa Laughner ([email protected]), program director at Conexus Indiana. The Indiana Chamber, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Secretary of State’s office and Indiana Department of Administration are supporting the initiative.

Those interesting in sponsorships on the Indiana Supplier INsight portal — reaching thousands of Indiana companies and their key personnel — should contact the Chamber’s Jim Wagner ([email protected]).   

Indiana Leads in Manufacturing, but Challenges Persist

A new report card by Conexus Indiana contains some interesting findings regarding manufacturing in Indiana. On a positive note, the state ranks above average in terms of its global position. However, Indiana earns subpar marks for human capital:

Indiana continues to boast the strongest manufacturing economy in the nation, and is a leader in attracting foreign manufacturing investment – but long-term weaknesses in its workforce will undermine these advantages unless bold action is taken.

These are among the observations made in the second-annual ‘Indiana Manufacturing & Logistics Report Card,’ released by the Conexus Indiana initiative. The report card was discussed at a breakfast event hosted by Conexus in Indianapolis, which also featured a program focused on Indiana’s ‘clean technology’ sector, which offers manufacturing opportunities in areas like hybrid-electric vehicles and advanced battery technologies.

“Manufacturing has been the primary source of economic growth and jobs in Indiana for generations,” said Steve Dwyer, President & CEO of Conexus Indiana. “This report card helps tell us in an empirical way how vital manufacturing still is here – and most importantly, the issues we need to focus on to keep it that way." …

Other key findings from the 2009 Indiana Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card:
• Indiana ranks first among states in per capita manufacturing employment and 9th in logistics employment per capita;
• The state ranks first in income derived from foreign-owned manufacturers and 5th in reach of foreign investment, reflecting strong success in attracting global manufacturing capital;
• While Indiana ranks second among states in workers compensation rates, the state places 28th and 33rd respectively in healthcare premiums and long-term healthcare costs, making healthcare an issue of concern going forward;
• With rankings of 29th in percentage of the workforce with a high school diploma and 42nd in college-educated workers, human capital remains Indiana’s biggest long-term hurdle to future manufacturing and logistics growth.

The full 2009 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card can be viewed online on Ball State University’s web site.