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Member Needs Help Local Manufacturers’ Program in Bay of Quinte

June 25, 2019

Member Needs Help is an effective, reliable, and confidential service offered by Quinte Manufacturers Association (QMA) as a part of Quinte Economic Development Commission’s (QEDC) support of regional manufacturers. Anonymous requests for items or services are sent out by QEDC to QMA members. QEDC collects the responses and delivers the information and solutions to the company that needs them.

As an example, one company needed an emergency part that was critical to their process, but would take three days to ship from the US. QEDC sent out a Member Needs Help email and as is usually the case, people responded on the same day to help them. The company was able to continue production with far less downtime.

Manufacturers get responses quickly and can continue on with their daily business. This program continues to build credibility as people try it and now trust the process. A lot of repeat companies are using it. 

“Companies are sharing information and best practices. They get to do this anonymously so it eliminates barriers to seeking the advice. The anonymity makes the process easier and more comfortable for manufacturers. They don’t have to worry about the competition finding out they are having an issue. Responses are also more open and honest.

5 Types of Help Manufacturers Are Typically Accessing Through the Member Needs Help Program

  1. Policy discussions
  2. Sourcing supplies
  3. Buying/Selling equipment
  4. Lending/Borrowing gear
  5. Employee training opportunities

In line with sourcing supplies and services, if a manufacturer needs a company to clean their building, QEDC sends an email to members and collects responses, which are sent on to the original company anonymously. All personal information is removed from the emails.

In another example, a company had trucks going out to a specific destination that were not full, so a message was sent out through Member Needs Help to offer up the available space as an opportunity for other local companies to export or move goods.

Opportunities for cost-sharing, such as the truck space, or training space in industry workshops (for example computer control systems or hazardous materials training), are an important part of the program’s success. Members can see a clear benefit, where they are saving money, improving their company, and accessing opportunities to get ahead.

In the case of buying and selling items, QEDC will get people’s permission first before connecting the two parties. Recently, a local company offered a compressor for sale. Another local company bought it within two hours through the Member Needs Help program email. It was a true win-win situation for the buyer and seller. 

Other requests were looking for feedback on what other companies do for specific HR or health & Safety policies. e of industry peers. It makes their lives easier.” — Mike Hewitt, Coordinator, Manufacturing Resource Centre (MRC)

In all cases, no information is given about products, processes, or anything patented, helping the manufacturers to freely share information and advice without fear of privacy conflicts. 

“I know the situation the companies are in when they make these types of requests so I make it a priority to get back to them quickly. I also make sure we aren’t flooding members inboxes with messages and that no message gets overlooked.” — Rachael Bilodeau, Administrative Assistant, QEDC 

QEDC’s reputation for confidentiality and credibility is critical to the Member Needs Help program’s success. The QEDC supports and connects local manufacturers, creating opportunities for mutual success in the manufacturing industry. 

Tags: Quinte Manufacturers Association

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