Here's one of those gotta-have-it gifts that hardworking manufacturers and suppliers all over Minnesota can give themselves this holiday season: An online place to find - and be found by - more customers right in their own communities, regions and state.
A Minnesota manufacturers supply chain database has been on the industry's wishlist for quite a while. And this year, manufacturers will find it neatly wrapped beneath their collective tree.
The Made in Minnesota directory makes it easy for the state's manufacturers to buy materials, components and finished products from each other instead of out-of-state or foreign suppliers.
Using and being listed in the directory is free, something that should make even the Grinchiest Grinch or the Scroogiest Scrooge smile and unleash a hearty Ho, Ho, Ho!
The directory showcases Minnesota manufacturers who make everything from food products and textiles to fabricated metals, machinery, computers and electronics. Users can search by broad industry categories (agriculture or renewable energy, for instance); by more specific product type (using NAICS codes); by county and geographic region (using a clickable map); or by company name.
Just as important, the directory also contains brief profiles of the listed companies, including the year they were established, corporate contact information, number of employees, and products they are interested in buying from Minnesota suppliers.
The initiative makes a lot of sense. Everyone wins when Minnesota companies do more business with each other. Just ask Vincent Egan, president and CEO of VEE Corporation, a Minneapolis-based custom manufacturer and production company listed in the directory. "VEE corporation is honored to be included in the Made in Minnesota directory," says Egan. "We work with customers globally, but the creative talent in Minnesota is why we choose to keep our operations here and with with many in-state clients."
So far, more than 800 Minnesota companies have jumped at the opportunity to be listed in the directory. Your company should follow suit. It's quick and easy to sign up. And the site is being heavily promoted by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development in several different marketing campaigns.
DEED is offering another advantage to participating companies: It will provide the "Made in Minnesota" logo at no charge and in a variety of formats to companies that want to use it on their websites, marketing materials, or on their products. To learn more about how to obtain the logo, email Laura Winge.