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  5. Alliance brings e-business best practices to Wisconsin manufacturers

Alliance brings e-business best practices to Wisconsin manufacturers

The University of Wisconsin-Madison E-Business Institute (UWEBI) and the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) have announced a strategic alliance that will enable Wisconsin manufacturers to share collective knowledge and lessons learned regarding e-business technologies and best practices.

The partnership aims to enhance the competitiveness of small to midsize manufacturers in Wisconsin by leveraging best practices in multichannel and web marketing, customer relationship management, information technology strategy and information security, radio-frequency identification, and supply chain management. This alliance will support educational and collaborative offerings in the form of peer group meetings, webinars, conferences, white papers and reports about successful use of e-business technologies and practices.

“This new partnership will enable Wisconsin manufacturers to benefit from the proven services of the UW E-Business Institute, which has a very successful industry consortium with more than 60 corporate members,” says Paul Peercy, dean of the UW-Madison College of Engineering. “Manufacturing is a vital part of the Wisconsin economy and e-business practices represent a significant growth opportunity.”

“Employing e-business technology and practices in sales, marketing, customer service and supply chain collaboration is increasingly essential for manufacturers striving to achieve operational excellence,” says UWEBI Director and UW-Madison Industrial and Systems Engineering Professor Raj Veeramani.

“There is a common misconception that e-business is relevant only for companies that sell products via the web — that is simply not true,” he says. “As IT continues to permeate more companies and transform traditional business processes into IT-enabled ones, every business is becoming an e-business.”

Helping manufacturers could have a broad effect on the state. According to WMEP, manufacturing contributes almost $49 billion to the Wisconsin economy, employing around 434,000 workers.

“This skill and knowledge transfer among small to midsize manufacturers will support improved profitability, stronger growth and higher overall business performance for these businesses in Wisconsin,” says WMEP Executive Director Mike Klonsinski.

The UW E-Business Institute (UWEBI) is a campus-wide University of Wisconsin-Madison initiative conducting multidisciplinary research on e-business strategies, emerging information technologies and innovative business practices that can help enhance the competitiveness of Wisconsin industry.

WMEP is a private, nonprofit consulting organization committed to the growth and success of Wisconsin manufacturers. WMEP is a leader in bringing best next-generation manufacturing practices to Wisconsin firms to help them achieve world-class performance through innovation and transformation. During the past five years, WMEP-assisted manufacturers reported a $977 million economic impact with almost 8,000 jobs created or retained. WMEP receives financial support from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce and partners with many public and private organizations to serve Wisconsin manufacturers. For more information, visit or call 1-877-856-8588.

Sandra Knisely