19 May Manufacturers join Wisconsin partnership to boost U.S. suppliers
MILWAUKEE – Three large U.S. manufacturing companies announced Wednesday that they will work with the non-profit Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help U.S.-based suppliers adopt best practices for efficient product delivery.
Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Deere & Company and Oshkosh Truck Corp. made the announcement at the Manufacturing Matters Conference in Milwaukee, attended by 500 Wisconsin manufacturing executives.
“These companies recognize the importance of maintaining a strong U.S.supply base that can provide the flexibility, cost and quality necessary for their products to be competitive, ” said Michael Klonsinski, executive director of WMEP.
The first phase of the project will provide resources for supplier improvement and a way for WMEP to share best practices with original equipment manufacturers. The companies will also work with manufacturing extension partnerships in other Midwest states.
All three companies have Midwest origins. Motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has its roots in Milwaukee: its first motorcycle was sold there, and its first full-time employee worked there. Deere & Company, a manufacturer of agriculture, forestry and construction equipment, began when blacksmith John Deere developed his self-scouring plow for Midwest soils in Illinois. And Oshkosh Truck Corp. has its headquarters in Oshkosh, Wis.
The companies spend more than $1 billion collectively in Wisconsin.
“Our companies sell and source products throughout the world,” said Robert G. Bohn, chief executive of Oshkosh Truck Corp. “Through this initiative, we will collaborate on best practices for U.S. supplier development and expand our work with manufacturing extension partnerships in other states to help maintain a strong U.S. supply chain infrastructure.”