M-WERC partnership with New North drives economic development in EPC sector
By Connie Coley Loden
Senior Project Manager for New North, Inc.
Economic development growth can occur in a variety of ways. One is to leverage supply chains, particularly in growth markets.
That is exactly what is happening in Wisconsin in the energy, power and controls (EPC) industries through a unique partnership. New North Inc., the regional economic-development organization for the 18 counties of Northeast Wisconsin, has come together with M-WERC, the Midwest Energy Research Consortium, to facilitate go-to-market strategies.
New North and M-WERC have worked in partnership the past two years. New North brought its robust Supply Chain Marketplace (SCM) tool, which previously has been utilized across multiple industries. Most recently, the SCM has been used by Foxconn Technology to help identify potential suppliers for its first U.S. plant, to be located in southeast Wisconsin.
As part of the partnership work, four supplier roadmaps of M-WERC were utilized to identify new growth opportunities in the Energy, Power and Controls sector, by identifying the value/supply chain needed to sustain that growth. The next step of the research then identified the companies in Wisconsin who can provide products and services within that identified value/supply chain. Wisconsin has a very high concentration of suppliers in this sector, due to the strength of the manufacturing industry here.
Once identified, the focus has been on taking these suppliers to market, leveraging the searchable Supply Chain Marketplace developed by New North Inc. Through a grant with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), this initiative has highlighted market opportunities, growth potential in the EPC sector and applications that can be leveraged in the future.
“We have a very good critical mass of companies that are engaged in this initiative,” says Connie Loden, senior project manager for New North Inc. “When opportunities arise, we can respond quickly to identify and organize suppliers and put forward a supply chain, using our dynamic database. There is no limit to what New North and M-WERC can accomplish working in conjunction with one another.”
Marketing designed to reach those in the EPC sector continues. In partnership with the WEDC, the POWER-GEN International conference was attended in December 2017 to build additional awareness. As of a result of POWER-GEN, 77 leads resulted and more than 50 Wisconsin-based companies were featured.
Two cluster meet-ups for Energy, Power and Controls also have taken place to date, both of which were filled to their 50-person capacity.
As of mid-September, nearly 2,000 companies have profiles within the Supply Chain Marketplace, including 1,119 within the EPC sector.
The partnership between New North and M-WERC continues to cultivate opportunities for Wisconsin businesses with the upcoming Economic Development Conference hosted by M-WERC, Sept. 27 at the M-WERC Energy Innovation Center in Milwaukee. New North Inc. Executive Director Jerry Murphy will speak at the conference on how this partnership and supply chains drive economic development successful.
The Supply Chain Marketplace places the robust Wisconsin supplier network in Energy, Power and Controls in front of buyers. Any company within the EPC sector can use the SCM, and its RFP tool is specifically designed to help find suppliers.
As one of the strongest and fastest growing sectors in Wisconsin, opportunities in EPC will continue to abound, especially for those who engage through the New North-M-WERC partnership.