Jan 6th, 2009 - Creating vital business connections for a more responsive and globally competitive manufacturing community
Jan 6th, 2009 - (Kitchener ON) - IGLOO Inc., an emerging leader in online community solutions, today in partnership with a group of local innovators including the Region of Waterloo, Cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) , Conestoga College, University of Waterloo, the Greater KW and Cambridge Chambers of Commerce, Communitech and Canada's Technology Triangle (CTT) jointly launched the Manufacturing Innovation Network (MIN), an online network which facilitates and promotes awareness, excellence and innovation within the manufacturing industry in the Waterloo Region.
This network, which is free of charge to local manufacturers, provides a marketplace to facilitate local and international e-commerce transactions; a professional network for establishing vital business connections within the manufacturing community; and a knowledge exchange for sharing information, ideas and expertise that can benefit the local manufacturing sector.
"I am thrilled to be involved in this exciting and leading edge initiative," says Terry Reidel, the newly designated Executive Director of the MIN. "With growing global competition; a volatile Canadian dollar; and a weakened global economy, networks like MIN are a great way for manufacturers to discover new and innovative ways to improve operational efficiency, gain competitive advantage and foster innovation".
"The challenges faced by local manufacturers will be easier to meet by sharing knowledge, best practices and human resources through the MIN portal." says Sean Strickland, Regional Councilor, Region of Waterloo. "During the ROW Forward symposium held in June 2008 many local manufacturers clearly expressed a desire to see more tools to help local manufacturers connect with each other. I am pleased that the Region of Waterloo Council recognized the importance of this economic development initiative that will ultimately help improve the capacity of local manufacturers which will sustain and create jobs".
Members of MIN will have access to a collection of free resources and tools:
- Marketplace - Job Board, Career Center, Company and Service Provider Directories, Classified Ads, Advertising, Sponsorship Program, Event Calendar
- Professional Network - Personal Profiles, Member Directory, Peer-to-Peer Messaging, Contacts
- Knowledge Exchange - Resource Centre, Expert Blogger Program, Peer Groups, Best Practices, Whitepapers, News, Educational Videos
According to Al Diggins, President and General Manager of EMC, "the Manufacturing Innovation Network powered by the IGLOO technology is an opportunity that is certainly going to help our manufacturing members, not only in this community, but the larger manufacturing community in Ontario, and eventually in the rest of Canada."
"The needs of our manufacturing industry are a top priority for the City of Cambridge and our partners. Together, we worked to bring a cost free network to leaders in the industry by creating an online focal point for discussion and best practice sharing. The Manufacturing Innovation Network is an excellent tool to unite the industry and help people grow their network of opportunity," says Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig.
"A tool like this comes at a critical time for our local manufacturing industry and for our community as a whole," said Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr. "Now, perhaps more than ever before, many of our local businesses are facing great challenges in an ever-changing and competitive environment. But their determination is strong, as it has been for the last 150 years. They're committed to meeting these challenges head-on and overcoming them; and a corporate social networking tool such as MIN will help them succeed - in spite of the obstacles - by providing a new means for increased innovation and collaboration."
According to Brenda Halloran, Mayor of Waterloo, "The Manufacturing Innovation Network reinforces how our community works through collaboration and innovation - in the knowledge economy - to demonstrate global competitiveness. The on-line networking platform is an innovative tool that will assist our local manufacturing community discover synergies in knowledge sharing."
About Terry Reidel
For 39 years Terry was with the international accounting firm of Ernst & Young and was the Office Managing partner for their Waterloo Regional Office for the last 5 years of his tenure with them. He helped Ernst & Young's office in K.W. grow to a 150 member full-service professional firm servicing the region in the area of accounting, auditing, advisory, taxation and corporate finance. During his career Terry served many clients in the manufacturing, education, health care, energy and automotive sectors.
After his retirement from Ernst & Young, Terry joined Kuntz Electroplating as Vice President of Finance and then was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer, a role he retired from in July of 2008. Kuntz is one of North America's largest nickel/chrome plater and metal finisher of products in the automotive and motorcycle industries.
Terry is now the President of Terry Reidel Consulting and is the Executive Director of the Waterloo Region MIN.
The Waterloo Region Manufacturing Innovation Network (MIN) is an innovative online community that connects over 1,000 manufacturers in the Waterloo Region. The goal of the community is to create a more responsive and globally competitive manufacturing community through improved networking, collaboration and knowledge sharing. The MIN community offers its members free access to three key online services:
• Marketplace - Job Board, Career Center, Company and Service Provider Directories, Classified Ads, Advertising, Sponsorship Program, Event Calendar
• Professional Network - Personal Profiles, Member Directory, Peer-to-Peer Messaging, Contacts
• Knowledge Exchange - Resource Centre, Expert Blogger Program, Peer Groups, Best Practices, Whitepapers, News, Educational Videos
About IGLOO Software
IGOO Inc. is a turnkey solution provider that develops online communities for organizations of any size. Our solutions combine Web 2.0 technology with on-demand hosting, consulting, e-engagement and all of the community support services necessary for a sustainable and successful deployment. Organizations use IGLOO communities internally to improve employee productivity (Workplace Communities) or externally to foster relationships with members, customers, partners and suppliers (Marketplace Communities). Fully integrated collaboration, knowledge sharing and Web 2.0 social networking tools enable organizations to quickly and cost-effectively create online communities to leverage talent, knowledge and relationships across organizational and geographical boundaries. IGLOO is funded by RBC Venture Partners. Jim Balsillie is Chair of the IGLOO board. For more information visit: www.igloosoftware.com.