AMES, Iowa -- “In the end, you’re going to come out as a much better, stronger company.” That’s what Winnebago Industries director of marketing Chad Reece said after working with the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) at Iowa State University.
Added Wayne Morgan, owner of Mid Iowa Satellite, “CIRAS pointed me in a direction to help me get some business.”
Small and medium sized Iowa manufacturers receive ISU Extension support through CIRAS. Reece, Morgan and other Iowa business people like them are turning to CIRAS and ISU Extension for data, market research and growth strategies to improve their company’s bottom line.
Where to Go for Growth
A CIRAS program “Eureka! Winning Ways” helps manufacturers generate, develop and test their own ideas for growing their top line sales. Company teams work with a CIRAS growth coach and that’s the key, said CIRAS specialist Paul Gormley.
“A consultant would say, ‘this is what you should do.’ A coach asks, ‘what do you think your options are?’ The coach’s job is to help companies become capable of doing things themselves,” Gormley said.
Gormley even offers a guarantee: “You’ll generate two ideas worth working on, or at no additional cost, we will work with you until you do.” For more information go to http://www.ciras.iastate.edu/Growth/eww.asp or contact Gormley at email@example.com.
On the Road to Government Contracting
CIRAS can guide companies that are interested in government contracting through the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP), a national program administered through the Department of Defense.
According to CIRAS program manager David Bogaczyk, CIRAS provides customized assistance to help Iowa companies win government contracts at the federal, state and local level. CIRAS helps them find and respond to appropriate bids, market their products and services to government agencies and contractors, and increase their sales in the government marketplace — steps that can prove critical to success in uncertain economic times.
For more information go to http://www.ciras.iastate.edu/procurement/ or contact Bogacyzk, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Help to Get Beyond the Flood
In response to the devastating floods of 2008, CIRAS has been reaching out to Iowa industry, offering information, providing guidance and gathering data, said Mark Ingebretsen, CIRAS communications specialist. “CIRAS is a collective voice for industry—conveying the needs of Iowa companies to local, state and federal agencies so relief funding can be targeted for industry recovery.”
Check CIRAS’ Emergency Management website, http://www.ciras.iastate.edu/EmergencyManagement/, for more information and links to staff by county, or contact Leah Barton, CIRAS office coordinator, email@example.com
Managing Tough Times
Providing opportunity for Iowa business is one way ISU Extension is helping Iowans manage tough times. Extension’s Managing Tough Times website, www.extension.iastate.edu/answers, links to experts, websites and programs from CIRAS and other sources that can make a difference for Iowa business any time, but especially right now. Iowans also can learn more about ISU Extension programs that develop business and community leaders.
Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775, firstname.lastname@example.org