For almost twenty five years, the Manufacturers Alliance association in Minnesota has provided local manufacturers with practical peer-to-peer education, training, networking and resources. The Alliance was founded by Art Sneen, an engineer and manufacturing leader who wanted to leverage his network of experienced peers to the advantage of his employer and to multiply his own effectiveness. He saw a need for a “general practitioner” association for manufacturers that was not specific to one industry segment or one manufacturing profession. During the first 8 years, Art joked about working only “half days”… the first 12 hours at the plant, and the second 12 hours for the Alliance.
The Manufacturers Alliance grew by differentiating itself from other associations in that it did not rely solely on government, academia or consulting for financial support, but rather collaborated with a wide variety of valued resources. Since its inception, the Alliance has enrolled entire companies, versus individuals, so that it can affect the whole enterprise. The unique approach draws primarily from peer-to-peer experiential learning, that is, manufacturers helping each other in non-proprietary ways to improve universal processes. Practical learning and mentoring directly from experienced peers became the method of operation for the Manufacturers Alliance and continues to this day.
The Alliance is well known for monthly educational seminars, webinars, peer-taught workshops and benchmarking tours that occur every week, and has trained and educated tens of thousands of people from several hundred Minnesota-based companies. Events are held at the Manufacturers Alliance Training Center, public venues, Twin cities area colleges and on-site at manufacturing companies, administered by a small, full-time professional staff; a few volunteers and over fifty working manufacturing peer trainers and facilitators.
Consequently, we provide peer-to-peer training, education, and resources, which inspire manufacturing companies to continuously grow, improve, and stay competitive. The Manufacturers Alliance provides members with a high-value resource.