Innovation Strategies: It’s Not Just About The Bottom Line

KCMN Roundtable
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 7:30-9:00 AM
Hilton Garden Inn, 520 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas

Through the downturn, it’s become tempting to focus on cost cutting as a means of survival. However, product and process innovations can help lift companies out of the doldrums through new markets. Join us on November 9 to hear 3 company leaders share what they have achieved through innovation, and learn how you can apply some of the concepts they have used in your company.
• Why is innovation important
• Getting the process started
• Tools for driving innovation in your company
• Sustaining your efforts
• Overcoming challenges

Panelists
Jim Baker, CEO, Dimensional Innovation – Making Left Brained Sense out of a Right-Brained Process
Jim will discuss DI’s reasons for pursuing a commitment of innovation: You need more than LEAN to survive, and how the current economy “commoditized” the company’s offerings. He will discuss how DI used the Winning Ways methodology and formed DI’s Innovation Division.

Jeff Gray, CEO, Jakobe Furniture – Engineering a Turnaround
Jeff will share the processes that led to the company’s financial turnaround, including continuous improvements to the quality and processes of the company. In addition, he will talk about sources of information for his turnaround and the importance of continually connecting and communicating the company’s vision.

Richard Powell, General Manager, Brunson Instruments – Keeping Innovation in the Forefront
Richard will discuss Brunson’s start with the Eureka Winning Ways program in 2007. The process of developing and implementing an innovation process has helped Brunson to energize and streamline their growth strategies. He will share how they continue to utilize the concept three years later.

Cost is $15 for members and $25 for guests. Guests may attend two meetings before having to join as a member, and are required to pay in advance or at the door. Sign up today by clicking HERE or contact Donna Gordon.

Our founding sponsors, Mid America Manufacturing and Technology Center (MAMTC) and Missouri Enterprise, will be our sponsors for this event. The event is open to area manufacturers and their suppliers. We invite you to join with us to make KCMN the premier resource for manufacturers.
Due to our need to cover the event costs, no shows will be billed. Cancellations will be accepted no later than 3 business days prior to an event. Cancellations of reservations paid by credit card will be assessed a $10 processing fee by the registration service, or contact us for event credit for a future event. You may register as a guest for up to 2 events before membership is required. For questions or comments, please contact Donna Gordon.

About our Speakers
Jim Baker, CEO, Dimensional Innovations, Inc.
Jim is the CEO and a founding partner of Dimensional Innovations, Inc. an award-winning, multi-disciplinary firm taking ideas through design, fabrication and installation. We create experiences that make distinctive connections with our clients and your customers. Today, Jim is a vital part of the team, actively involved with every department. He is ultimately responsible for financial success, employee and client satisfaction and future strategic planning. Building our one-of-a-kind team is Jim’s proudest accomplishment and most significant contribution to DI. In addition, Jim was World Champion Skydiver as a member of the United States Freefall Exhibition Team, the United States Parachute Team, and World Team’s 94 & 96. He’s owned and operated a commercial photography studio and processing lab. Currently, Jim’s passion is mountain climbing recently summiting Kilimanjaro and Mt. Rainier. He is currently training to climb Aconcagua in Argentina in January. He founded www.Climb4SMA.com a new charity to raise money and awareness to help fight the deadly disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Jeff Gray, CEO Jakobe Furniture
Jeff Gray formed Jakobe Furniture as a legal entity in September 2004 to manufacture custom furniture for the restaurant and hospitality industries. Because of its custom capabilities, and market demand, the company quickly evolved into its current niche of “custom manufacturer and service provider to the contract and hospitality industries.” Simply put, they manufacture, deliver, install and service the custom furniture needs of their clientele. The company’s products can be found all over the country, and even beyond the United States, with marquee customers like M.I.T, Kansas City Royals, New York Jets, AMC Theaters, and Energizer Batteries. After falling into nearly every pitfall a new start-up business could possibly find, the company has found its way financially in the last 18 months.

Richard Powell, General Manager, Brunson Instruments
Brunson Instrument Company is one of a very few American companies that specializes in industrial measurement. The 81-year-old company helps solve measurement problems for manufacturers of large machines, including aircraft, paper mills, satellites, ships, machines tools and particle accelerators. Brunson operates its manufacturing facility using Theory of Constraints and lean processes including lean accounting. Richard Powell has been the General Manager since 2001. In 2007 Brunson was approached by Missouri Enterprise to participate in a pilot program for business growth called “Winning Ways”. The program was developed by Doug Hall, founder and CEO of the Eureka Ranch a corporate think tank that is utilized by some of the biggest corporations in the world.