FuzeHub’s Manufacturer Solutions Program pivoted with the pandemic to meet the needs of the many companies that it serves. When 2020 began, coping with COVID wasn’t on anyone’s list of manufacturing challenges. Supply chain, workforce, and funding for product or process improvements were all hot topics. And they still are. As much as the pandemic “changed everything,” many of the requests for assistance (besides PPE) that we have received remain remarkably consistent. The biggest change for the Solutions Program was with Solutions Forums.
How to Build Your Manufacturing Business
Last February, the month before New York State on PAUSE began, FuzeHub powered a How to Build Your Manufacturing Business Solutions Forum in partnership with the Alliance for Manufacturing & Technology (AM&T) and Rev:Ithaca. This post-Valentine Day event was held at Rev:Ithaca and gave startups and contract manufacturers a chance to meet face-to-face. The registrants included 24 companies who asked for assistance, 25 resources, and 24 guests. Among the resources were many NYS-funded organizations that provided business and technical assistance.
COVID Cancelations and Remo Resourcefulness
The Solutions Program’s next scheduled event was a Machining and Fabrication Showcase in the Capital Region. FuzeHub and its partners selected an April date and location but canceled this in-person event when it became clear that COVID wasn’t going away. Our next event, a Manufacturing and Agriculture B2B Showcase scheduled for June in Herkimer, was also canceled because of the pandemic. Like the NYS manufacturers we serve, FuzeHub knew that it needed to pivot. Remo, an on-line platform for virtual tradeshows and events, provided the technology that the Manufacturer Solutions Program needed.
Machining and Fabrication Post-COVID
In August, Solutions Program events returned with Machining and Fabrication Post-COVID. This virtual Solutions Forum, our very first, supported physical distancing and provided an experience similar to FuzeHub’s signature events in the physical world. Using Remo, NYS manufacturers navigated a virtual venue with tables, chairs, a stage, and multiple floors. These forward-thinking companies met with hand-picked resources and gained expert insights about machining and fabrication in the “new normal”. With nearly 170 registrants from across the state, this event saw 60 companies meet with 30 resources.
NYS Manufacturing Day 2020
NYS Manufacturing Day 2020, a celebration of the state’s manufacturers, also leveraged the Remo platform. Before COVID-19, students would tour manufacturing facilities and learn about training, education, and career opportunities. Was there a way to replicate this virtually? The Manufacturer Solutions Program proved that the answer was “yes”. FuzeHub teamed with four hard-working partners to sponsor an event that had 658 registrants, 561 attendees, 97 exhibitors, and three paid sponsors.
A Look Ahead at 2021
What does 2021 have in store for the Manufacturer Solutions Program? Although it’s unclear whether some (or all) of our events will remain virtual, we’re ready for whatever happens and are planning a full calendar. Stay tuned for event announcements so that you don’t miss your chance to build your business. In the meantime, you can always request a consultation with a manufacturing expert on-line anytime. Happy Holidays and here’s to a Happy (and Healthy) New Year!