Manufacturing People in the News

Paul D. Ericksen has been named manager of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Supply Chain Advantage program.

Ericksen will direct a national initiative to enhance the performance of small and midsize suppliers to large military contractors. He will work closely with suppliers, military contractors and officials with the Defense Logistics Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense to develop and deploy uniform strategies to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to lead this effort,” said Ericksen. “The MEP system is an excellent vehicle to advance the development of secure, flexible and responsive supply chains that support U.S. defense needs.”

Ericksen, a 30-year veteran of Deere & Company, played a key role in creating and improving Deere’s supplier development initiatives. A well-known advocate, writer and speaker, he has won state and national recognition for his efforts to establish a consortium to improve the performance of suppliers to large original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Ericksen is a former member of the state of Wisconsin’s Small Business Development Board and also has served on the Industrial Advisory Board for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Quick Response Manufacturing.

MEP Supply Chain Advantage initially will target 50 suppliers, with services provided by the national network of MEP centers. The program builds on the success of WMEP’s Accelerate program, which has generated performance improvements for more than 350 suppliers in Wisconsin and across the nation. Accelerate, launched in 2005, has expanded to 32 MEP centers in 20 states. 

“Having someone of Paul’s caliber on our staff is a tremendous asset as we develop services to help manufacturers manage increasingly complex networks of partners and suppliers,” said Mike Klonsinski, WMEP’s executive director. “He will be available on a limited basis to consult directly with Wisconsin manufacturers on supply chain strategies.”


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