Big Bend Manufacturers Association Update

Kevin Gehrke, Business Development Manager, Applied Science

Happy March everyone!  I am pleased to announce that this first quarter has been very successful for the recently Big Bend Manufacturers Association (BBMA). We have filled our board with the addition of the heads of two successful local manufacturing organizations and a local accounting firm. These members have a long history of local manufacturing, what it’s like to use the local resources to develop and grow a startup, and the knowledge of skill sets and services to assist the members.  This team will provide a stable base to guide and grow the association.

In partnership with FloridaMakes, the BBMA is now prepared to help companies grow through the following member services:

Enterprise Assessments: A dedicated Business Advisor to the Big Bend region with several years of manufacturing experience will help to identify the capabilities and effectiveness of member businesses offering suggestions for growth and advancement.

Grow Your Business: With a desire to assist small to medium manufacturers, the Association will help identify strategies for growth – from working with you to identify new customers and new markets for your existing products and services – to supporting innovation for service and product development.

Technology Acceleration: In this age of ever developing, changing, and advancing technology, the BBMA can accelerate the benefits of appropriate technology by identifying technology options, providing cost-benefit analyses and workforce training resources, and assessing new market opportunities that help your company reduce risk and fully leverage your technology enhancements. 

Workforce Training: Working collaboratively with local, state, and national public and private resources to deliver specialized training, worker certification, hands-on experience, management training, and other advanced manufacturing education programs needed for today’s high-skilled jobs.  This engagement includes university, college, and technical education systems as well as focuses on our local youth.  Imparting on them the availability of challenging, high-paying, and fun jobs in the local manufacturing community.

International Market Development: If your growth plan includes being in the global market, assistance is available to companies for developing export strategies and connecting you to the right resources to help you establish the systems, meet industry standards, and open the door to new international markets. 

Supply Chain Optimization: FloridaMakes is connected to a nationwide initiative to support supply chain optimization. That means we can identify the technology needs and trends of specific supply chains, and provide a step-by-step roadmap to help you address risk, increase visibility, and create opportunity.

Process Improvement: Continuous improvement efforts, including lean manufacturing, the Toyota Kata Management and Leadership approach, and quality improvement from Six Sigma to ISO Quality Management are available to members to help ensure their processes stay efficient with the ever-changing times.

Sustainability: FloridaMakes and the BBMA take a broad view of sustainability, from reducing environmental costs and impact to succession planning for long-term sustainability.

If you’re interested in joining the BBMA or would like to learn more, feel free to contact me at or call me at (850) 597-4374.

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