Four Steps to Build an Innovative Platform for your Business

TI_Logo-FINAL-01Thinking outside the box tends to be the best way to have that big breakthrough. Many ideas that you have could fail to take off, not because of bad ideas but simply because innovation depends on the success of the product just as much as the idea itself. This is why having an effective innovation platform will help you along the way. We have 4 steps that can assist you in your ventures.

Step 1. Understand why you should innovate. Markets in this economy are always changing so it is very important that you stay up-to-date with the latest trends. There are different types of innovation that you can apply to your business, these include: product innovation, process innovation, marketing innovation, and organizational innovation. These types of innovation can help you find your “why”.

 Step 2. Acknowledge ideas from any place. Whether its customer feedback, employees, partners, or the executive team, anyone can help give you that great idea. This means that you might have to monitor your customer service lines to hear feedback. Maybe you have a suggestion box in the office to hear from your employees. Host fun and friendly competitions with rewards around the office to boost and motivate your workers to be creative. All of these can generate the opportunity for an idea to be born.

Step 3. Hire or train new employees in different areas. If you see a gap in you company between growth and capability then it might be time to look outside for help or look to the veterans for their experience. Hiring outside help, even if it is a short-term contractor, can bring in a new perspective that your employees can learn and adopt. Look to your veterans who might not have previously voiced their opinion but can give you beneficial information on what they think would be better for the company. Sometimes people are too shy about speaking their mind, so you should ask. Who knows maybe the next big idea is sitting in your own building.

Step 4. Choose your processes and tools wisely. There are a couple different ways to go about doing this. Some of the processes are, closed innovation which is doing things all in-house. Collaborative innovation is working with your closest partners. Open innovation is being open to customer feedback and ideas. Lastly, a co-innovator is partnering with another business to develop something that you couldn’t do on your own. The tools are the structure and the methods you use to implement these strategies. Any type of innovation can involve risk but having a plan in place can make the process a lot smoother.

Thompson Innovation is here to help make your business more innovative. Contact us to learn more about ways to kickstart innovation and improve your operations.

Phone: 712-224-3800

Website: www.Thompsoninnovation.net

Exciting Announcement

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On May 22, 2018, Electric Innovations and its sister company Thompson Automation and Specialty Services were brought together as a stronger and even more dynamic technology integration company called Thompson Innovation.

Our strategic plan has always been focused on strengthening the technical capabilities and portfolio of solutions we can offer to our customers. This is another step in fulfilling our Corporate Mission: “To be the prime solution provider as recognized by our employees, customers and the communities we serve.”

Under the direction of General Managers, Tasha Barker and Jason Glover, Thompson Innovation will continue to passionately lead our solutions teams in:

  • Managed IT & Software
  • Life Safety & Security
  • Automation & Robotics
  • Electrical Safety & Preventative Maintenance

The addition of solutions previously provided by Thompson Automation and Specialty Services strengthens our ability to meet current and new customer’s needs as one company. For more information contact Thompson Innovation at 712-224-3800 or visit us at www.thompsoninnovation.net

The Industrial Internet of Things’ (IIoT) Should Matter to Your Manufacturing Operation

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Manufacturing operations of all shapes, sizes, and types are using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to achieve substantial competitive advantages, and improve profits.

The Industrial Internet, also sometimes referred to as Industry 4.0, connects and links concepts such as big data, analytical tools and decision making, and connected networks with traditional industrial equipment.  It is about collecting and applying data to make better decisions, run facilities more efficiently, and in the end to improve profits. The IIoT is in the process of revolutionizing manufacturing.

Some ways that the IIoT has impacted traditional industrial manufacturers, food processors and those in agricultural processing is by improving the collection of system data that allows better record keeping, inspection tracking, and analysis. These help with the productivity of certain areas such as predictive maintenance, safety, and supply chain.  The IIoT advantages can be especially beneficial in those areas.

The IIoT can help your manufacturing operation in many different ways. Three of the main areas it can be beneficial the most in are 1) Preventative maintenance, by being able to better predict when your equipment will need servicing. 2) Safety, by providing reports and real-time updates to track events that can prevent accidents. Finally, 3) it helps with your supply chain by giving you visibility on your products before, during, and after shipments by the use of sensors, scales, or even encoders and tachometers.

The promises of the IIoT and the changes that Industry 4.0 are bringing are no longer “coming attractions”.  They are for companies that embrace the potential of the IIoT. There are substantial competitive advantages, increases in profit, and new opportunities abound.  This is a concept that deserves your attention.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact your IIoT experts at Thompson Automation. We have 30+ years of experience and are always willing to help in any way we can to improve your business. Contact us today at:

Phone: 844.321.3869

Email: help@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecialty.com

Do you trust your control systems integrator to have your best interest in mind?

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Is your Control Systems Integrator a business partner or do you think of them more as a car repair mechanic? Someone you only see when there is a problem and you never are quite certain if they are telling you a line or shooting you straight.  Do you ever have that feeling the mechanic isn’t doing something to your car to make you come back in a week or two? That trust with your system integrator is extremely important as you consider what might happen if the engine of your production systems breaks down.

Ask yourself five critical questions?

  1. Does your control systems integrator customize their work to meet your needs?
  2. Are your SCADA and IT systems growing as you grow?
  3. When was the last time your provider brought you new and innovative ideas?
  4. Are they following through when they say they will get the job done in a timely manner?
  5. Do you trust them?

A trusting relationship with your systems integrator is very important in getting the best service possible. If you can’t answer these five questions in the affirmative, then it might be time to look for a new control systems partner.  Your systems integrator should have three qualities for you to trust them. The first is for them to be ready and willing to adjust to your needs. The second thing is for them to have a good communication system in place to work around what you want. Lastly, the third one is to simply be more involved with you. If your integrator isn’t doing these things, it is time to change.

Thompson Automation has been meeting the needs of customers for more than 30 years. Thompson is not about “products” and fitting you into the mold of what the “system” will do rather we spend our time fitting the best solution around your needs.  We craft custom solutions to meet our customers’ specific needs. We can assure you that Thompson is the way to go.

If you need reliable and dependable experts to help with any of your controls and automation needs then don’t hesitate to contact us. Our information is:

Phone: 844.321.3869

Email: help@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecialty.com

‘The Industrial Internet of Things’ (IIoT) Should Matter to Your Manufacturing Operation

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Manufacturing operations of all shapes, sizes, and types are using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to achieve substantial competitive advantages, and improve profits.

The Industrial Internet, also sometimes referred to as Industry 4.0, is the connection and linking of concepts such as big data, analytical tools, and decision making, and connected networks with traditional industrial equipment.  It is about collecting and applying data to make better decisions, run facilities more efficiently, and in the end to improve profits. The IIoT is in the process of revolutionizing manufacturing.

Some ways that the IIoT has impacted traditional industrial manufacturers, food processors and those in agricultural processing is by improving the collection of system data that allows better record keeping, inspection tracking, and analysis in functional areas such as predictive maintenance, safety, and supply chain.  The IIoT advantages can be especially beneficial in those areas.

The promises of the IIoT and the changes that Industry 4.0 are bringing are no longer ‘coming attractions’.  They are here and for companies that embrace the potential of the IIoT there are substantial competitive advantages, increases in profit, and new opportunities abound.  This is a concept that deserves your attention.

If you have more questions or are looking for ideas and more information on the IIoT or other best practice automation programs give the experts at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services a call today.  Given their 30+ years of experience as an automation solutions provider, Thompson specializes in the development of custom controls and automation programs for customers across the country.   Thompson Automation is not about “products” and fitting you into the mold of what the “system” will do rather we focus our time fitting the best solution around your needs.  Crafting custom solutions to meet our customers’ specific needs is what we do.

www.thompsonspecialty.com

 

Innovate; the first ever industrial automation & technology conference

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On May 15th Thompson Automation and Specialty Services hosted Innovate; the first ever industrial automation & technology conference in the Siouxland area.

This exciting automation and technology conference highlighted several emerging automation technologies, the development of new security systems to protect IT infrastructures from attack and identify ways companies can leverage workforce development partners to meet their future employment needs. The attendees were able to learn more about emerging industrial trends being implemented to reduce downtime, cut costs, find process improvements and utilize data to make better decisions.

This was a very exciting event for Thompson Automation to be able to host.  Thompson was able to bring in a panel of national leaders in the areas of automation, IIOT, security, and workforce development to have a robust discussion on relevant topics like connecting industrial systems to traditional IT infrastructures, infrastructure security, and workforce development.

The days’ keynote speaker was Bob Murphy, the Senior Vice President of Rockwell Automation, and a national leader in transforming business operations. Bob discussed how Rockwell was able to transform their manufacturing operations through a focus on people, processes, and technology. Bob shared many of the actual business benefits Rockwell realized and how others could achieve the same results through implementation of modern control and information systems.

After the keynote address, Bob Murphy also participated in a roundtable discussion on the challenges he faces leading an organization through transformational change.  Other panelists talked about their own real-world examples of implementing new technologies, preparing organizations for the Industrial Internet of Things, and Industry 4.0.

The day also included presentations from Chad Richards, a Cyber Security Specialist with Cisco, and Corey Cronin, a Solutions Architect from Rockwell.  Chad discussed the importance of having an integrated approach to network security. He talked about how companies need to properly protect their organization from multiple types of attacks and multiple sources. Corey discussed real examples of how improving a few automation and IT processes can make a huge difference in an operation.  Benefits discussed were how modernizing an operation can increase productivity, decrease downtime, and improve change over times.

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The day finished with a tour of the WITCC Advanced Manufacturing Lab and Confined Space Trailer.

It was an exciting day and a special note of appreciation goes out to the days’ sponsors and hosts:  Thompson Automation and Specialty Services, Electric Innovations, Cisco, Rockwell Automation, The Siouxland Initiative, and Western Iowa Tech Community College.

The 2017 Innovate Industrial Automation & Technology conference was a huge success! We are already looking forward to the 2018 Conference!

 

Thompson Electric Acquires Automation Company

Services Unlimited joins company to form Thompson Automation and Specialty Services

SIOUX CITY, IA – March 6, 2017 – TEC-Corp., the parent company of Thompson Electric has acquired the assets of Service Unlimited Inc. of Ireton Iowa, an industrial controls and automation company.   The purchase allows Thompson Electric to deliver innovative controls and automation process solutions to customers throughout the Midwest. Industries such as agriculture, water/waste water treatment, food processing, oil and gas, light and heavy manufacturing, utility production and distribution and more. The acquisition also marks the creation of Thompson Automation and Specialty Services.  A new company to meet the needs to customers requiring support solutions beyond those of traditional electrical contractors.

“Our strategic investment in the purchase of Services Unlimited represents a significant strengthening of our technical capabilities and portfolio of solutions to offer customers,” said Skip Perley CEO of Thompson Electric parent company TEC-Corp.   Skip continued; “Mel and the team at Services Unlimited bring to Thompson Electric more than 30-years of expertise in automation and a true commitment to customers’ satisfaction.  We look forward to their joining our team at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services.”

 “We are excited to join Thompson Automation and Specialty Service to create a regional leader in the automation and controls process market.  We will continue to deliver the high-quality solutions that our loyal customer base has come to expect,” said Mel Schwiesow, Services Unlimited founder and President. “This creates the best combination available to help customers uncover the benefits of process controls that drive production efficiencies.”

Thompson Automation and Specialty Services now adds process control and automaton to its list of available solutions.  Previous offerings included Arc Flash Risk Assessments, Infrared Thermal Imaging, Electrical Preventative Maintenance, large scale LED Lighting Retro-fitting, and Solar and Wind Energy Generation.  “Thompson Electric has earned customers trust and loyalty for nearly 85-years by providing innovative solutions to meet customers’ unique needs,” said Jason Glover, General Manager of Thompson Automation and Specialty Services.  “The addition of solutions in the area of controls and automation only strengthens our ability to meet current and new customer’s needs.”

Specific controls and automation solutions now provided by Thompson Automation and Specialty Services include:

  • System Design and Engineering
  • Custom Software Programming
  • UL Certified Customer Control Panel Fabrication
  • Equipment Installation and Commissioning
  • Instrumentation Installation, Set-up & Calibration
  • Hardware and Programing Maintenance Service

About Thompson Electric Company

Thompson Electric is a premier Midwest electrical contractor since 1933 that services the commercial, industrial, healthcare, education, government, low voltage and residential industries.  Thompson Electric is a forward thinking innovative leader in the industry with the ability to revolutionize its business model.  We utilize technology in every aspect of our business from estimating, arc flash risk assessment, infrared thermal imaging, 3D, Cad, BIM/Revit, electrical preventive maintenance (EPM), Solar, Automation and Controls, design build, prefabrication to project management and field supervision.  To support our regional growth, the company maintains permanent offices in Sioux City, Omaha, Sioux Falls.

http://www.thompsonspecialty.com