Catalyst Connection Receives CARES Act Funding

To assist small to medium-sized manufacturers with navigating through these uncertain times during the COVID-19 pandemic, Catalyst Connection received CARES Act funding to:

  • Help manufacturers recover from workforce and supply chain interruptions.
  • Apply for private insurance claims and disaster loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
  • Access resources at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • Assess the operating needs of manufacturers.
  • Scout for manufacturers that can produce critically needed medical equipment and supplies.
  • Organize peer-to-peer manufacturing networks.

Catalyst Connection Launches the COVID-19 Assessment Tool

As you navigate our new normal and prepare for the recovery period, Catalyst Connection’s COVID-19 Recovery Assessment will identify the risks and opportunities that this crisis has presented.

Moving forward in uncertain times requires you to know exactly where you stand today. Catalyst Connection developed the COVID-19 Recovery Assessment to provide manufacturers with an instant rating of their COVID-19 recovery and resiliency strengths and weaknesses. You will receive an immediate assessment report that provides actionable insights and access to resources for high-priority areas: Take the assessment here.

Catalyst Connection has had a great response to this assessment to date and are starting to uncover true pain points of organizations continuing to adjust to the negative impact of a COVID economy. Smart Factory, Business Continuity & Advanced Manufacturing Technology have particularly low scores in this self-assessment. Many organizations that had clear gaps in these categories prior to COVID, have seen these gaps grow much larger, often requiring immediate attention and investment in a time where capital spending is hard to justify. Smart Factory has become critical in that many employees are not onsite to manually collect data in a traditional manner. This has organizations losing visibility into their production, maintenance, health and safety and OEE data. It seems that most organizations who had Business Continuity plans in place found them to be incredibly insufficient and unable to handle the impact of a global pandemic. This is obviously not surprising, however, this topic is now a huge priority for organizations as each new change in the economy, Federal regulation, pandemic severity, etc. requires that their Business Continuity plan is dynamic and robust enough to help the organization survive and even thrive in the future.

Supplier Scouting Initiative

As part of helping small to medium-sized manufacturers survive and thrive during a global pandemic, the MEP National Network has been constructing a national supplier scouting initiative and working group. At Catalyst Connection we have utilized CARES funding to allow for no-cost Supplier Scouting projects with our SMMs. We have seen tremendous interest in this program from Pittsburgh, PA based SMMs as well as many start-ups. Start-Ups are traditionally tasked with building a supply chain from scratch which is no easy process in the most stable of times, however, during a pandemic, the difficulty is multiplied. Through this process we have been made aware of the lack of visibility that start-ups have into the manufacturing sector and how these supplier scouting initiatives can increase this visibility. This initiative has helped manufacturers fill their dwindling back-log, while also helping start-ups gain suppliers and co-manufacturers.