We at Cambridge were thrilled to attend the Missouri Association of Manufacturers (MAM) Conference & Trade Show in Branson, Missouri. Our team members Doug Eisenhart, Meg Brown, Kevin Thompson, and Brittni Walters all participated in the event, which featured informative panels led by industry leaders and was highlighted by a keynote address from Rich Sheridan, CEO and Chief Storyteller of Menlo Innovations. We were proud to sponsor Mr. Sheridan's presentation, and we came away from the event with a wealth of new insights and ideas.
The conference kicked off with a report from Habitat Communication & Culture titled "The State of Manufacturing in Missouri." This report was based on 18 months of research and input from a variety of manufacturing leaders across the state, and it provided valuable insights into the challenges that Missouri-based manufacturers are facing. According to the report, workforce, supply chain, and resources/support are the primary categories of challenges that manufacturers are dealing with. However, despite these difficulties, a vast majority of respondents to the survey were still very optimistic about the future of manufacturing in Missouri. In fact, approximately 85% of respondents expressed optimism about their organization's growth over the next five years, and 80% were optimistic about the overall state of Missouri's outlook in manufacturing.
This positivity is a testament to the resilience of Missouri-based manufacturers, who have had to navigate a challenging environment that includes operating complications caused by COVID-19, as well as significant and lingering disruptions caused by workforce and supply chain issues. We were impressed by the enthusiasm and optimism of the conference attendees, and we believe that this resilience will continue to be a driving force for the manufacturing industry in Missouri.
During the conference, we had the opportunity to meet other industry professionals at our booth and attend panel sessions hosted by industry leaders. Our team members Brittni and Doug spoke on a couple of marketing panels centered around marketing and sales dynamics, which provided valuable insights to attendees. We also attended sessions focused on marketing, operations, leadership, IT, and supply chain, all of which enriched our knowledge and will help us bring valuable learnings back to Cambridge.
At dinner, we heard from keynote speakers Jack Stack, President and CEO of SRC Holdings Corp and author of "The Great Game of Business" and "A Stake in the Outcome," along with Hal Higdon, Chancellor of Ozarks Technical Community College. They spoke about how manufacturers can use their business model to mold up-and-coming talent and bring more people to the field, starting with education. The message was clear: we can bring glory and dignity back into manufacturing, starting with early education opportunities.
The conference culminated in a keynote address from Rich Sheridan, CEO and Chief Storyteller of Menlo Innovations, who gave a live presentation of his books "Joy Inc." and "Chief Joy Officer." Mr. Sheridan's books tell the story of how his software company in Ann Arbor, Michigan achieved success and renown by embracing offbeat culture and human-centered values. In "Chief Joy Officer," he offers a wise, provocative guide on how anyone can build leadership capacity for joy within their own organization. His message resonated with us, and we left the conference inspired and ready to "run the experiment" at our own company.
The Missouri Association of Manufacturers Conference & Trade Show proved to be an inspiring and informative event that provided valuable insights into the challenges facing Missouri-based manufacturers. We are already looking forward to attending next year's event and continuing to learn and grow as a company.
To read more about the State of Missouri Manufacturing report, visit the MAM Strong Website.