Economic Development, Government, and Higher Education

Event provides matchmaking for Michigan business

Summit will hook up suppliers of all kinds with potential large customers.

September 12, 2014
| By Pete Daly |
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Business Leaders for Michigan and Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Pure Michigan Business Connect are planning an invitation-only supplier summit Oct. 8 at the Lansing Center.

The goal of the event is, in effect, business matchmaking. It is aimed to help major corporations in the state and the largest state universities to meet and learn about Michigan-based suppliers that might be able to meet their procurement needs.

The summit will feature purchasing representatives and subject matter experts from some of the largest and best-known businesses and universities in Michigan, such as Perrigo, Steelcase, Ford, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. There are 38 organizations in all on the matchmaking list, including the Detroit Tigers and Olympia Development — both part of Ilitch Holdings Inc., MotorCity Casino Hotel, some of the state’s largest banks, Google, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and the state’s two big public utilities.

All of them, according to Business Leaders for Michigan, are interested in keeping their supply chains as close as possible.

“Some of the state’s largest companies have identified their future supply needs, and this event is designed to help them find Michigan-based partners capable of delivering crucial resources,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM president and CEO. “This is a great strategy for improving Michigan’s economy and growing jobs and income. Through this summit, we hope to see some amazing partnerships take hold and flourish.”

The event represents hundreds of opportunities for all types of Michigan businesses.

“This matchmaking summit, with its diverse range of more than 350 procurement opportunities, will connect Michigan suppliers with some of the state’s largest companies,” said MEDC president and CEO Michael A. Finney. “We commend Business Leaders for Michigan for partnering on this event and for its commitment to engaging with veteran-, minority- and women-owned enterprises, as well as all Michigan suppliers.”

The matchmaking efforts eventually benefit everyone in Michigan.

“Boosting local supplier partnerships is key to Michigan’s continued economic growth,” stated Rothwell.

Each supplier interested in attending filled out an application for review by Business Leaders for Michigan and Pure Michigan. The most likely to be successful suppliers will be issued invitations, aligning them with face-to-face meetings with the companies and universities that could be the best fit for them.

Among the 17 different types of goods and services Herman Miller is interested in are: background screening, integrated skin polyurethane foam molded products, large tonnage molding, low volume electronics, modular electrical harnesses for office furniture systems and relocation services.

“Herman Miller has a very strong supply base but we are always looking to enhance the quality and value of products for our customers,” said Kent Ensing, vice president of supply management. “The need for specific supplied products and services has also expanded and evolved over the last several years with our growth in new markets and new channels of distribution. Additionally, some of the supplier sources we are looking to develop would support our desire to buy more materials and components in-state, in some cases helping us on-shore purchasing now done in other parts of the world.”

Amway is looking for several things, including denatured ethanol (for use in consumer products), event management services for Michigan events (a destination management company and/or production company), laboratory helium, plus temporary labor for short-term jobs in professional and administrative roles.

The Michigan State University Accelerator, Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, needs cryocoolers, lead shielding, and a remote handling lift and remote viewing system, among many other things.

The MotorCity Casino needs bottle recycling and electronics.

Domino’s Pizza is looking for pizza cheese and sauce.

The Detroit Tigers are looking for a lot of maintenance and technical equipment for their stadium, plus promotional items in quantities of at least 10,000.

Business Leaders for Michigan is a group of top executives from the state’s largest businesses, dedicated to making Michigan a Top Ten state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy.

Pure Michigan Business Connect was launched in 2011, a public-private alliance of the MEDC, state agencies and major Michigan companies and organizations that connects in-state companies to business resources.

The complete list of 38 participating businesses and universities

Absopure Water

Amway

Barton Malow

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Champion Foods

Comerica Bank

Consumers Energy

Detroit Manufacturing Systems

Detroit Tigers

Domino's Pizza

DTE Energy

Fifth Third Bank

FirstMerit-Michigan

Flagstar Bank

Ford Motor Co.

Google

Gordon Food Service

Haworth

Herman Miller

Huntington Bank

La-Z-Boy

Masco Corp.

McKinley

Meijer

Michigan State University

MotorCity Casino Hotel

MSX International

Olympia Development

Olympia Entertainment

Perrigo

PNC Financial Services Group

Roush Enterprises

Rush Trucking

Steelcase

The Bartech Group

University of Michigan

Walbridge Construction

Wayne State University

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