Sponsor Highlight: AKT
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We are featuring our sponsors in a series of posts. You can learn more about each exciting organization below. We are thankful for our partnership with AKT Advisors and their strong understanding of the manufacturing industry.

Representative Name : Chad Summers

Representative Title:  Manufacturing Business Advisor

Sponsorship Level:   Gold Sponsor

What is your favorite part about your job at AKT Advisors?
Being one-of-a-kind in the industry.  No other firm I’m aware of has a former client, who owned an international business, with a background in strategic marketing dedicated to helping manufacturers in unexpected ways.  I hear very different things when I sit next to one of my CPA colleagues and talk to a client.  This opens up a rich dialog that allows for us to better serve our clients and stand out as a trusted advisor.

What caused you to make the decision to sponsor OMEP?
While many firms says they serve manufacturers, we back up our commitment to the industry sector with an entire team dedicated to all things manufacturing.  As an extension of our team, AKT works hard to foster external relationships with other service providers who we feel share our passion for manufacturers and offer valuable resources and solutions.  Few organizations exemplify this better than OMEP.  AKT is honored to support the talented team of consultants OMEP offers to manufacturers throughout the state and all the other education and resources they provide through their annual summit, workshops, and other events.

What are some of the largest challenges you see manufacturers facing?
Our team affectionately uses the manufacturing term COGs to refer to our client’s Challenges, Opportunities, and Goals.  We feel that our services have the greatest impact when they directly impact one or more of our client’s COGs.  So we require each of our team members to identify and follow our client’s COGs.  This discipline also allows us to connect major industry issues being highlighted in the media with those issues our clients are actually experiencing.

1. Talent is one of the largest challenges manufacturers are facing today.  On average, the manufacturing sector is older and aging faster than any other industry sector.  Combine this with the perception issue manufacturers face with parents, teachers, and youth not accurately understanding the exciting opportunities the industry has to offer and you begin to see the size of the obstacle that must be overcome.  The needs of manufacturers continue to change, but the demand for talented individuals of all sorts and skills remains constant.
2. Technology is both an opportunity and a challenge for most manufacturers.  Manufacturing productivity continues to climb year after year due to technological advances.  However, they often come at a high price and many manufacturers can’t afford to make the wrong investment.  On the flip side, they can’t afford to ignore them either.  Manufacturers are all evaluating technologies such as 3D-printing, IoT, cloud computing, robotics, big data and analytics to name a few.
3. Strategic marketing is not what most manufacturers are best known for.  However, in this globally competitive economy it is more critical than ever for manufacturers to analyze their business through the lens of marketing in order to sustain their market share, penetrate new markets, expand their product offerings, and compete internationally.  Manufacturers are recognizing the importance of this in their business strategy, but are struggling to successfully implement it.

How has your role as a sponsor affected the way you view manufacturing?
Our role as a sponsor has allowed us to view the manufacturing ecosystem at work in Oregon. Very few industry organizations provide the cross section of services, education and addressing industry issues. Being a part of the community enables us to contribute our knowledge and find valuable resources to better serve our clients.

Why do you believe manufacturing is important?
The short answer is because manufacturing is cool.  We are fascinated by how things are made.  We love hearing the history of innovation that not only improved a product over time, but the way it was made with new efficiencies and technologies being applied.  We get as excited about factory tours as kids do about a field trip to the zoo.

In addition to the cool factor, manufacturing matters because it is the foundation of a robust economy.  Transforming materials into tangible things that solve problems and fulfill needs has a greater impact on our economy and our communities than any other industry sector.  A strong manufacturing base strengthens our country, our defense, and our people.  We want to do our part to help manufacturers survive and thrive far into the future.

What types of services or capabilities can you offer Oregon manufacturers?
We offer a unique blend of manufacturing industry knowledge, technical expertise and valuable solutions focused on addressing the production, operations and regulatory demands of manufacturers.  In addition to our CPA services, we provide employee benefits, wealth management, and a variety of other consulting services including strategic marketing, business succession planning, and international expertise to name a few.  With our industry focus, we are able to provide more depth and expertise tailored to the needs of manufacturers within our tax and audit services that generalist CPAs can offer.  Our clients turn to us as a trusted advisor to keep them informed, help them strategize, and connect them to other industry experts (like OMEP) when necessary.

Other Comments:
Learn more about AKT’s manufacturing team and the industry-focused services we have to offer at our web site: AKTAdvisors.com.

Chad  Summers
Business Advisor
Direct Line: 503-716-9310
Twitter:  @MfgAdvisor

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