Solve Your Supply Chain with CONNEX

This article appeared in the March/April 2022 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

As we move into year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptions to the global supply chain continue and resilience is the new buzzword. While everyone is talking about the challenges, few are proposing solutions. At some point it’s time to stop talking around the problems and start solving them.

So, what is the solution? There are no one-size-fits-all responses to that question. In some cases, reshoring or local sourcing may be a potential solution. For others, it may be offering inventory management services for critical components.  

Connect with CONNEX™

The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) has partnered with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), i5 Services, and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) National Marketplace to create CONNEX™ Michigan. This supply chain and manufacturing network dataset tool puts Michigan manufacturers in the driver’s seat to access the Michigan and U.S. manufacturing supply chain in one integrated resource.

The Center has conducted supplier scouting searches for more than 10 years in support of the MEP National Network, the state of Michigan, and direct requests from clients and other manufacturing infrastructure partners. We’re pleased to be of service and will continue this service in the years to come. Even so, we asked ourselves, how could we do this better?

  • What if we compiled our decades of experience into a supplier database?
  • What if we then placed the ability to use that database in the hands of qualified buyers and suppliers, to conduct their own searches in real time?
  • What if Michigan companies had a place to post and respond to RFI/RFQ/RFPs both locally and nationally?
  • What if Michigan companies could see risks within their specific supply chain such as:
    • blacklisted companies
    • poor credit ratings, and
    • single-sourced components?
  • What if Michigan companies, with one click of a button, could find validated alternative sources for supply chain risks?

CONNEX™ Michigan does all the above. Available now, manufacturers can request access and claim their profile. Created by manufacturers, for manufacturers, this platform enables users to decide whether its information is shared publicly, only viewable to other member companies, or restricted to its own internal staff.

Features for Manufacturers

One database for all U.S. manufacturers

The free and powerful search capability allows industry buyers, manufacturers and suppliers to identify and locate local and domestic suppliers with highly specific capabilities and products such as:

  • Equipment
  • Capabilities
  • Services
  • Certifications
  • Location
  • Set-Aside suppliers (SBA, minority-owned, women-owned, etc.)

Manufacturing-Specific Networking — Tie into the nation’s premier online networking tool for manufacturers to find each other and strengthen the domestic supply chain

Marketing Opportunities — Increase your visibility in this heavily promoted national supply chain database for manufacturers

The Center strongly believes in this solution, so we are covering the cost for Michigan manufacturers. And, if companies register before 4/30/22, they not only gain access to Michigan, but access to the National Marketplace at no cost for life, a savings of $500 annually.

Companies can learn more and request an account at

About the Author

Rebekah McCarterRebekah McCarter is the Lead Supplier Scout with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center. She may be reached at 734-451-4229