(Certified Best Practice by BMPCOE)
City of Chattanooga - Chattanooga, TN
The Chattanooga Manufacturers Association (CMA) is a proactive organization that addresses issues affecting the economic development and stability of the Chattanooga manufacturing industry. With a membership of 240 representing 175 manufacturers, CMA represents the needs of its membership through a collective and united voice. A broad range of companies belong to the CMA, from large companies with 3,000 employees to small companies with five employees.
Chattanooga manufacturing is not as large of an industrial community as it was in the early to mid 1900s. However, manufacturing represents an important 23% of the Chattanooga economic base, and is an essential element of any plan for economic growth. The manufacturing culture has shifted, and the CMA recognizes that the future of manufacturing must address issues of environmental controls and equipment, computerization, robotics, mechanization, global competition, work teams, zoning regulations, product reliability, job requirements, waste reduction, Total Quality Management, Just-in-Time, and OSHA.
The CMA introduced "The Six Ps"-property, permission, processes, people, products, and profits-as core areas effecting change. For example, permission is no longer exclusively a legal issue. Today the manufacturer must consider more stringent air, water, and solid waste regulations; bureaucratic difficulty in obtaining required installation and operating permits; increased numbers of government
mandates; complicated zoning and site regulations; environmental equity, and other social issues. Processes are also no longer centered solely around previously strong foundry operations, food and food production, chemicals, machinery and metal fabrication, textile fibers and apparel production. The manufacturer must now account for process improvements that minimize waste at the source, pollution abatement equipment installation, mechanization and material handling practices, energy conservation practices, and introduction of alternatives for problem materials.
In cooperation with its members, its committees, community and industrial leaders, and the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, the CMA has effectively examined and developed courses of action to address issues identified from the "Six P" core areas that impact manufacturers. Typical issues addressed include challenging perceived unfair utility rates imposed on manufacturers, developing acceptable compliance with EPA's clean-air act, awareness of environmental regulations, and identifying manufacturer's resource requirements to the academic community. The organization addresses issues that are justified while opposing practices that are bureaucratic excess. This association focuses energy on an issue, and objectively reaches a resolution. The CMA has repeatedly exercised more influence as a whole than manufacturers could individually.