Tap a couple of keys to visit hundreds of Web pages on just about every subject modern manufacturers need to understand. Whether the product is steel or stoneware; glass or griddles; food or fashions, rely on this site for in-depth industry information, breaking news, technical tips and all sorts of tools that make staying in the black a little bit easier.

What you need to know

Savvy manufacturers will admit there's always something new to learn - and freshman entrepreneurs simply need to know how to get started. This section provides a primer, of sorts, on a number of operational topics, including Software and Hardware, Vendor Relations, Staff and Employment, Sales and Marketing, Customer Service and Purchasing, Insurance, and Communications.

Sales and Marketing

Experienced manufacturers understand a strong marketing strategy plays an essential role in keeping assembly lines moving. As with any business, those in the manufacturing field constantly look for new opportunities to acquire and retain clients.

Billing and Accounts Receivable

The United States Census Bureau reports that new orders for manufactured durable goods in March 2007 increased a whopping $7.1 billion to $214.9 billion, representing a 3.4 percent edge over February's numbers. A robust economic indicator from a national perspective, certainly; but the fact remains that many small to midsize manufacturing firms continue to struggle with getting their share of this bounty in a timely, consistent fashion.