The NCMEP’s Discovery Suite for Manufacturers is an affordable suite of six onsite assessments. Each assessment is performed by seasoned industry experts in six crucial performance areas. Companies interested in learning about the Discovery Suite can find a more detailed overview of each assessment below:

Business Performance

An IES trained specialist will provide a strategic review that analyzes overall plant practices and management relative to an industry peer group.  This assessment barrows practices and performance standards such as ISO 9000, IS 14000, and AS9100; from recognized and respected awards like the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the European Foundation for Quality Management Excellence. A cross functional team from your facility will analyze 8 categories of business performance through a set of questions. The individual answers to the assessment questions will then be facilitated to consensus. The resulting consensus will provide a detailed representation of how your company’s practices and performance compared to global peers.


An IES energy partner will provide a level two energy assessment.  This assessment will focus on energy conservation, efficiency and cost reduction of appropriate energy systems.  The scope will include a utility bill analysis and walk through audit focused on:

  • Processing Equipment
  • Lighting Improvements
  • HVAC Operations
  • Motor Efficiency
  • Building Envelope

Data on plant operations and energy costs are collected and analyzed to determine potential conservation measures. These measures are compiled into a technical report detailing the recommended action, the potential savings, the estimated cost of implementation and simple payback period.


An IES environmental expert will work with your team to review the facility’s environmental opportunities.  The expert will utilize a custom tool which provides a survey of a manufacturing facility’s Environmental Sustainability practices and performance.  It is designed to assess basic compliance and sustainability opportunities.  The tool also provides prioritized guidance, resources and estimates impact for the facility to consider environmental improvement projects.

The facility staff and IES expert will also establish an actionable project list that can be implemented to improve practices, performance, and profitability.

Greenhouse Gas

Online training and EPA calculating tool will be provided to help capture the site-specific carbon footprint by analyzing the emission of direct and indirect greenhouse gas.  Resources and tools will be made available for on-going carbon footprint management.

Lean and Quality

IES staff will work with your team to establish a baseline of Lean and quality program maturity.  This assessment tool has two purposes:  First it enables the user to take an inventory of Lean enterprise and supply chain best practices and how prevalently those practices are found throughout the enterprise.  Second, is to provide the user with an awareness of those best practices that are not prevalently applied and hence, should be considered for implementations.  The facility staff and IES expert will also establish an actionable project list that can be implemented to improve practices, performance, and profitability.

This assessment will evaluate the following attributes.

1. Communication and Cultural Awareness
2. Visual Systems (5S) and Workplace Organization
3. Standard Work
4. Continuous Improvement
5. Operational Flexibility
6. Mistake Proofing/Poka-Yoke
7. Safety
8. TPM (Total Productive Maintenance)
9. Pull Systems
10. Balanced Production
11. Supply Chain
12. Quality
13. Quality at the Source

Senior leadership, operations staff and others will be asked to participate throughout the assessment.  Time allotments for each staff member will be scheduled prior to the on-site assessment day.

Safety and Health

A safety professional from NC Department of Labor OSH (consultative services) will provide a review of safety practices as related to continuous improvement and sustainability.  This assessment will include a one day on-site review of written programs as well as a hazard identification walk through and analysis.  If hazards are identified, a date for correction will be set and agreed upon.  Records kept by the Consultative Services Bureau are confidential and are not shared with other NCDOL bureaus.  Furthermore, the facility will be deferred from general schedule compliance visits while engaged with consultative services (pending no formal employee complaints or workplace fatalities).

If you are interested in more information about the Discovery Suite for Manufacturers, please contact us.

Hear how one client identified more than $2.3 million in savings, attributable to improvements made after an assessment solution was implemented. View the video here.