Industrial intent: A mission to connect manufacturing

By Bret Boyd | Aug 29, 2022

I'm excited to follow up on Bart Taylor's column last month and formally introduce CompanyWeek's new partner, Sustainment. It's a treat to speak directly to a community I've known only eight or nine short months but value so much that we, like Bart, bet our future on it.

Sustainment is a technology platform built to help manufacturers find, evaluate, and engage with qualified U.S.-based suppliers as well as help suppliers showcase their expertise and capabilities to new customers and partners. It's a mouthful, I know, but for us the mission is more important today than we could have imagined when we launched the business a few years ago. Manufacturing supply chains weren't a part of the everyday business narrative then -- today, they're everyday national news.

We're focused on enabling local and regional connections first -- we cut our teeth supporting Air Force customers operating in Oklahoma and Texas, to help solve the DoD's massive challenge of adding tens of thousands of new manufacturers to the Defense Industrial Base. It's in Texas that we found CompanyWeek's TX Manufacturing Report. Bart was looking for more advanced technology to connect the CompanyWeek community. We were totally impressed with that community -- you. Today we're partners.

Much has happened even in the handful of months since we joined forces. I'm pleased to share the news that Sustainment recently closed a $12MM Series A financing led by Unless, an investment firm focused on catalyzing the new industrial revolution. This is a transformational moment for our team and the community we serve, as we work together to revitalize manufacturing in the United States.

The raise puts CompanyWeek/Sustainment in a great position to lead a national effort to bring together what today is a highly fragmented ecosystem. In our evaluation of what has and has not worked in other countries and in prior eras of U.S. industrial history, we observed that manufacturing never works well in silos. There must be vibrant interaction between all tiers of the supply chain, from the large OEM down to the family-owned machine shop down at the fourth and fifth tier.

Our approach is to link this entire ecosystem on a single platform that delivers value to all members, resulting in quality, timely manufacturer data which can be applied to solve critical challenges at the local, state, and national level. Three broad initiatives frame our efforts:

  1. We provide a free community experience for small-medium sized manufacturing suppliers who want to present their capabilities to new customers while finding, connecting, and collaborating with new partners.

  2. We enable sourcing and supply chain professionals in both government and industry who need modern, data-driven tools to find, compare, organize, and securely engage with the best domestic manufacturing suppliers.

  3. We accelerate the effectiveness of state, regional, and national manufacturing support organizations who need access, visibility, and connectivity into regional manufacturing ecosystems.

As a manufacturer or supplier, we hope you'll begin exploring Sustainment. Learn more. Take a few minutes to build a profile. There are no fees.

You see where this is going: long-term, CompanyWeek readers will learn about companies and suppliers and use Sustainment to get connected -- two platforms growing together to form one highly-connected and growing community. As CompanyWeek's regional footprint grows, Sustainment data teams are also recruiting new companies into the platform. We're focusing on buyers and suppliers in the industrial niche first, then later this fall, we'll expand to include multiple manufacturing industries.

Our vision of a hyperconnected, secure, and resilient ecosystem includes the industry and government organizations that contribute so much to the manufacturing economy. If that's you, we've also developed Blueprint, an analytics toolkit that provides the community visibility and access to the resources you're developing to support manufacturing. Take a look.

That's a lot to do in order to make an impact. For now, it's a privilege to be part of your community, working together to advance U.S. manufacturing. Contact me anytime.

Bret Boyd is CEO of Sustainment. Reach him at