MADISON, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Successful efforts to fuel business growth contributed to financial
gains reported by state manufacturers assisted by the Wisconsin
Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP).
WMEP services generated an economic impact of $164 million with 973 jobs
created and retained during the past fiscal year. Increased and retained
sales account for nearly two thirds of the total impact. During the past
five years, WMEP-assisted manufacturers have reported nearly $1 billion
in economic impact with 6,557 jobs created and retained.
“The good news is that we continue to see manufacturers move out of
survival mode into growth mode. The ability to develop new markets,
products and customer solutions is more important than ever,” said
Michael Klonsinski, executive director of WMEP, a nonprofit consulting
firm that helps small and midsize manufacturers grow and succeed.
WMEP-assisted companies reported:
$102 million in increased/retained sales
$30 million in cost savings
$32 million in investment impact, including new plant and equipment
In addition, an analysis of the data projects a $10 million tax revenue
benefit to the State of Wisconsin as a result of sales and jobs impact.
Wisconsin manufacturers reporting positive impact include:
Automation Systems, Inc. has completed 17 projects with WMEP since
2004 to streamline operations, attract new customers and reduce costs.
“All of those projects helped us build a strong foundation for sales
and revenue growth,” said Don Lavrenz, vice president. The firm, a
leader in automated manufacturing systems controls, just hired five
employees and anticipates sales to double in 2011. Though sales
declined during the recession, the company kept layoffs at a minimum.
“The typical recession mentality is to hunker down and ride it out. We
saw it as an opportunity to bring new talent into our organization and
get ready for the recovery,” he said.
In 1996, Charlie Leiby started Centerline
Machine, Inc. in his garage with one milling machine and a vision
to build his own company. Today the Waupaca-based custom machining and
fabrication firm has 44 employees, and in September will move into a
new 45,000 square-foot plant to accommodate its 500% growth rate.
Since 2005, WMEP has helped Centerline implement lean manufacturing,
develop a lean culture, and most recently, facilitate an Enterprise
Business Transformation project to manage the firm’s meteoric growth.
“WMEP has played a key role in helping us improve performance, quality
and engage employees in continuous improvement,” Leiby said.
Corporation is tapping WMEP’s business growth services to develop
an aggressive marketing plan for its innovative filters and filtration
systems. The effort includes sales programs, new advertising and
outreach to international markets through the ExporTech program
offered by WMEP and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. WMEP also
has helped Harvard implement lean manufacturing to improve efficiency.
Despite the recession, Harvard increased sales 5% last year. “We’re
constantly working to raise the bar for quality and innovation in our
industry,” said Otto Knottnerus, president. “WMEP’s expertise and
guidance has been an excellent resource for our firm.”
Aerospace Aircraft Seating Company considers WMEP a strong partner
in the firm’s lean journey and has tapped WMEP for assistance on lean
leadership, strategic business planning, inventory management and
capacity planning. “The services provided by WMEP in the areas of lean
and business planning have been very beneficial, especially during the
recession,” said Jim Tress, DeCrane’s vice president and general
manager. DeCrane’s focus on lean has helped the firm maintain stable
earnings, reduce inventory by $3.5 million, increase revenue per
employee-hour and enhance machining capabilities. Tress adds that
employees’ willingness to diversify their skills is a tremendous
asset, providing flexibility and efficiency gains.
Manufacturing contributes $48.8 billion to Wisconsin’s economy and
employs 429,000 workers. WMEP provided services to 889 state
manufacturers last year.
The economic impact survey of 206 WMEP client firms is part of a
national evaluation conducted by an independent firm for the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). WMEP is an affiliate of
Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a national
network of 59 centers that provide assistance to small and midsize
WMEP is a private, nonprofit consulting organization committed to the
growth and success of Wisconsin manufacturers. A leader in Next
Generation Manufacturing, WMEP brings best practices to Wisconsin firms
to help them achieve world-class performance through innovation and
transformation. WMEP receives financial support from the Wisconsin
Department of Commerce, and partners with many public and private
organizations to serve Wisconsin manufacturers. For more information,
or call 1-877-856-8588.