It is important for manufacturers to prioritize growth in order to survive. Sometimes growth means shedding old products and bringing new ones to the marketplace Sometimes it means finding and serving entirely new markets. It includes overcoming product and process obsolescence by adapting existing technology to create new solutions. Planned growth is always preferable however unplanned growth is brought on by capitalizing on unforeseen opportunities or turning adversity into a market advantage. Growth often means change, something humans and companies often resist. Those that embrace change may find the benefits to be priceless
OPEX Grows its Company with a Forward-Thinking Well-Equipped Team
About The Company: OPEX Corporation located in Moorestown, New Jersey supplies equipment that facilitates workflow improvements for customers around the world. In existence for the last 40 years they are proud to be “Made in America”. Their net-zero complexes were built upon innovation, quality and superior customer service.
Challenges: The company would eventually face obsolescence if they did not acknowledge the imminent shift in their industry. With modern technology greatly reducing mail volume around the world the company had to look to other markets with workflow challenges where its equipment might prove to be valuable.
Solution: In order to keep the company growing, OPEX learned how to adapt existing technologies to create new solutions. When one customer spoke up the company listened and adapted one of their high-speed mail sorting systems for the material handling industry. The potential for this idea was strongly encouraged and a robust market analysis was conducted. Soon a full blown project was underway resulting in the revolutionary order fulfillment system known as Perfect Pick.
Results: OPEX improved throughput resulting in a more reliable and cost-effective system for its new customers.
- The company was able to repurpose a ten year old technology to create a one touch design. The new technology does not require lifts, conveyors, or multiple transfer points like more traditional systems.
- Listening to their customers, using creative thinking and applying a tested technology to new processes resulted in increased revenue and corporate growth for OPEX
City Theatrical: Investments in Training Help Lighting Manufacturer Triumph Over Superstorm
About The Company: City Theatrical Inc. located in Carlstadt, New Jersey was founded in 1986 in New York. The company is a recognized innovator in the entertainment industry, inventing, manufacturing and creating custom lighting accessories for the entertainment and architectural industries CTI also manufactures products for other light manufacturers on an OEM basis. CTI started its long-term relationship with NJMEP as a result of a complimentary assessment that indicated training was necessary to transform the company into a Lean manufacturer.
Challenges: The first challenge the company faced was to find funding for the recommended training. The next hurdle was to train the team on five Lean tools and techniques. Everything was on schedule for completion when Superstorm Sandy ravaged the East Coast. CTI faced a whole new set of challenges when the Hackensack River flooded the area and the company literally found itself underwater
Solutions: CTI took up the challenge the flood presented and turned it into an opportunity by upgrading many of its manufacturing systems and infrastructure. New equipment was ordered and NJMEP consulted on improving capacity, flow and quality, reducing part shortages and inventory management.
- Improved operations
- Adopted additional Lean manufacturing techniques
- Increased focus on Business Development
- Sharpened sales & marketing skills
- Generated additional sales of $500,000
Schripps European Bread: NFS Certification Positions Commercial Bakery to Expand Customer Base
About The Company: Schripps European Bread is a privately held wholesale bread bakery in North Bergen, New Jersey. It employs 52 people and has been in business for 25 years. Schripps delivers 250 kinds of bread 3 times a day to 175 customers 365 days a year. The company recently received NSF Certification allowing them access to more customers.
Challenges: In 2010 sales were on a downward trend due to lingering effects of the 2008 recession. To reverse this trend, one partner made the needed changes to position the company for expansion. As a result, the company experienced double digit growth.
Solutions: Schripps attended NJMEP workshops on Lean Food Production, Food Safety Modernization Act and OSHA’s New Hazard Communication Standard. Management also participated in multiple training webinars. After one hundred and twenty-eight hours of training, Schripps was ready for the NSF audit.
- 3 new hires
- $100,000 invested in new equipment and information technology.
- Reduced training costs of $25,600
- Passed the NSF Certification Audit
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