“Anything the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program can do for small manufacturers is necessary and so vital to the viability and survival of these businesses,” stated Richard Balka, President of Home Rubber Company.
Home Rubber Company, which is located in Trenton, New Jersey, has been able to correct internal operations and keep pace with the demands of their business thanks to the assistance provided by the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP)
The company, purchased in 1996 from the third generation owners, is the second oldest rubber manufacturer in the country. The product line ranges from hand built hoses and tubing, molded goods, sheet goods, lathe cut gaskets and belts, which are sold to distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Their manufacturing process begins with importing raw natural rubber and flows through the final curing process of vulcanization, which converts the uncured products into extremely durable rubber goods ready for market.
The initial visit by New Jersey MEP field agent, Jim Schulz to Home Rubber Co., revealed that the entire internal Management Information System (MIS) was collapsing, resulting in a near shutdown of company operations. Further diagnostic analysis showed a significantly underdeveloped MIS for the needs of the organization. The system was poorly installed and there was virtually no support from the original contractor.
An overall revamping of the existing system was the challenge assigned to an NJMEP resource with expertise specific to MIS. As a result, the entire network operating systems and the systems software and hardware to achieve Y2K compliance were upgraded. Also, put into place were access to the Internet for e-mail, the worldwide web and integrating software packages, allowing them to work together.
The completed project produced a smoother, more efficient operation with improvements in all areas of internal communications. “We can see an immediate impact as a result of this project. I have confidence in the resource, in terms of skill level, responsiveness and integrity.” “They were conservative and did not try to sell us additional software but focused on cleaning up the existing network,” stated Balka.
The internal projections of the project are a $60,000 increase in overall operation improvements.