Client Successes

Customer Success Stories

The FloridaMakes network has serviced hundreds of manufacturers across the state since 2016. Learn about the impact our services have on companies' long-term business growth and productivity.

Our team helps manufacturers improve operations, increase profits, create or maintain jobs, and establish a foundation for long-term business growth and productivity. We tailor services to meet critical needs, ranging from process improvement and workforce development to specialized business practices, including supply chain integration, innovation, and technology transfer.

38 Entries
 
 
Attachments

Automation Drives Continued Sales Growth and Job Increases

Core Ingredients and Packaging Inc. is a minority owned manufacturing company for the pharmaceutical, sports nutritional, and dietary supplement industries. With more than fifteen years’ experience within this industry, they now employ approximately 50 skilled team members. They are focused on providing nutraceutical companies with high-quality ingredients (raw materials) for use in the manufacture of finished goods. The Company has recently invested heavily in automation to provide packaging services to their existing and expanding product and customer base. They also provide blister packaging for tablets, capsules and soft-gels as well as other packing needs including blow molded bottles and tops.

THE CHALLENGE

Driven by greater than 30% growth for 4 consecutive years, Core Ingredients and Packaging rationalized that their successes were due to an aggressive expansion of products and services to their existing clients. They wanted to capitalize on this winning formula and acquire a larger customer base, and turned to the South Florida Manufacturers Association, part of the FloridaMakes Network for assistance. The FloridaMakes Business Advisor assisted Core Ingredients and Packaging by reviewing their existing plan of initiatives. With a variety of initiatives on the table for consideration, the team quickly rationalized the long list of goals and established a proforma return for each initiative.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

To accomplish this, strategic investments were made in down-stream processes which were established as difficult for both their existing and desired customers to capitalize and implement. With financial strength and boundless energy, the Team began investing in considerable automation aligned with the established and rationalized initiatives. With documented priorities established and measurements in place, as well as a capital investment in excess of $400K of production equipment secured, the next requirement was implementation. FloridaMakes drafted a detailed implementation and training plan which matched the rationalized goals and proforma ROI. The training plan included all employees and utilized five OEM equipment vendors as providers for much of the training and implementation. The OEM trainers were brought in from as far away as Asia and coordinated with the start-up processes of the new automation. During the implementation, an internal training and sustainability process was established, ensuring the continuity and realization of value after the project closed. The project from start to finish was 13 months long and was completed on time, despite the onset of the Covid-19 Virus disruption.

RESULTS

  • Increased (New) Sales: $5M in (new) customer sales have been realized
  • Increased / Retained Jobs: Since the beginning of the project employment has increased by 21 employees
  • New Investments: Over $800K in total was invested in the realization of growth

TESTIMONIAL

Working with FloridaMakes has made, and will continue to make, a significant positive impact in the growth and operations of Core Ingredients Inc. We will continue to utilize FloridaMakes, and the South Florida Manufacturers Association as our “go-to” trusted experts.

— Dr. Rachana Arora, Director Core Ingredients Inc.


#ClientSuccessStory
#Southeast

Attachments

New Management System Improves Net Margin 100 Percent Year Over Year

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, EES Design provides design support and manufacturing conversions for internationally celebrated sculpture artists. The company combines old-school metal fabrication with modern design and fabrication technologies, leading to the creation of some of the world’s most magnificent art sculptures. While very successful and talented at converting raw materials into amazing artwork, EES Design did not have the visibility or management tools necessary to operate effectively and ensure long-term sustainability. EES Design called on FloridaMakes, part of the MEP National Network, to conduct an assessment of the business. FloridaMakes helped EES Design to establish job-based management tools to ensure reporting and accountability through each step of the business process, from job estimate to job delivery. The company retired its traditional accounting system in favor of a new Lean accounting system, boosting front office efficiency. The system continues to facilitate effective management on a daily basis, helping the company retain sales and jobs and realize cost savings. Meanwhile, the job-based profitability system doubled net income for EES Design.

RESULTS

  • 100% increase in net income year over year
  • $700,000 in retained sales
  • Cost savings of $24,000
  • Added/retained 4 jobs

#ClientSuccessStory
#Southeast

Attachments

Charting the Future

Founded in 1958, ADI Metal in Fort Lauderdale Florida (www.adimetal.com) continues the long-standing tradition of solution-based metals distribution boasting an impressive product line and successful track record and employs 12 people. In 199, Betsy McGee (President of ADI Metal) took over the company and guided its growth from humble beginnings to now supporting domestic and international metal fabrication and manufacturing with the supply of quality raw materials and value-added services for industries including commercial and private shipbuilding and repair, oil and gas, heavy and light industry, military, government agencies and prime contracting.

THE CHALLENGE

ADI Metal has the opportunity to capitalize on growth and further diversify the business. The challenge is breaking many traditions which have served the company well, that moving forward, will limiting the growth and value of the company.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

Partnering with FloridaMakes, ADI Metal has charted a new course for the future. Beginning with an enterprise assessment of the business performed by FloridaMakes, ADI has been able to realize over $75,000 of value within the first 6 months of the engagement.

Results

  • Cost Savings: $41,000
  • New Investment: $27,000 investment in plant, workforce, and process
  • Increased/retained Sales: 2.5% incremental sales
  • Other: 5% margin improvements

TESTIMONIAL

This is just the beginning as we strategically enable ADI Metal’s growth and continued profitability. Future plans include the implementation of new business systems and applied cost accounting tools to reduce overhead and effectively manage inventory value, rotation, and pricing policies which today are accomplished manually.

— Betsy McGee, President

There are plans to expand the business with additional locations capturing additional market share in the near future. We have strategically aligned ourselves with the FloridaMakes team and have been challenged by the depth and experience they represent, and their valuable contributions to our company so far.

— Mark Tortora, Chief Operating Officer


#ClientSuccessStory
#Southeast

Attachments

Process Improvements Increase Company’s Life-Saving Capacities

ACR Electronics, Inc., for over 60 years, has had the honor of designing and manufacturing lifesaving equipment for military forces, aviation, and space programs, as well as for maritime and outdoor enthusiasts. Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with around two hundred trusted employees, ACR Electronics capitalizes on technology expertise in the marine, aviation, outdoor, and military markets, and has become the leading manufacturing and development center for emergency beacons designed with one purpose in mind: saving lives. Following a series of ownership changes that disrupted growth plans, the company recently began acquiring other similar businesses. Company leaders decided to evaluate the Florida manufacturing facility, specifically its layout and manufacturing process flow, with the intent to consolidate manufacturing operations across existing and acquired product lines. Working with FloridaMakes, part of the MEP National Network, ACR Electronics completed a business assessment that focused on the physical conversion of raw materials within the Florida factory. Although the business was successful, manufacturing extension agents from FloridaMakes noted the potential for improvements in the company’s strategic direction, workflows and material handling, and quality and traceability processes. They also saw opportunities to improve the company’s cost recognition and cost reduction efforts, shop floor management, and documentation practices. FloridaMakes supported ACR Electronics in implementing a new layout and production flow, applying new tools, systems, and processes that reduced labor overtime by 50 percent. The enhancements positioned the company to further capitalize on manufacturing efficiencies, reducing direct costs and allowing additional manufacturing conversion from the acquired assets. With improved factory absorption, ACR Electronics is retaining sales and jobs and continuing to thrive.


#ClientSuccessStory
#Southeast

Attachments

Workforce Training for a Newly Merged Company Creates a Team that Increases its Competitive Edge

RND Automation & Engineering, LLC is Florida's premier custom machine builder. RND, with its 40 employees, engineers, designs, manufactures, and retrofits horizontal form, fill, and seal machines and provides custom automation and material handing machinery for industries and products as diverse as hydraulic valves, automotive sensors, and contact lenses. Their projects range from fully- automatic, high-speed robotic work cells to operator-assisted, semi-automatic workstations. With over 20 years of experience in industrial machinery design, they provide their clients with production-ready automated equipment that cuts labor costs and improves quality and production rates of their customers.

THE CHALLENGE

RND had purchased another machine builder and moved both companies into a new facility. As a result of the issues that arise from combining two separate cultures and processes into one operation, on-time delivery rates had dropped significantly, jeopardizing the stellar relationships they had developed over the years with their customers. The management team had determined that training would be necessary to help develop the two workforces into one cohesive team that would be able to meet the strategic objectives of the company. The training would help the company develop a culture and standard processes that would combine both companies into one, holistic company that would operate more efficiently and be more productive in order to meet and exceed the demands of its customers and not only maintain but increase the company’s competitive advantage.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

RND turned to David Ferguson, a FloridaMakes Business Advisor at the Sarasota Manatee Manufacturing Association (SAMA) for assistance. David conducted both a Lean Diagnostics Assessment and a Business Continuity Assessment with the management team. The discoveries from these assessments helped to solidify what the management team had already suspected but more importantly, helped the team to laser focus much of the training on the opportunities identified in the assessments. A FloridaMakes Business Advisor worked with RND Automation Senior Management to help develop a 12-month training program, source training providers, and project manage many of the training programs. FloridaMakes Business Advisors also helped RND obtain a training grant that reimbursed the company for 75% of most of the training costs.

RESULTS

  • Increased/Retained Sales: $800,000
  • Cost Savings: Nearly a quarter of a million dollars
  • New Investments: Approximately $180,000
  • Increased/Retained Jobs: 5

TESTIMONIAL

RND Automation is extremely grateful for FloridaMakes. Although we all know the value of training, it’s always difficult to justify the significant cost in both dollars and time that additional training requires. FloridaMakes has been instrumental in assisting RND in justifying those costs, by introducing us to available state grants and highly skilled trainers.

We’ve increased our training budget overall, but more importantly, the value of the training we’re receiving relative to our spend is well over our spend. For every dollar we spend, this year, we’re receiving four dollars of training (due in part to the grants and negotiated discounts). I can’t recommend FloridaMakes enough. We were already competitive in our market but elevating our entire staff in this way is building us into a powerhouse.

— Aaron Laine, Director of Operations


#ClientSuccessStory
#Sarasota-Manatee
#1-50
#PerformanceAssessment
#WorkforceTraining+Development

Attachments

Market Reorganization Leads to Profound Growth

Karins Engineering Group, Inc. is a Sarasota-based structural engineering consulting firm with approximately 55 employees offering structural engineering design, existing buildings consulting and forensic engineering services to private and public sector clients from six offices throughout Florida.The firm had a growth challenge in the South Florida market as the Ft. Lauderdale office was undergoing a leadership change. As it was planning for the growth of the office given the talents of the employees in the office, the firm needed to understand the potential client base better.


#ClientSuccessStory
#Sarasota-Manatee
#51-200
#MarketDevelopment

Attachments

Implementation of New Business Operating System Improves Top and Bottom Lines

Eric Rosenthal is the CEO of Florikan ESA, a Sarasota, Florida based manufacturer and distributor of control release fertilizers. The family owned business employs 66 workers in two branches. Its key products are Nutricote, a high-end fertilizer specifically for the ornamental market, and Gal-Xe, which is sold into broader markets including turf, agriculture, and ornamentals.The company’s challenge was strategic direction. Leadership had some opinions on the topic and wanted assistance clarifying and solidifying it. CEO Eric Rosenthal worked with GrowFL to implement the firm’s first strategic planning endeavor.

As part of GrowFL’s work to support manufacturers through FloridaMakes (a NIST MEP affiliate), Rosenthal participated in GrowFL’s CEO Roundtable and worked with the moderator to complete a comprehensive strategic plan. GrowFL introduced him to the business operating system described in the book Traction, which he implemented in its entirety with GrowFL’s guidance and counsel. Creating goals and accountability has improved both top and bottom lines.

RESULTS

  • 16 jobs created or retained
  • $300,000 in increased/retained sales
  • Cost savings of $250,000

#ClientSuccessStory
#Sarasota-Manatee
#51-200
#ExecutiveServices

Attachments

New Strategic Direction Leads to Increased Productivity

Quality Enclosures, located in Sarasota, Florida, is a family owned and operated manufacturer of shower doors. They employ more than 200 workers with branches in Jacksonville, Florida; Marietta, Georgia; Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Central Islip and Ronkonkoma, New York; and Port Orange, Florida. Their key products are heavy glass enclosures with key markets being new construction and remodeling. Quality Enclosures was encountering some uncertainty regarding options for a new strategic direction. Company leadership asked GrowFL to assist with providing data and consulting expertise to clarify and solidify their thinking.


#ClientSuccessStory
#Sarasota-Manatee
#201-500
#ExecutiveServices

Attachments

ISO Compliant Corrective Action Training Leads to Increased Sales

Founded in 1978, Mullet’s Aluminum Products, Inc. is an award-winning industry leader providing quality products and superior installation services to the Condominium, Residential, Commercial and Transportation markets. The company has over 240 full-time employees working in five divisions: Windows & Doors Division, Metal Roofing Division; Railing, Gates & Misc. Metals Division; Walkway Canopy & Carports Division; and Screen Enclosures Division. The company provides “fabrication and supply only” or “fabrication and installation” services throughout Florida and beyond.

THE CHALLENGE

A large government customer sent all their suppliers notification that they must meet specific compliance requirements with their new standards which were nearly identical to ISO 9001:2015 standards. Though the processes and procedures Mullet’s Aluminum developed over the years complied with the many of the newly required standards, there were some documentation requirements that the company did not have in place. Failure to pass an upcoming compliance audit would cause Mullet’s Aluminum to lose certification renewal and potential business with this customer.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

Mullet’s contracted with FloridaMakes, a NIST MEP affiliate and member of the MEP National Network, to provide training on components of ISO 9001:2015 specific to the customer’s requirements. The process of documenting processes per the standard not only enabled the company to pass the audit and maintain certification, it also resulted in improved operating processes and procedures, increasing quality and efficiency moving forward. Due to the success of the training program, Mullet’s Aluminum has further contracted with FloridaMakes to help them become fully ISO 9001:2015 compliant and certified.

RESULTS

  • Approximately increase or retained sales over 3 years: $500,000
  • Cost Savings: $1,400
  • Created or Retained Jobs: 3

TESTIMONIAL

We recently needed assistance with a program review and training project, so we contacted FloridaMakes for assistance—and within a brief period of time—were provided the necessary resources and expertise. FloridaMakes also assisted our company in obtaining a state training grant. It was incredibly beneficial for our team and company. FloridaMakes provided an invaluable resource to our company and we would highly recommend to any other manufacturer seeking expertise and/or assistance.

— Nathan Yoder, Director of Marketing


#ClientSuccessStory
#Sarasota-Manatee
#201-500
#Standards+RegulatoryCompliance

Attachments

Growth Advice Leads to New Business and New Location

Cruise Car, Inc., is the premier General Service Administration (GSA) and National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) approved Need-Specific-Vehicle vendor for 50,000+ government agencies, universities, resorts, and non-profits worldwide. Headquartered in Sarasota, FL, Cruise Car, Inc. was founded in 2005, and is owned by Nathan Kalin and Adam Sulimirski. They employ 20 people who provide key products that include light-duty utility vehicles, heavy-duty utility vehicles, custom golf carts, handicap carts, two to four passenger ambulance vehicles, as well as trams and trailers.

As a result of a 100% rate of growth, Adam Sulimirski, President, was faced with a need for working capital to maintain growth. The situation was shared through the GrowFL CEO Roundtables. These roundtables are part of GrowFL’s work to support manufacturers through FloridaMakes, a program that has continued to make meaningful differences. The group of CEOs advised against equity exchange and steered Sulimirski to private financing.

Results

  • $1 million line of credit
  • Move to 18,000 square foot location, tripling size
  • Increase in sales beyond prior year

I really appreciate the GrowFL CEO Roundtables available through FloridaMakes. One quickly realizes that we share the same stresses. We may talk about how to deal with a certain employee, logistics issues, market challenges, pay incentives, or how a certain book made an impact. I go in with a notebook and even if a problem being discussed is not currently a concern of mine, I take note knowing that as I grow, the I might face the same issue eventually. It's a great place to let your guard down and share your victories and challenges. People get emotional and really open up.

— Adam Sulimirski, President, Cruise Car, Inc.


#ClientSuccessStory
#Sarasota-Manatee
#1-50
#ExecutiveServices

Attachments

Partnership Helps Company Meet EPA Requirements

Artistic Stoneworks is a full service Kitchen and Bath Company serving Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Okaloosa County, Walton County, and the entire 30-A corridor since 2003. FloridaMakes partnered with the University of West Florida’s (UWF's) engineering department to support Artistic Stone Works with planning and implementing a slurry biodegradation system to capture and eliminate water contamination. In a slurry biodegradation system, an aqueous slurry is created by combining soil or sludge with water. This slurry is then biodegraded aerobically using a self-contained reactor or in a lined lagoon. A three-step precipitation process was developed to reduce the stone slurry discharge of the company’s wastewater. The first 2 precipitation steps eliminate 90% of the stone slurry from the wastewater and the final treatment is a biodegradation process. This eliminated the potential issue with the contaminated water run-off hazard to meet EPA requirements.

RESULTS

  • $400,000 in new investments
  • $225,000 in increased/retained sales
  • $150,000 in cost savings
  • 20 increased/retained jobs

#ClientSuccessStory
#Northwest
#1-50
#Standards+RegulatoryCompliance

Attachments

Product Specification and Training by Industry Expert Keeps Company on Track for New Product Introduction

AVALEX Technologies is a leading design and manufacturer of rugged avionics and electronics for the defense, law enforcement, search and rescue, and commercial operators. Located in Gulf Breeze, Florida, AVALEX has been in business since 1992. They design and build communication management units, smart displays, tablets, digital mapping systems, digital video recorders, mission computers, and cockpit pressure oxygen warning systems.

THE CHALLENGE

AVALEX needed to comply with a very proprietary standard per their customer’s specification for a new product, and they had a very tight time schedule to meet. AVALEX was not able to find an experienced resource in this requirement that could provide them with the knowledge and training to help prepare for their new product roll out and customer audits.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

With the help of the local FloridaMakes Business Advisor, Mary Nuital, who reached out to the MEP network across the state, an industry expert for this proprietary customer specification was located. The expert resource was quickly retained and brought in to help AVALEX ensure that they could meet the requirements of the specification, train employees and stay on schedule.

RESULTS

  • Retained sales: Achieved customer schedule for new product introduction
  • Retained jobs: Trained the workforce on new product specification

TESTIMONIAL

The industry expert that FloridaMakes was able to find, helped AVALEX confirm our process and procedure capability, clarify open questions regarding the requirements, and provide the training needed for our employees to be able to produce products that met the proprietary requirements of our customer. The connection also helped to establish a new supply partnership for services needed going forward.

— Renee Oakley, HR Manager and Keith Dotson, Quality Assurance Manager


#ClientSuccessStory
#Northwest
#51-200
#WorkforceTraining+Development

Attachments

Investing in Employees Pays Back with BIG Dividends

In 1926, W. D. McRae established Rex Lumber Company, a family-owned business in Graceville, Florida. The mill started as a cypress sawmill and later became an oak flooring manufacturer. Rex Lumber operates some of the most technologically advanced sawmills in the Southeast, and currently employs approximately 500 people. As a progressive and technologically advanced company, Rex Lumber understands that professional development is key to their continued success, growth strategy, employee satisfaction, and retention. Finding the right opportunities for employee engagement is difficult and expensive. Key Rex Lumber employees participated in a three-day project management professional technical engagement promoting professional development sponsored by Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council (NWFMC), the local regional manufacturers association, in partnership with the University of West Florida, and FloridaMakes. During the engagement, employees learned valuable tools and techniques to help them improve the success rate of their ongoing projects by applying standardized and proven project management principles. By better utilizing personnel, equipment, and resources, they are now able to complete their projects on time and within budget while maintaining excellent customer quality and satisfaction. The direct impact of the engagement to Rex Lumber included the ability to increase annual sales, project future growth of the business, and invest in plant and equipment to meet future demands.

RESULTS

  • $1,000,000 in new or retained sales
  • $25,000 in cost savings
  • $4,065,000 in new investment
  • 6 new or retained jobs

#ClientSuccessStory
#Northwest
#51-200
#WorkforceTraining+Development

Attachments

Honeycomb Aircraft Repair Grows with Regional Network and Vendors

Honeycomb Aircraft Repair, LLC, (HARC), located in Cantonment, Florida, is recognized as a leader in the repair and overhaul of bonded metal-to-metal, metal-to-honeycomb, and honeycomb to epoxy-composite assemblies for commercial and military fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. The company has 12 full-time employees and plans on adding more experienced craftspeople due to anticipated growth in the next 5 years. They are a privately-owned company whose sister company, Honeycomb Company of America, is located in Sarasota, FL.

HARC had recently relocated to Northwest Florida to develop a robust repair center. They needed to locate local vendors to supply parts and services to support their growth in the region. The company turned to the local FloridaMakes Business Advisor for assistance with locating qualified fabrication shops that could build detailed tooling parts for their repair lines and other support.

Results

  • $250,000 in increased sales
  • 12 created or retained jobs
Honeycomb Aircraft Repair Center is relatively new to the area having started manufacturing operations at our Cantonment facility in 2017. We had been searching for reliable, high quality vendors for machined and formed components for the products that we build. John Davis, the FloridaMakes Business Advisor @UWF reached out to us and offered services that included making connections to qualified local vendors to fulfill our needs. The services provided are a win-win for Northwest Florida businesses in that it helps our company and our vendors build revenue and create jobs. We encourage other local businesses to join the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council to provide a network where we all can benefit.

— Mike Petkauskos, Director of Engineering


#ClientSuccessStory
#Northwest
#1-50
#WorkforceTraining+Development

Attachments

Certified Manufacturing, Inc. (CMI) is a woman-owned small business specializing in the manufacture and test of cables and wire harnesses, circuit cards, electro-mechanical, and parts procurement and kitting services. They are AS9100 Certified and provide turn-key fabrication to demanding aerospace specifications. CMI has provided top quality parts to DoD, NASA and Aerospace clients for over 20 years!

THE CHALLENGE

Like most small businesses, CMI does not have a full time IT staff. Management knew that to continue to bid on and win Department of Defense (DoD) contracts, they must meet DoD Cybersecurity requirements spelled out in NIST 800-171 and prepare themselves for the upcoming Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). CMI management knew they lacked the inhouse cybersecurity experience and turned to the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council, part of the FloridaMakes network, for guidance.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

The FloridaMakes Business Advisor worked with and nominated CMI to be part of a DoD and NIST MEP pilot program to assist manufacturers in the defense industrial base meet the stringent cybersecurity requirements. After a nationwide search, CMI was chosen as one of eleven manufacturers throughout the US to receive a grant to aid in NIST 800-171 assessment and to address the state of their current cybersecurity compliance. The Business Advisor and CMI interviewed multiple FloridaMakes vetted cybersecurity third party providers (TPP) and chose a provider that fit the company’s needs. After receiving their assessment, CMI discovered much work was needed and continued working with the TPP to implement a full networking equipment upgrade, security control implementations, as well as assistance with creating company policies and procedures, and employee cybersecurity awareness training. With the assistance of the TPP, CMI was able to meet all current contractual requirements and is poised towards meeting the new CMMC requirements, all within a tight 90-day timeframe. CMI is proud to say they are CMMC Level 3 Compliant and eagerly await the opportunity for their CMMC Certification audit!

RESULTS

  • Increased/Retained Sales: Renewal of $1M in DoD awarded contracts that will soon require CMMC Level 3 Certification
  • Cost Savings: Awarded $20K NIST MEP Cybersecurity for DoD Manufacturers grant

TESTIMONIAL

CMI has recently (over the past year) been approached by several major prime contractors to bid on projects that had flow down requirements including being compliant to NIST 800-171CMI and FloridaMakes immediately started the vetting process and within a short period of time we contracted with our chosen teammates. The selection process was detailed and certainly eye opening. We had no idea the depth of the cybersecurity requirements – our local IT consultant said this was way over his head and we needed to outsource this effort.

That is exactly what we did with our FloridaMakes Business Advisor, Daniel Krug, who guided us to a solution that was going to work for our company’s needs. Together we interviewed many cyber security and physical security providers and ultimately selected our team. FloridaMakes and CMI structured the contract terms and immediately started to execute the plan.

The plan was to be NIST 800-171 compliant and CMMC Level 3 ready in 90 days! This plan was communicated to our primes and accepted as a way forward with those programs that had the flow down requirement to be NIST 800-171 compliant. Within 60 days we were NIST 800-171 and our prime contractors are extremely impressed and even more so with our current status of being CMMC Level 3 ready and on schedule! Without our FloridaMakes Business Advisor this critical milestone would not have been possible for CMI.

— Pamela Bechtold, President and Robert Bechtold, VP, Chief Operations Officer


#ClientSuccessStory
#Northwest
#1-50
#Cybersecurity

Attachments

TSL

Marketing and Opportunity Assessment Leads to Growth

Technical Services Laboratory (TSL) is a one-source supplier for today’s electronic and mechanical challenges, from product engineering concepts to final creation. The company has compiled an enviable record of innovation in the areas of microwave amplifier development, power distribution, weather instrumentation, and digital switching systems. TSL needed new revenue streams to continue to grow. Since the 1970s, the company has always innovated its business model to achieve growth with its military supply chain job orders. TSL joined the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council (NWFMC) in 2017, and Corbin took advantage of the CoreValue Assessment provided by FloridaMakes, part of the MEP National Network™. As part of the CoreValue Assessment, the University of West Florida/FloridaMakes Business Advisor researched TSL’s business market, generating an in-depth growth plan for the company. FloridaMakes also compiled a list of other regional manufacturers that could provide opportunities for additional revenue streams for TSL. Corbin utilized the growth plan, networking, and follow-through process to unlock potential business gaps and analyze possible revenue sources for the company. After investing in training, TSL created profitable and sustainable business relationships to garner additional work and revenue, impacting jobs and sales.


#ClientSuccessStory
#Northwest
#1-50
#MarketDevelopment

Attachments

Finding Quality Employees Through Strategic Connections

Gulf Coast Building Products, Inc. offers a wide variety of aluminum extrusion, insulated and non insulated roofing, vinyl siding and accessories, new construction or replacement windows, handrails and much more for residential and commercial properties in the Gulf Coast region.

GCBP joined the Northwest Florida Manufacturing Council and was introduced to one of its partners FloridaMakes, which is part of the MEP National Network™. The University of West Florida/Florida Makes Business Advisors connected GCBPPresident Ray Mayer to CareerSource Escarosa for hiring fairs and staffing support. Through this connection, GCBP has been able to identify and hire quality employees. GCBP also plans to hire additional employees as the company continues to expand its operations and facility.

RESULTS

  • $20,000 in cost savings
  • 6 increased/retained jobs
  • $40,000 increased/retained sales
  • $85,000 in new investment
  • $30,000 in savings on investments

#ClientSuccessStory
#Northwest
#1-50
#WorkforceTraining+Development

Attachments

CEO Roundtable Group Collaboration Helps Company Increase Sales

Employing 80 and headquartered in Jacksonville, FL with a branch in Boston, Holmes Stamp & Sign manufactures customized products ranging from rubber stamps to name tags, which are the key products, and also works in the e-commerce field in regards to these products. As part of GrowFL’s work to support manufacturers through FloridaMakes, GrowFL’s CEO Roundtables provided CEO Bryan Croft with the advice he needed in order to compete in the changing e-commerce world. By discussing the issues that all of the CEOs in the group face with the prevalence of Amazon Bryan was able to maneuver his business through this constantly changing market and lead to 15 new/retained jobs and increasing sales by 47%.


#ClientSuccessStory
#Northeast
#GrowFLCEORoundtable

Attachments

Strategic Planning Creates Jobs, Sales and Cost Savings

Nu-Trend Plastics, a division of Corrigan and Company, Inc., was founded in 1980 as a custom manufacturer of plastic thermoformed products. Six full-time employees deliver plastic material solutions to the airline industry, food industry, and research departments around the world from their Jacksonville, Florida location. A fourth-generation family-owned company, Nu-Trend takes great pride in designing the exact packaging product to fit the customers’ needs.

THE CHALLENGE

Critical areas at Nu-Trend Plastics required attention for the company to be successful and grow. Sales were declining, and expenses were remaining the same, resulting in a negative effect on the profit margin.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

Nu-Trend Plastics wanted to restructure the organization to reflect changes occurring in the corporate structure and develop a strategic plan that would help them focus the business on future customer market penetration. They also wanted to invest in improving communication with employees and create a more cohesive team.

Nu-Trend was connected to the FloridaMakes network, a NIST MEP affiliate and member of the MEP National Network, through their membership in the First Coast Manufacturing Association (FCMA). The FloridaMakes Business Advisor at FMCA completed an assessment and helped Nu-Trend complete a strategic plan, redirecting the business focus on current business activities and future plans. Duties were reassigned and the marketing plan and website were updated. These activities maximized efficiency and increased profit margins. The company also gained two new clients.

RESULTS

  • Cost Savings: $95,000
  • New or Retained Sales: $100,000
  • Created or Retained Jobs: 6

TESTIMONIAL

I was introduced to our Business Advisor, Paula DeLuca, at a workshop sponsored by FCMA. In our initial meeting, Paula gained a good understanding of our needs and recommended strategic planning. With Paula’s assistance, we now have a strategic plan that has helped our business grow.

Paula’s invaluable expertise also helped us receive funding for important training that we could not have otherwise afforded. It has been a pleasure having Paula as our Business Advisor, helping us with our business planning and strategy. We highly recommend Paula DeLuca, FCMA, and the FloridaMakes network to any other manufacturing business.

— Kelly Wood, President


#ClientSuccessStory
#Northeast
#1-50
#StrategicPlanning+LeadershipDevelopment

Attachments

On the Job Training Leads to Cost Savings and Jobs

Resolute Tissue is a leading, value-driven, low-cost, vertically integrated paper manufacturer and a member of the Manufacturers Association of Central Florida. The company provides sustainable premium and recycled tissues and towels for the retail and away-from-home markets. Resolute Tissue enjoyed steady business, but the company was experiencing high workforce turnover. The plant’s sophisticated equipment required expensive on-the-job training (OJT) for Resolute Tissue employees. The FloridaMakes business advisor researched available support in the region and led an effort to qualify Resolute Tissue for OJT financial support from the local CareerSource agency. Resolute Tissue hired new team members and updated job descriptions to reduce future turnover. It also implemented a system for monitoring the turnover rate to determine the impact of the OJT training.


#ClientSuccessStory
#CentralFlorida
#201-500
#WorkforceTraining+Development

Attachments

Sterling Assessment Leads to Business Improvements

Roomy Design Organizers is a privately held standalone business located in Apopka, Florida with seventeen full time employees. The business has serviced the Closet Industries in the State of Florida and nearby states since 2005 by cutting materials to exact specifications for closet organization kits. The 20,000 square foot manufacturing facility also offers drafting renders, parts, and service to the Closet Industries with their one stop shopping business model.

THE CHALLENGE

Roomy Design Organizers ownership realized it was an opportune time to improve their employee culture and business practices as they moved into their 20,000 square foot facility in 2018. Ownership enlisted the company in the annual Sterling Manufacturing Business Excellence (SMBE) Awards process. The SMBE is a derivative of the national Malcolm Baldrige program, and this assessment awards process is administered by FloridaMakes in partnership with the Florida Sterling Council. Participation in this process would enlighten management on how the company compared to known best practices in six different business operating categories. Management would then have a clear vision on where to prioritize their improvement efforts.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

The relationship with FloridaMakes Business Advisor affiliated with the Manufacturers Association of Central Florida (MACF) from the SMBE awards process led to a multiyear strategic plan with ownership that started with a Business Continuity Assessment for disaster readiness preparation. Additionally, with the assistance of FloridaMakes, Roomy Design management acquired industrial engineering support to assist in optimizing the plant layout, machine capabilities, and administrative efficiencies. FloridaMakes is also assisting with a strategy for diversifying the Roomy Design product offering.

RESULTS

  • Cost savings: $98,000 from improved machine capacity and avoided capital investment.
  • Training: $73,000 in Lean process improvement training.
  • New products: $57,200 in new product development and diversification.

TESTIMONIAL

FloridaMakes has been an important partner in our business improvement activities. They are assisting Roomy Design with business continuity, operations efficiencies, and product line diversification.

— Armando Pacheco, Operations Manager


#ClientSuccessStory
#CentralFlorida
#1-50
#ContinuousImprovement

Attachments

Core Value Assessment Leads to Distinguished Industry Award

A.M. Metal Finishing, Inc. (A.M.) is a premier, family-owned metal finishing company with over 32 years of experience. Located in Orlando, Florida, they are an approved vendor for many of Orlando's industrial, commercial and aerospace/defense companies including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, NASA, and Walt Disney World Co. A.M.’s 25 employees specialize in color anodizing, hard coat anodizing, bulk anodizing, rack anodizing, architectural anodizing, chromate conversion, electro polishing, passivation, powder coating, Teflon coating, nylon coating, salt spray testing, humidity testing, black oxide, abrasive blasting, selective masking, and dry film lubricant.

THE CHALLENGE

A.M. has participated in many training and continuous improvement strategies over the years. The company has a team-based structure with strong employee participation and solid company performance. With no known challenges ahead, senior management was spending all of their time addressing the issues of the day, neglecting the big picture for long periods. NIST MEP affiliate FloridaMakes stepped in to motivate and assist A.M. in achieving higher performance levels.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

FloridaMakes Business Advisor Dan Sutter recommended a CoreValue Assessment to reset the baseline of A.M.'s performance. The CoreValue Assessment systematically measures a company's position against 18 key business elements, producing red flags for any element that is weak when compared against known best practices. The assessment put important business elements in front of the owner for fast evaluation, including legal issues, product differentiation, brand considerations, and customer diversification. Based on findings from the assessment, A.M. hired an experienced operations manager and addressed key areas for improvement. After implementing these changes, the company received the "Top 50 Shops Award" by Products Finishing magazine.

RESULTS

  • Award: Received “Top 50 Shops” Award from Products Finishing Magazine
  • Increased/Retained Jobs: Hired an Operations Manager – created 1 new job

TESTIMONIAL

I came to the realization that my business would be in peril if anything happened to my health. The livelihood of all of our employees would be at risk. The CoreValue Assessment has been an excellent management tool for highlighting key elements of our business that are opportunities for improvement, and the discipline to address all 18 elements helped position A.M. Metal Finishing for the 'Top 50 Shops Award.'

— Rick Hunter, Owner


#ClientSuccessStory
#CentralFlorida
#1-50
#PerformanceAssessment

Attachments

ISO Certification Secures New Customer, Boosts Revenue

Custom Metal Designs is a leading provider of container handling systems based in Oakland, Florida. With close to 60 employees, Custom Metal Designs has built a reputation for high quality and on-time delivery to both national and international customers. In addition to container handling, the company offers laser cutting services, custom conveyor systems, custom metal products, and prototyping.

FloridaMakes worked with the Custom Metal Designs management team to review the ISO 9001:2015 procedures and conduct internal audits to identify gaps in their existing QMS. The team implemented improvements and updated their documentation according to recommendations from FloridaMakes. With the ISO training, the team gained a stronger sense of discipline for following procedures and identifying the root causes of problems that arise.

Custom Metal Designs successfully passed their ISO 9001:2015 audit within the required timeframe. In addition to the increased revenue from the new customer, the certification qualifies the company to pursue more contracts from the Department of Defense and original equipment manufacturers.

RESULTS

  • Secured new contract, increased annual revenue by $1,800,000
  • Obtained ISO 9001:2015 certification within 1 year
The ISO 9001:2015 training assistance provided by FloridaMakes shortened our learning curve on the Quality Standard, and this led to our timely certification. Dan Sutter's help was extremely important for the continued growth and success of our company.

Since becoming ISO 9001:2015 certified in 2018, we have added over 20 new positions, increasing our workforce by 30% in less than 18 months.

— Ray Aguerrevere, Vice President, Custom Metal Designs


#ClientSuccessStory
#51-200
#ContinuousImprovement
#CentralFlorida

Attachments

Woman-Owned Manufacturer Poised for Future Growth

Superior Handling Equipment, LLC in Ormond beach, Florida is a woman-owned, private standalone business whose 14 employees produce a speed lift product line. For 40 years they have produced speed lifts with maximum flexibility and customized options that enhance safety, durability, reliability and operational efficiency for most material handling applications. Superior has a broad and loyal customer base including supermarket chains, national retailers, hospitals, schools, manufacturing and general industrial applications. While Superior has earned a reputation for high quality, the company’s President and Business Development Director realized the need to align its business processes with quality systems. FloridaMakes, a NIST MEP affiliate, was contacted to review the situation and it was determined that pursuing ISO9001:2015 was the best approach. The ISO9001:2015 is the new standard; any company under the current ISO9001:2008 standard is required to convert to the ISO9001:2015 standard by September 2018. FloridaMakes contacted specialists to train Superior employees on ISO 9001:2015 protocol and standard compliance.

RESULTS

  • Awarded the ISO9001:2015 Certification
  • Increase in sales of 20%
  • 2 new employees hired
  • Order to cash cycle reduced by 10%
  • Patents filed on a second new product line to be marketing in 2017

#CentralFlorida
#ClientSuccessStory
#1-50
#Standards+RegulatoryCompliance

Attachments

Six Sigma Black Belt Project Yields Scrap Reduction and Labor Savings

FloMet LLC specializes in complex, precision components used in a multitude of industries including medical, aerospace, automotive, and defense. FloMet continues to expand its capabilities and innovate advancements in metal injection molding. Through innovation, the company has delivered highly-detailed, complex metal components at reduced lead time to market and has lower costs compared to alternative technologies such as die casting. FloMet was producing a part with a difficult design. The part had a 38 percent scrap yield valued at $170,000 annually. The company was also investing a substantial amount of time inspecting these parts and ultimately remaking the parts.The part was the subject of a required project during a Six Sigma Black Belt Training Curriculum that was coordinated by FloridaMakes, part of the MEP National Network. The Six Sigma data-driven quality strategy consists of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC). This strategy was applied to the total process required to make the part. Several of the Six Sigma tools were employed at different stages of the part's value-added processes and the root cause of most of the scrap was discovered. Permanent corrective actions were implemented to eliminate this common defect.

RESULTS

  • $173,600 in cost savings
  • 32% increase in First Pass Yield on part
  • 84.7% reduction in scrap yield on part

#ClientSuccessStory
#51-200
#ContinuousImprovement
#CentralFlorida

Attachments

GrowFL and FloridaMakes Help Company Negotiate and Earn Lucrative Deal

Based in Orlando, FL, NanoSpective, Inc. specializes in materials science with a special emphasis on nanoscale materials characterization. The woman-owned company employs a staff of eight and provides analytical services and solutions for intellectual property issues, failure analysis, quality control, and materials research. Since incorporation in 2003, NanoSpective has grown into a distinctive company by providing custom analytical services with academic level attention to detail.

Co-founder and President, Brenda Prenitzer, recognized early on the importance of seeking help and utilizing local resources to assist in certain areas. She decided to augment her capabilities by joining GrowFL’s CEO Roundtable Program, through the FloridaMakes network, to gain access to other like-minded CEOs. The decision paid off in more ways than one when one of NanoSpective’s largest clients was involved in litigation, and a large percentage of their work disappeared.

Results

  • $450,000 in new investment
  • $500,000 in new or retained sales
I'll sometimes work an entire weekend without sleep. Even if I'm completely exhausted, I'll make time for the Roundtable. It's about making time to work on your business and not in it. I always feel refreshed and come away with new knowledge. I can honestly say there hasn't been a single meeting where I felt disinterested or bored of what was being discussed. We all have different businesses, but our struggles and concerns are all very similar. It's remarkable.

— Brenda Prenitzer, Co-founder and President, Nanospective


#ClientSuccessStory
#CentralFlorida

Attachments

Bell Performance Increases Sales by $250,000

Bell Performance develops and manufactures fuel additives that improve fuel performance. This woman-owned business that employs 13 is headquartered in Longwood, FL, and has a sales office in Casselberry, FL. Its key products are Dee-zol, a multi-function, multi-treatment for diesel fuel that helps remove water, provides extra power and added lubricity and reduces emissions while improving efficiency. As part of GrowFL’s work to support manufacturers through FloridaMakes (a NIST MEP affiliate), GrowFL provided Bell Performance with assistance to verify and quantify a market opportunity calling for the launch of a new service division, and assistance with structuring it and promoting it. Through targeted research and datasets, GrowFL helped Bell confirm a quantifiable, addressable and growing market opportunity for its proposed service division.

RESULTS

  • 2 new/retained jobs
  • $250,000 increased/retained sales
  • Purchased new vehicles, equipment and supplies for new division
  • Focused marketing dollars instead of the larger planned expenditures

#ClientSuccessStory
#CentralFlorida

Attachments

Lean Thinking Paves the Way to Reduce Order Timelines

Gexpro Services is a world-class supply chain services outsource provider that specializes in developing and managing production inventory management programs. With three locations in Florida, Gexpro’s managed inventory programs support OEM clients with engineered production material specifications, fulfillment, and quality requirements. Gexpro Sevices had an issue with delays in orders for overseas customers. To address this issue, the company decided to send three key employees to a Certified Lean Practitioner course. The course gave the participants from Gexpro tools to critically analyze routine operations and define how each step of the process affected the overall production timeline. By dissecting and analyzing the steps of the ordering process, the employees discovered that placing orders in the system a few hours earlier in the day resulted in customers in Europe and Asia receiving the orders almost a full week earlier. The adjustment greatly reduced the number of late orders and associated costs.

RESULTS

  • Reduced ordering time by 6 days
  • Reduced expedited costs for late orders
  • Provided Certified Lean Practitioner training for 3 employees

#ClientSuccessStory
#CentralFlorida

Attachments

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING LEADS TO INCREASED SALES

Founded in 1999, and headquartered in Clearwater, FL, McCormick Stevenson Corporation’s key markets are the aerospace and defense industries, and its key product is high g-load munitions design.

THE CHALLENGE

Noel and his team reached out to GrowFL for assistance as they were looking to expand their social media marketing strategy and engagement to promote their brand and create awareness in the marketplace.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

As part of GrowFL’s work to support manufacturers through FloridaMakes, GrowFL educated the company’s leadership on social media marketing strategy and best practices. Through McCormick Stevenson’s work with FloridaMakes and GrowFL and their participation in the CEO Roundtables, the company’s sales increased by $50,000, and they were able to retain $10,000 in sales.

RESULTS

  • Increased/retained Jobs: Hire Social Media Manager
  • Increased/retained Sales” $60,000

TESTIMONIAL

GrowFL helped us to put some structure around previously unstructured activity,” McCormick said. “Specifically, with regard to social media engagements, they helped us understand the purpose and target for each channel - that our website should be the foundation for all digital marketing and media, and we should consider others for different purposes.

— Noel McCormick, Owner


#ClientSuccessStory
#1-50
#ExecutiveServices
#BayArea(Tampa)

Attachments

Manufacturer Diversifies After Budget Cuts

Established in 1997 and headquartered in Pinellas Park, FL, Custom Manufacturing & Engineering, Inc. specializes in organic design, build-to-print and build-to-spec solutions from power supplies to custom automated test equipment and other electrical/electronics assemblies and subassemblies. The company employs 30 people, is woman-owned, has no branch offices and custom designs and manufactures power products including power supplies, power distribution and power testing equipment to the defense, automotive, and educational industries in addition to general industrial clients. Through their partnership with FloridaMakes, GrowFL helped founder Dr. Crews build a business plan, conduct competitive analysis and secure target customer lists. After determining which industries to diversify into, the company has addressed those industries with growing success.

RESULTS

  • Diversified into 2 new markets
  • 20% increased/retained jobs

#BayArea(Tampa)
#ClientSuccessStory
#1-50
#MarketDevelopment

Attachments

PROCESS ANALYSIS AND DEVELOPMENT LEAD TO COST SAVINGS AND IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY

JTD Enterprises, Inc., (JTD) is a privately held manufacturing organization located in Lutz, Florida with 12 employees. JTD specializes in the manufacture and distribution of custom flag pole designs and tubular assemblies for the defense industry. JTD is a second-generation family owned business that is now being run by the founder’s son Tom Nihra, and his wife Deni Nihra. They have achieved explosive growth over the past 10 years, with the most recent annual revenue climbing to roughly $3M.

THE CHALLENGE

JTD Enterprises' solid growth trajectory resulted in an increased sense of urgency to get orders out on time and to do so in an efficient/cost effective manner. The current leadership, Tom and Deni Nihra, realized they needed some “expertise” to help realize these desires and relied on to FloridaMakes to help.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

After the initial FloridaMakes Enterprise Assessment was conducted with leadership it was discovered that the immediate key areas of improvement for JTD related to operational efficiency and process improvement. A need for standard operating procedures was also identified as a paramount need to any future process improvement.

The methodology to warrant solutions to their improvement needs involved identifying all manufacturing processes within one work center, conducting process improvement training with staff as determined by the leadership team, and documenting processes based upon the leadership team’s order of priority. During these steps, future process improvements were defined and documented in an overall project plan. These process improvement efforts included utilizing traditional Lean tools as well as Six Sigma type methods including Value Stream Mapping.

Future process improvement plans also incorporated a methodology for defining key metrics. Once key metrics were defined, key metrics utilization would include the use of metrics for day to day operations, and metric analysis. Most important to the metric rollout was the ability to currently identify future improvement opportunities.

RESULTS

  • Cost Savings: $75K to date and increasing due to increased efficiency
  • Culture: Transition from managed to self-managed workforce leadership
  • Improved Productivity: Production exceeded daily goals of 19 of the 22 working days in the past month
  • Other: Performance metrics monitored daily and outliers are addressed in real time

TESTIMONIAL

When we started this project with FloridaMakes we were hoping to get some help in documenting our current production process, but what we got was so much more! This became an in-depth study of our process which helped us identify inefficiencies in our production. Our consultant guided us through analyzing this information and helped us formulate a plan to make changes to increase the efficiency of our operation. With these changes, we have exceeded our production goals for more than 85% of the days last month.

The consultant challenged both management and staff to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone and consider the idea of a self-managed group. We have already started to undertake this process and have seen great improvements in both morale and productivity.

Our work with FloridaMakes has been an outstanding experience and I hope more manufacturers take advantage of this valuable resource that is available to us right in our own backyard!

—Tom Nihra, Vice President


#ClientSuccessStory
#1-50
#ContinuousImprovement
#BayArea(Tampa)

Attachments

Successful Composite Manufacturer Constructs Agile Plan For Continued Growth

Neptune Research Inc. (NRI) is a 40-person company based in Riviera Beach, that has led the industry in next-generation research, engineering design, development, manufacturing, and marketing of quality saturated composites that restore, protect, and reinforce pipes, pipelines, and civil structures. NRI solutions can repair and reinforce pipelines or civil structures while they remain operational, thereby saving clients millions of dollars in costs and lost revenues. Founded in 1982, the company has capitalized on the growth of its products by developing quality moisture-curable carbon fiber, fiberglass, Kevlar® and other aramid composite solutions.


#ClientSuccessStory
#Southeast

Attachments

Streamlining Processes Leads to Growth

IM Solutions (IMS) is a technology systems design, installation and software development firm of close to 10 employees based in Melbourne, Florida. IMS designs and implements audiovisual, video and IT communication systems for corporate, government, and educational clients, as well as houses of worship. IMS’s processes and procedures were overly-complicated, numerous, and not always current. Its web presence was dated and confusing to potential customers. GrowFL assisted IMS in clarifying and streamlining its processes and procedures, beginning with the creation of a new organizational accountability diagram. The Traction organizational module provides direction for the new website, and through partnership with FloridaMakes, GrowFL helped IMS define a marketing and action plan to add clarity to the company’s digital messaging that resulted in increasing their sales by $3 million! 


#ClientSuccessStory
#1-50
#SpaceCoast
#MarketDevelopment

Attachments

Outside Training Enhances Workforce

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies is located in St. Augustine Florida with 540 employees. They are one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of high-performance wire and cable, including optical fiber, harsh environment engine wire, and high-speed digital cable as well as terminal lugs and splices. Carlisle also provides a high level of customer support by offering engineering and certification services for the commercial aerospace, military and defense electronics, industrial, test and measurement, and medical industries.

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies has its own training team, who focus entirely on building the workforce to help achieve the required technical and leadership skills. In this case, the team was challenged with finding ways to cut costs. Carlisle’s vision was to continue to invest in their people and encourage employees to become the best they can be through internal and external educational opportunities. The FloridaMakes Business Advisor suggested a number of trainings, including included Lean Manufacturing, Leadership Training, Front Line Supervisor Training, and Manufacturing Process Certification, among others, to promote internal and external training improvements now and in the years to come. The training enhanced the workforce and increased the company’s bottom line.

Results

  • $591,670 in cost savings
  • Increased worker morale

#ClientSuccessStory
#51-200
#ContinuousImprovement
#Northeast

Attachments

Vac-Tron Equipment, LLC benefits from its Association Network with FloridaMakes and the Manufacturers Association of Central Florida

Vac-Tron Equipment, LLC in Okahumpka, Florida is a private standalone business whose 54 employees produce a full line of industrial vacuums, potholing, day-lighting, hydro-excavation, and air excavation equipment. For twenty years they have demonstrated a commitment to build strength, safety, durability and one-of-a-kind features into all of the company’s products, and then to back them up with integrity and service. Vac-Tron Equipment, LLC was purchasing fabricated items from out of state causing long lead times and challenges with quality control. The local FloridaMakes Business Adviser reviewed the situation and determined that its partnership with the Manufacturing Association of Central Florida was the perfect network to assist Vac-Tron Equipment, LLC with its supply chain. A high level assessment was compiled of the fabricated items that were being purchased out of state and these parameters were matched to the capabilities of a local fabricator within the same county. 


#ClientSuccessStory
#CentralFlorida
#51-200
#SupplyChainOptimization

Attachments

Training Enhances Revenue and Productivity

Ameritape, Inc., located in Jacksonville, Florida, is a converter and distributor of pressure-sensitive adhesive tape and label products representing most major manufacturers, including 3M. Privately-owned, they employ 18 people and specialize in custom slitting and specialty die-cutting. Ameritape’s mission is to create stronger bonds. They concentrate on doing this in three areas: within the organization, with customers, and with suppliers.

In August 2008, when the economy was at its peak, two 15-year employees, Renee Soares, and Tom Whipple, bought the business. The next month the economy plummeted. Their biggest customer, worth 40% of the business, went bankrupt. Their largest supplier deleted a product line worth $750,000 in revenue, which forced a reduction in the workforce from 16 to 8 people. In addition, the new owners of Ameritape had never received any formal leadership training.

After ten years of surviving and growing their business at a slow but steady pace, the First Coast Manufacturers Association introduced them to their FloridaMakes Business Advisor who did a thorough business assessment to help pinpoint the areas that needed strengthening. The Business Advisor offered support and guidance in leadership training, team building, quality consulting to transition to the new ISO standard, and specialized training for new equipment.

Results

  • 12% increase in sales
  • 3 new or retained jobs
  • Increase in employee engagement
  • Increase in productivity

We never imagined that we could get so much training in one year and see the results so quickly! We are so thankful to FloridaMakes for helping us with the grant process and connecting us with qualified trainers. The Business Advisor made the process so easy, and she was there every step along the way. The training propelled us forward to be better leaders and work better together as a team. We look forward to more growth and we are now better prepared for it!

— Renee Soares-Vozel, Vice President


#ClientSuccessStory
#1-50
#Northeast
#LeadershipCoaching
#ISOTraining

Attachments

American Elite Molding Proves American Quality with ISO Certification

American Elite Molding LLC (AEM) is America’s leading manufacturer of nylon cable ties. As a privately-owned company located in Crestview, Florida, with 124 employees, their 75,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility operates 24/7/365 and boasts the most advanced production processes in the United States. AEM offers an extensive line of cable ties in a variety of lengths, tensile strengths, and colors, plus accessories such as mounting pads and cable clamps. Their markets include HVAC, electrical, construction, and specialty markets across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. AEM is committed to continuous improvement in quality and service in all areas with a focus on customer success and satisfaction.

To maintain AEM’s commitment to continuous improvement and to provide the highest level of service to their customers, AEM owner Bob Sires looked to the FloridaMakes network and worked with a Business Advisor at the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council, which is managed by the University of West Florida, to guide them in the implementation of ISO 9001:2015.

Results

  • Greater than $5 million in increased or retained sales
  • 12 new or retained jobs.
  • 2019 Finalist for the Florida Sterling Manufacturing Business Excellence Award

American Elite Molding is committed to continuous improvement and to providing the highest level of service for our customers. We wanted to pursue ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certification for an external indication of that commitment. We were extremely pleased with the assistance that UWF and FloridaMakes provided us in becoming ISO certified. With their guidance, we were able to obtain our certification in February 2018 with zero discrepancies, and we’ve since successfully passed the annual ISO surveillance audit. The ISO Consultant from FloridaMakes also helped us develop an internal audit team, consisting of our employees, for continued quality management.

— Robert Sires, Founder, Owner and CEO


#ClientSuccessStory
#Northwest
#51-200
#Quality

Attachments