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.

41 Entries
 
 

Servant Leadership Training Leads to Happier Employees and Customers

JELD-WEN, Inc., is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of reliable windows and doors with 245 employees located in Venice, Florida. Their extensive product offering encompasses windows, exterior doors, interior doors and related building products that are sold globally through multiple distribution channels, including retail home centers, wholesale distributors and building products dealers.

THE CHALLENGE

Servant leadership training teaches a leadership approach that focuses on creating an environment in which associates can thrive as a team while maximizing job enrichment and satisfaction, and as a result, achieve the highest levels of productivity and customer service. This is accomplished when servant leaders put service to others above their personal goals and priorities. A strong believer in taking care of and listening to their employees, JELD-WEN has a written, very specific code of conduct and expectations they call simply “The Code.” JELD -WEN turned to the Sarasota-Manatee Manufacturers Association (SAMA), part of the FloridaMakes Network and the MEP National Network™, for training in servant leadership.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

JELD-WEN determined that the servant leadership approach supported the tenants of their company code, which includes an expectation that managers keep communications open by encouraging associates to speak up and to show respect. It also supported the company’s values. Servant leadership is practiced in some of the top-ranking companies with those companies highly regarded and followed because of their leadership style. To ensure that their employees embrace the company’s values and code of conduct, Jeld-Wen invested in their leadership by inviting all of their senior leaders, group leaders, and team leaders to participate in 2 full days of servant leadership training. The training included lectures, videos, role playing, group discussions and pre- and post-training quizzes.

RESULTS

  • $1,000,000 in increased sales due to improved product quality and happier customers
  • 10 retained jobs due to increased employee satisfaction
  • $50,000 due to reduction in employee turnover costs

TESTIMONIAL

We partnered with FloridaMakes for servant leadership training. The purpose of the training was to help give all leaders better tools to use in their day-to-day work as well as the tools to help them build relationships with all team members across the organization. Leadership is a privilege, and we want all our leaders to understand the main goal is to serve. If we are listening, removing obstacles and providing resources to our team members, they can be set up for success. The FloridaMakes team did a great job of facilitating fun and educational sessions to our leaders and the sessions were filled with tools they could immediately implement and use not only here at work, but with their friends and family outside of work. Slow to speak and quick to listen goes a long way, regardless of where you are. The training has helped our team become closer and helped our JELD-WEN family continue to grow.

— Mike Curtner, Plant Manager


#ClientSuccessStory
#Sarasota-Manatee
#LatestNews


#ExecutiveServices

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Business Growth Program Doubles Top Line Revenues

U.S. Submergent Technologies of Sarasota, Florida, was founded in 2011 by a civil engineer with decades of experience in the water infrastructure industry. Established as an LLC to restore the capacity of wet infrastructure (pipes and tanks) using proprietary technology, US Submergent has, since then, revolutionized infrastructure maintenance of hard-to-clean environments, particularly wet surfaces at the bottom of infrastructures. The company had 17 employees and gross revenue of $3.5 million when it applied for GrowFL’s System for Integrated Growth program. US Submergent's standalone Combination3 cleaning system is powerful and versatile enough to remove accumulated sand and grit material from a variety of structures in submerged conditions including tanks, channels, pipes, and similar environments in multiple industries. They are capable of restoring capacity to both treatment and collection infrastructure; their method significantly reduces the need for confined space entry.

THE CHALLENGE

The CEO’s decades-long experience in the water infrastructure industry in both the private and public sector, as well as his engineering degree, provided the opportunity for the company to innovate infrastructure maintenance solutions in hard to clean environments. A capital-intensive operation, as they expanded their capital investments the need to find new markets and customers became pronounced. However, because US Submergent operates in a niche market, leadership needed assistance in securing highly specialized and detailed market data, as well as some guidance on how to expand effectively.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

The Company turned to GrowFL, part of the FloridaMakes Network and the MEP National Network™, and engaged in the System for Integrated Growth (SIG) program. The SIG specialists gave them the necessary strategic market information to weigh the costs and benefits between acquiring a competitor or creating a new division. Additionally, as part of their SIG engagement, the specialists provided in-depth information on markets, competitors, and technologies, as well as HR best practices. After initially contemplating the acquisition of a select few target companies, US Submergent eventually opted to create a new Division with a more focused solution (predictive maintenance solution that provides complete visibility in full wastewater tanks). In addition, to broaden their market reach they started a new division, Sedivision, allowing them to have a greater presence in the state and be closer to their larger municipal clients.

RESULTS

  • Doubled sales from $3.5M to $7M
  • 18 new jobs
  • Reduced downtime by 18%
  • Improved policies for better attraction & retention & created a competitive compensation plan

TESTIMONIAL

Through GrowFL’s SIG program we were able to articulate clearly the relationship between clarity of job descriptions to our employees’ skills, knowledge and competencies thereby creating holistic focus, increases overall efficiencies and production output, which then increases our profitability and industry recognition. The acquisition target work was extremely helpful exercise which informed us that we were better off spinning off a new and specialized division to focus on our core strength for a narrower but more profitable market segment.

— Denver J. Stutler, Jr. , CEO


#ClientSuccessStory
#Sarasota-Manatee
#LatestNews


#MarketDevelopment

Attachments

 Strategic Research For Niche Market

Collins Research Inc. dba Flame Boss, located in Orlando, FL, is a family owned business with13 full-time employees. Flame Boss manufactures smart devices and items for the Internet of Things (IoT). The companys first product is a temperature controller for charcoal grills and smokers.

THE CHALLENGE

Flame Boss had marketing challenges related to their niche product. Finding the resources necessary to reach consumers in that market was a challenge. Senior management needed to better understand the market, including competitors and potential customers.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

As part of GrowFL’s work to support manufacturers through FloridaMakes, part of the MEP National NetworkTM, GrowFL provided Flame Boss with information pertaining to market size, competition, potential customers and leads. The market data justified further investment, which resulted in increased sales. Credible growth projections, based on the research provided, were used to secure an SBA loan.

RESULTS

  • $334,000 in New Investment
  • $800,000 in Increased or Retained Sales
  • 10 New or Retained Jobs

TESTIMONIAL

Everyone was very professional and capable and were careful to understand our unique market. We certainly got more information than we'd be able to gather on our own."The FloridaMakes Team was extremely thorough, skilled, and deadline focused. The project allowed us to utilize a large building investment ($100k plus annually) and increase our efficiency and revenue.

— Michael Collins, Owner and CEO


#ClientSuccessStory
#CentralFlorida

Attachments

 Awards Assessment Leads to Increased Sales and Jobs

Amerikooler Inc., established in 1986 and located in Hialeah, Florida, is a manufacturer of walk-in coolers for use in the food service industry and retail businesses.

THE CHALLENGE

Amerikooler has been seeing year-over-year growth, leading to increased market share for their products. The company faces challenges with the rising cost of raw materials and some supply chain disruption. The management team at Amerikooler reached out to the South Florida Manufacturers Association (SFMA), part of the FloridaMakes Network and the MEP National NetworkTM, to help identify areas of opportunity for improvement.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

Amerikooler is a member of the South Florida Manufacturers’ Association and was nominated to participate in the SFMA’s Manufacturer of the Year Awards process. The company received a written feedback assessment that detailed areas of opportunity, which included recommendations on improvements to their operations that would result in cost savings and increased revenues.

First, the FloridaMakes Business Advisor recommended Amerikooler purchase new processing equipment. Amerikooler’s investment improved the company’s operational efficiency, retaining sales that would have otherwise been at risk due to extended lead times created by supply chain issues and allowing the company to increase sales.The gained efficiencies led to cost savings, which offset some of the increases in raw materials and improved the company’s profit margin.

RESULTS

  • 80 new jobs and 76 jobs retained
  • 50% increase in new sales and 15% retained sales

TESTIMONIAL

We have been working with the SFMA organization for the last three years and participating in the Manufacturer of the Year award process. Our team here at Amerikooler has truly enjoyed working with Micah and the different auditors that have participated in our reviews, and we have embraced the challenge that comes along with the review process and presenting our processes and metric for the different categories of the audit. Most important however is what we as a team learn every time that we go through the process, it forces us to look at and scrutinize our processes to improve them and modify them. Equally important is the feedback provided by the auditors. This year we took advantage of the provided feedback and changed several processes that helped us in several areas of the business. We are looking forward again to next year and once again going through the process, we are sure that we will improve again! Also, continue with the different training to enhance our workforce skill set.
Thanks very much for all of the help."

— Juan Madariaga, Chief Operating Officer


#ClientSuccessStory
#LatestNews
#Southeast

Attachments

 Factory Redesign Increases Sales and Decreases Costs

Mayhew Steel Products is the oldest punch and chisel manufacturer in the United States.  While the company has grown from being a small tool house to the industry leader, they have never lost their dedication to quality, reliability, and craftsmanship. This dedication has enabled them to become the tool of choice for certified technicians, professional mechanics, and do-it-yourselfers across the country. During Mayhew’s more than 160-year history, they have expanded both their physical size and breadth of products without losing sight of their heritage with headquarters in Western Massachusetts. The acquisition of Bestway Tools in Ormond Beach, Florida in 2019 allowed them to extend their high-quality product lines.

THE CHALLENGE

With the site acquisition, there were numerous opportunities to improve capacity and reduce quality errors, thus resulting in additional sales to the facility. Mayhew required assistance in reviewing their current state to propose the necessary changes to set them up for increased throughput in their production operations.

Mayhew Tools recently rented an expansion facility alongside their existing facility in Ormond Beach, Florida. With a shifting product revenue portfolio and newly available space, Mayhew Tools sought support to develop a plan for future production within this combined facility. The facility includes three primary activities: machining, assembly, and warehousing.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

Mayhew Tools reached out FloridaMakes for assistance. FloridaMakes and its team of specialists conducted a complete facility layout assessment. The assessment evaluated the current state of the entire operations, which included the machining, assembly, and warehouse areas. The deliverables from the assessment produced a future state plan for the facility with detailed analysis. Process mapping was completed for the material flow from receiving, warehouse, productions through shipping. Time-based evaluation was conducted, yielding the potential capacity of the operations. The completion of the project resulted in a plan for a new facility layout, which included improvements of the material storage, and increased efficiency in the assembly and machining areas.

RESULTS

  • $75,000 Cost Savings in Labor and Investment
  • 10 New or Retained Jobs:
  • Over $100K in New Investment

TESTIMONIAL

The FloridaMakes Team was extremely thorough, skilled, and deadline focused. The project allowed us to utilize a large building investment ($100k plus annually) and increase our efficiency and revenue.

— Hayley Cox, General Manager


#ClientSuccessStory
#CentralFlorida#CentralFlorida
#LatestNews

Attachments

"The Enterprise Performance Assessment highlighted many opportunities for improvement at JETechnology Solutions, Inc. The assistance with commercial customer leads is helping to diversify our revenue streams and make our company stronger. We are understanding the differences between our commercial and government customers and our team is up to the challenge with providing both with top-notch service."              - Adrian Little,  President/CEO


JETechnology Solutions, Inc., is a women-owned small business in Apopka, Florida, with 33 employees. The company started in 2004 and is not only a contract manufacturer in metal fabrication but also specializes in the design and manufacture of fixed and rotary wing aircraft maintenance stands.

CHALLENGE

 In 2021, an Enterprise Performance Assessment was performed by FloridaMakes. The assessment discovered that most of the company’s customer base was in the Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain. If there were ever a disruption in the DoD supply chain, it would have a huge impact on the revenues of the company and potentially require a layoff. The assessment also revealed that JETechnology Solutions, Inc. had existing capabilities and equipment that could be utilized to meet fabrication needs in many commercial market.

FLORIDAMAKES ROLE

The company is a member of the Manufacturers Association of Central Florida, part of the FloridaMakes Network, and these contacts were utilized to communicate their capabilities. The company also registered in the Network’s Connex Marketplace - a platform that highlights their manufacturing and fabrication capabilities. Utilizing the FloridaMakes Network resulted in securing a major new commercial customer for JETechnology Solutions, Inc. The FloridaMakes network has also continued to present new customer leads that have the potential to further diversify their customer base.

RESULTS

  • Producing Metal Fabricated Parts for Fire Protection Vehicles
  • Producing Original Equipment fabricated parts for Fire Protection vehicles. 
  • Hired Four (4) Additional People Since the 2021 Assessment


#ClientSuccessStory
#CentralFlorida
#1-50
#PerformanceAssessment
#MarketDevelopment

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