Company Stories

Company Stories

Companies working with MEP centers like FloridaMakes report measurable results, from increased sales, increased profits, and savings of time and money, to creation of new products, new markets and new jobs. Here are some of the results achieved by Florida companies through FloridaMakes services:

Process Improvements Increase Company's Life-Saving Capacities

ACR Electronics, 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. To learn more, please click here.

Expanding Operations to Meet Future Needs

Precision Measurement, Inc. (PMI) provides calibration and repair services for a range of electronic, mechanical, physical dimensional, analytical test and measurement equipment. Founded in 2005, this 10-person, disabled veteran-owned business has a collective experience of over 50 years in Air Force calibration and military maintenance, repair, and overhaul. PMI's leadership realized the company had outgrown its current facility and was failing to capitalize on new business opportunities due to the facility's limitations. PMI's president, David Haines, began researching options to buy or lease a new facility. Haines knew what the company needed in the near-term, but he wasn't sure what PMI needed to accommodate future client and workforce needs. To help with the decision-making process, FloridaMakes conducted a CoreValue Discover Assessment. The assessment examined the company’s operational effectiveness and identified gaps between current and potential operations. The assessment found that PMI and its growth strategy were in good condition, however, the growth strategy needed to be more transparent, simple, and actionable. FloridaMakes introduced PMI to various economic business resources to provide additional information and further aid PMI in its facility decision-making process. FloridaMakes also introduced PMI to the Okaloosa County Economic Development Center for assistance in identifying a new building for expanding operations. PMI is adding and retaining jobs, growing sales, and investing in its future. To learn more, please click here.

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. To learn more, please click here.

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. To learn more, please click here.

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. To learn more, please click here.

 

On the Job Training Strengthens Workforce 

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. To learn more, please click here.

Fueling New Sales for Woman-Owned Company 

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. To learn more, please click here.

Local Business Network Strengthens Small Company 

Vac-Tron Equipment, LLC in Okahumpka, Florida is a private standalone business whose 54 employees produce a full line of industrial vacuums, potholing, daylighting, 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 Advisor 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  ounty. To learn more, please click here.

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%. To learn more, please click here.           

 Better Organization, Website 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! To learn more, please click here.

Pharmaceutical Company Wins Big with Manufacturing Effectiveness 

Sancilio & Company, Inc., a 165-person company located in Riviera Beach, is primarily focused on the development of novel therapies for application in the emerging field of lipidomics – the structure, function, interaction and movements of cellular lipids and their relationship to diseases.  Founded in 2005, the company is well on the way to achieve its goal of becoming a leading integrated specialty pharmaceutical company after winning the 2015 Manufacturer of the Year award from the SFMA. As part of its continuous improvement process, Sancilio & Company undertook an enterprise assessment conducted by FloridaMakes.  As a result of the assessment, FloridaMakes identified improvement opportunities in throughput cost savings, business systems, workforce engagement and application of additional LEAN concepts. To learn more, please click here

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. To learn more, please click here.

Charting the Future 

Founded in 1958, ADI Metal is a 12-person company based in Fort Lauderdale with a long-standing tradition of solution-based metals distribution with a vast product line.  In 1991, Betsy McGee became the company’s president, growing the company to support 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. To learn more, click here.

Core Value Assessment Leads to Distinguished Industry Award

 A.M. Metal Finishing, Inc. (A.M.) is a premier Orlando-based, family-owned standalone metal finishing company with over 32 years of experience. The company is 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. To learn more, click here.

AutoCAD Training Paves the Way for Growth

Environmental Mfg & Supply, Inc. is a precision metal manufacturer located in the rural community of Bonifay. The company, formed 25 years ago, is now run by the founders’ sons, Stacey and Kyle Coats. Environmental Mfg & Supply, Inc. employs 18 of the local community’s most skilled machinists and support staff. FloridaMakes completed an enterprise-wide assessment for the company. This assessment identified a unique challenge and bottleneck hindering the company’s growth and expansion goals: the company’s only skilled AutoCAD user is a co-owner who also has responsibility for Business Development. This meant the owner could not create new business without creating a work backlog that could not be placed in production until he returned to complete the AutoCAD portion for operators to program their machines. To learn more, click here.

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.To learn more, click here.

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. To learn more, click here.

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. To learn more, click here.

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. To learn more, click here.

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. To learn more, click here.

Results

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