Small and Mid-Sized Manufacturers Benefit from the NIST MEP Network:
Meet one of them, NJMEP
The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP) is a unique organization with a mission to help small and mid-sized manufacturers compete in a global economy. For nearly two decades, NJMEP, a not-for-profit company, has been instrumental in helping companies become more efficient and profitable. NJMEP is one of 59 centers throughout the U.S. that is part of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The United States Congress created the MEP program, which is a part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a U.S. Department of Commerce agency, in 1988 to help U.S. manufacturers create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. NJMEP serves manufacturers in New Jersey, just as the other centers support their state’s manufacturers.
Programs and Services to Help the Davids in a World of Goliaths
Small and mid-sized manufacturers have challenges that large companies do not face. NJMEP, as well as other MEP centers, have developed programs specific to the needs of those smaller companies. The majority of manufacturers in NJ have less than 50 employees and many have less than 30. Unlike general consulting firms, NJMEP delivers programs and services utilizing both the state’s public resources as well as other private partners to provide cost-effective relevant consulting and training, and when applicable will help organizations find various ways to fund these projects. Beginning with services ranging from no cost assessments to workforce development planning to complete transformational projects, there is a solution to meet any company’s needs.
Another way the MEPs differ from other providers is the way in which they are measured in overall effectiveness. MEP clients are surveyed by an independent third party 6 to 12 months after a project ends to determine the impact the project has had on the manufacturing organization. The MEPs are held accountable for these results. NJMEP is currently driving in impacts well above the national systems median.
NJMEP recently launched Small Business Lean, a process improvement program specifically designed for manufacturers with 30 or less employees. COO Rob Stramara, who oversees this program, explains that “Clients typically see a 20 to 50 percent savings in time, effort, or costs associated with their processes after completing the Small Business Lean Program, which can be completed in as little as eight weeks and does not take their people off the production floor, a key consideration for our clients.”
From Process Improvement to Innovation
Two key areas for remaining competitive are a manufacturer’s processes and their ability to innovate. Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, and ISO certifications address a manufacturer’s process challenges. “Many of our clients come to us because their customers are now requiring certifications to assure them a supplier can meet their needs when it comes to consistent product and on-time delivery,” explained John W. Kennedy, NJMEP CEO. “We have been very busy delivering training to prepare our manufacturers for certification audits. Many manufacturers start with our complimentary workshops and then bring us in to train their entire company.”
One of the most difficult and costly things for a smaller manufacturer is developing new products and markets. NJMEP offers the Destination Innovation Management System (DIMS)® which is an exclusive program created by NJMEP in conjunction with other MEP centers to deliver a systematic and sustainable approach towards a continuous generation of new products, marketing concepts, and/or process improvements. This methodology dramatically reduces the risks typically associated with such activities.
Innovation and R&D go hand and hand. For many small manufacturers R&D is not in their vocabulary. As a result they do not benefit from the Federal R & D Tax credit as well as State credits. With the help of NJMEP, its clients have saved over $315 million—with some of that coming from the tax credits they have recovered, and then reinvested in their companies.
Consulting and Training
The Pro-Action Network, the consulting division of NJMEP, was formed to provide independent and leading-edge business improvement models to businesses of all shapes and sizes. The Pro-Action Network addresses all issues affecting an organization holistically, from the executive level to the support and administrative staff. Depending on the needs of the manufacturer, the Pro-Action Network has various offerings to meet their needs.
Manufacturing is a Great Career Choice
The common pain point for manufacturers is the aging out of its workforce. NJMEP is actively engaged in raising the awareness of manufacturing as an excellent career path through two no-cost programs they’ve initiated, Made in New Jersey and Experience Manufacturing, and through their support and efforts of National Manufacturing Day. National Manufacturing Day has brought much attention to the industry and NJMEP has been a supporter of the event since 2012. CFO Lynore DeSantis, who oversees the New Jersey annual event talks about the program.
“Each year we grow our MFG Day program. Last year we partnered with NJBIZ Magazine to launch the NJ Manufacturing awards. Over 400 people attended the 2014 event that featured U.S. Senator Cory Booker as the keynote speaker, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. Throughout the weeks leading up to and following the event, manufacturers hosted visits by legislators, schools, and the community. This year’s event will takes place on Oct 2 and as always is a tribute to NJMEP’s Made in New Jersey companies.”
Our successfully-streamlined production means that we regularly turn out ever-better finished products and consistently deliver them early for the convenience of our customers and to expedite the construction schedule of the project. “We always deliver on time.” This is how we have grown so much this year in all types of fabrication in the construction industry —— and grew our business and your confidence in us. Stone anchors are our “stock in trade”, but we make a whole spectrum of related and unrelated parts.
2 Ridgedale Ave #305
Morristown, NJ 07960
Website https://www.njmep.org[wpgmza id=”43″]