Success with The Center

Michigan Manufacturing Success Stories

For more than 30 years, we have been helping small to mid-size manufacturing companies and their staff achieve excellence in their field.  By providing them with personalized services and skills training we have been able to watch them grow exponentially over the years.

In fact, over the past year alone, 427 of our clients have seen:

  • $210.8 million in created sales
  • $733.6 million in retained sales
  • $81.5 million in cost savings
  • 7,608 jobs created/retained
  • $723 million in investments made

We take pride in our clients' successes and want to share a few with you.

Featured Success Stories:

Avalon & Tahoe

Manufacturing, LEAN Business Solutions;Workforce Engagement
2021 was a challenging year for all manufacturers in Michigan, which can also be said for Avalon. The challenges that Avalon was facing included a shortage in the labor force, a new product launch, strained supply chain and increased demand. Avalon knew they needed to address the labor shortage to be able to meet their customers’ demands.

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Eagle Technologies

LEAN Business Solutions
Eagle’s mission is to be the best source of innovative, solution-driven assembly, testing and process applications. To continue to be this source for their customers, Eagle needed to identify areas within their own facility for improvement.

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Michigan Seamless Tube

Manufacturing, Quality Systems;Workforce Engagement
MST decided to prioritize both quality and leadership initiatives at their facility. With their TS 16949 certification set to expire, MST decided to transition to ISO 9001:2015. However, after their long-term Quality Manager left the company, MST needed assistance with the transition to the new standard. They also wanted to develop and strengthen the leadership skills of their operations team.

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Mercury Manufacturing Company

Manufacturing, Website Development
Mercury’s website was no longer effectively conveying the process and product expertise they had achieved over the years. With the goal of reaching new markets and strengthening their brand to attract customers, they knew their nearly 10-year-old website needed an overhaul. Having worked professionally with The Center in the past, Mercury Manufacturing was eager to begin the project.

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DeWitt's Radiator, LLC

Quality Systems
Although not currently a customer requirement, DeWitts™ identified an opportunity to achieve ISO certification in order to obtain more controlled processes, higher product yield, more consistent results, increased margins and, importantly, a competitive advantage. To assist with the certification process, The Center conducted an ISO 9001:2015 Organizational Implementation with DeWitts™.

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SMI Aerospace

Manufacturing, LEAN Business Solutions;Workforce Engagement
With several new product launches underway, the management team felt the company could benefit from further training in order to improve their project management skills while maximizing impacts of future product development. SMI partnered with The Center for a 12-week project management course.

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soulbrain MI, Inc.

Consulting, Environmental;Quality Systems
With a goal to help create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future, soulbrain MI knew investing in an Environmental Management System (EMS) was necessary. In addition, a major customer of theirs was soon requiring ISO 14001:2015 certification.

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Means Industries

Manufacturing, LEAN Business Solutions;Quality Systems
Means is committed to consistently investing in training for new and existing employees, recognizing the value provided to individuals and the positive impact on business results. As part of onboarding, in addition to ongoing employee development, Means prioritizes training initiatives to ensure all workers have the skills needed to contribute to Means’ culture of continuous improvement.

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Dyna Products

LEAN Business Solutions
Following a recent move to a new facility, Dyna Products was experiencing typical business growing pains. In evaluating their challenges, the team recognized they needed to embrace a Lean manufacturing system if they wanted to manage their growth profitably.

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Spartan Steel Coating LLC

Manufacturing, Six Sigma
Spartan Steel sought to improve several areas in production to save costs. They identified an opportunity to modify and improve the tension leveler, which is used to elongate and shape coiled steel, as it was costing the company more than $165,000 a year to maintain with no surcharge to customers.

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LEAN Business Solutions
Because of competitive pressure, Flexfab was forced to consider moving some of its operations to China. To keep their Hastings location competitive, Flexfab reached out to the The Center-West for expert guidance. Following a review of the value stream, a structured Operating System assessment was provided by The Center-West to develop a plan of action.

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Happy Howie's

Manufacturing, LEAN Business Solutions
Like many other manufacturers today, Happy Howie’s was extremely busy and was operating understaffed in both their production and packaging areas. As a result, overtime was becoming the norm and on-time delivery was becoming strained. Happy Howie’s also wanted to improve the flow of their plant and processes to avoid wasting time and resources on non-value-added work.

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JC Gibbons Manufacturing

Manufacturing, Technology
In recent years, JCGibbons has seen and heard of companies integrating cobots into their shop to improve production. At first, they thought it was just for larger businesses. But, as they started to see their competition implement more technology, they were worried of falling behind. JCGibbons wanted to stay on the forefront of the industry and keep their competitive edge.

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Clean Tech

Chemicals, Six Sigma
While reviewing plant metrics, sales orders and forecasts, Clean Tech’s quality team discovered extrusion lines were not reaching full capacity. Utilizing tools such as a Pareto Chart, the team identified the largest contributors for the reduced throughput and shutdowns. It was uncovered that the current measurement system needed to remove these shutdowns was not providing reliable data.

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Impact Fab

Machinery, Technology
Impact Fab needed a better understanding of where their business was at in relation to Industry 4.0 implementation. They wanted to keep their competitive edge as well as maintain and attract new customers. Without a deeper understanding of where they stood, they would not be able to make informed decisions when implementing new technology to remain competitive.

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New Center Stamping

Manufacturing, LEAN Business Solutions;Quality Systems;Six Sigma;Workforce Engagement
During the COVID-19 pandemic, NCS was impacted greatly. Many of their long-term employees did not return, taking their knowledge with them, and attracting new talent was a significant issue. NCS needed to find a solution for attracting and retaining new hires. As a firm believer in the importance of professional development, investing in their team members was a great place to start.

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Laser Specialists Inc.

Other, LEAN Business Solutions;Quality Systems;Workforce Engagement
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Laser Specialists experienced a significant decrease in sales. As they began to rethink their business model, they pivoted from being mostly a job shop to establishing an additional niche in the high-volume production arena. In doing so, they sought out and were awarded contracts that would double their business.

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Four-Slide Technology

Retail, Market Diversification;Website Development
Like many other Michigan manufacturers, Four-Slide Technology experienced a significant decrease in business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within this decline came a permanent loss of several major customers. Combined with the investments made for social distancing and PPE within the plant, they were struggling. They were optimistic that generating new leads would turn things around.

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Amigo Mobility

Manufacturing, LEAN Business Solutions;Workforce Engagement
As with most manufacturers, Amigo Mobility has struggled with supply chain and talent acquisition and retention over the past few years. At the same time, sales greatly increased. To address their issues, Amigo Mobility recognized they would need to focus on implementing a Lean culture.

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WACKER Chemical Group

Chemicals, Six Sigma
Performance excellence isn’t just a corporate “buzzword” for WACKER, but a company way of life. With a commitment to continuous improvement, WACKER is always looking for ways to invest in its team members. This commitment was demonstrated when they wanted to advance several certified Six Sigma Green Belts to Black Belts.

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Ranger Die

LEAN Business Solutions
Since moving to its new location, the company has added new products and equipment and has had to expand products onsite to meet customer needs. This has led to poor space utilization, less than optimal product flow, and increased time searching for supplies. Ranger Die was looking for ways to resolve these issues and to introduce employees to Lean.

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Coventry Industries

LEAN Business Solutions;Technology
Coventry Industries had been working on a side capability project making optic plates for the firearms industry. This was a product that brought in good business, with an opportunity for future growth. However, Coventry didn’t have any space or individual to machine this part due to their busy workload with other core products and services.

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Quality Systems
Duperon is committed to the principles of their Quality Management System (QMS), including customer focus, a collaborative approach to process development, and commitment to continuous improvement. To ensure their products and processes are safe, effective, and sustainable, Duperon wanted to certify their quality system to the global standard of ISO 9001:2015.

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RoMan Manufacturing

Machinery, LEAN Business Solutions
RoMan faced significant challenges due to rapid growth and the need for effective leadership in multiple departments. The acquisition of the Power Systems product line during the COVID-19 pandemic presented unexpected growth and the necessity to promote from within, given external labor market difficulties.

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Cultured Kombucha Co.

Cultured Kombucha manufactures a line of kombucha tea through a traditional fermentation process. The product requires approximately 14 to 21 days of fermentation prior to packaging for retail distribution. The bottling process required a person to manually handle individual bottles for filling, capping, and labeling. This was the “bottleneck” of the entire production process.

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