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Maine MEP Client Testimonies

Ready Seafood Co./Maine Seafood Ventures, Portland- "For the last three months we have had the pleasure of working with Bill Whittier, Maine MEP senior project manager, on the design of our new plant in Saco. He not only provided us with a blue print, but completely transformed our organization. The skills that Bill has taught our organization has had an IMMEDIATE impact. We are working smarter, the team is communicating, and most importantly the team gets it! This training should be mandatory for all Maine companies and organizations. This is just the start of our partnership with Maine MEP and we are excited to work together moving forward." Brian Skoczenski, COO (Ready Seafood sources millions of pounds of live lobster annual from the Gulf of Maine to the Canadian Maritimes; ships to all major destinations - domestic & internationally; and delivers quality lobster to its customers.)

STARC Systems, Brunswick – “The contribution of Maine MEP has had a significant impact on the ability of STARC systems to grow over 400%, while controlling costs and implementing LEAN manufacturing concepts.  We have been able to bring key process capabilities in-house, reducing costs, while improving responsiveness to our growing production demands.”  Bruce Bickford, Co-Founder/COO (STARC Systems produces containment systems for various industries, including healthcare, commercial construction, data centers, academia, laboratories and office environments.)

Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. (AMI), Mechanic Falls – “Most recently Maine MEP conducted a Value Stream Mapping to create an information flow map of a value-added business process. The mapping session resulted in developing a schematic roadmap that enabled the AMI team to distinguish between value-added and non-value-added activities.” Kathie Leonard, President, CEO (AMI is the industry leader in the manufacture of high performance coated textiles and composite fabrics.)

Steel-Pro Inc., Rockland – “Maine MEP understood our need to become ISO 9001 compliant while maintaining a minimal impact to the way we do business.  The combined efforts of MEP and Steel-Pro resulted in retention of our largest customer.”  Craig Wells, Vice President/COO (Steel-Pro is a 50-person custom manufacturer of ASME code pressure vessels, biopharmaceutical equipment, vacuum chambers, storage tanks and other custom-designed equipment.)

Alere, Scarborough – “Implementing Lean cut costs, improved our production process, and provided us with the ability to respond rapidly to sudden changes in demand for our diagnostic test kits. The bottom line result was increased sales and increased global market share. Most recently Maine MEP provided FDA QSRISO 13485 Quality Systems Fundamentals training to eleven of our employees. Jason Hallee, Operations Director (Alere delivers immediate and actionable information through rapid diagnostic tests, resulting in better economic and healthcare outcomes globally.

Alternative Manufacturing, Inc, Winthrop - “We engaged Maine MEP to deliver a Kaizen event. As a result of the training, we improved delivery response times, reduced inventory levels, addressed cost containment and improved the labor efficiency of our warehouse employees who prepare kits for manufacturing.”  Greg Boyd, President/CEO (AMI provides a wide range of electronics manufacturing and support services to original equipment manufacturers throughout the northeastern US and CA.)

Baker Company, Sanford – “The Baker Company started its relationship with Maine MEP in 2009 when it facilitated a workshop in order for the company to meet the ISO 9001:2008 QMS. Since then, the Maine MEP has delivered an internal audit, conducted an internal auditor training session, and assisted us in training The Baker Company’s new quality manager.”  David Eagleson, President (Baker has helped advance science, discovery and clinical care by pioneering innovative solutions for air containment, contamination control and controlled environments.)

Globe Footwear, LLC, Auburn – “Maine MEP facilitated an extensive value stream mapping and five Kaizen events resulting in a dramatic breakthrough in its production process. The batch size produced by each line worker was cut from 23 to 1 piece resulting in lower inventory costs and improved throughput.” George E. Freese, Ill, Senior V.P. Manufacturing (Globe provides high quality, customized gear that combines innovative design and construction methods, some of the latest cutting and sewing manufacturing technology available.)

FHC, Bowdoin – “FHC engaged Maine MEP to provide Innovation Engineering coaching and lean manufacturing consulting in order to achieve project and process improvements. As a result, we yielded two new products, one of which we brought to market in a record time of nine months, versus a more typical time of 18 months.  The initiatives with Maine MEP over the past years have directly impacted FHC's bottom line.”  Frederick Haer, CEO (FHC supplies an international clientele of neurosurgeons/neuroscientists with an array of microelectrode & special purpose clinical instruments in a global market.)

Bixby & Co., Rockland – “Maine MEP has successfully guided Bixby through improvement processes which helped us to be more competitive, implement best business practices, and diversify our product line and ensure quality products.”  Kate McAleer, Owner, Founder (The four-employee company produces better-for-you candy snack bars, packed with more protein and fiber than regular candy bars.)

Duratherm Window Corporation, Vassalboro – “We engaged Maine MEP to facilitate a full suite of Lean implementation to train the workforce to identify and eliminate non-value added activities, improve work efficiencies and ultimately create a sustainable, continuous improvement process and culture.” Timothy Downing, President (The Company manufactures and distributes windows and doors throughout the US and worldwide.

Xuron, Saco – “With Maine MEP’s expertise we were able to relieve an operational bottleneck that was limiting our shipping throughput.  The team accomplished a phenomenal reorganization of the shipping and receiving are, resulting in efficiencies that paid for itself in less than one year.  Most recently, we have utilized the services of the Maine MEP sponsored UMaine Advanced Manufacturing Center mechanical engineer.”  Dennis Shores, Co-Owner (Xuron manufactures ergonomic electronics-grade hand tools for the electronics, aerospace, plastic molding, hobbies, craft, floral and fishing industries.)

Heiwa Tofu, Rockport – “With only two employees, it was critical for us to reach out to Maine MEP to access operational expertise to help us plan for future growth. Maine MEP brought in their dual certified facility planner and lean practitioner who developed multiple facility layout options. This effort became our defacto manufacturing roadmap allowing Heiwa to continue to meet growing the demand for our products.” Jeff Wolovitz, Owner (Heiwa produces certified organic tofu and soymilk from Maine and New England grown organic soybeans.)

Kennebec River Biosciences (KRB), Richmond – “Maine MEP has played a critical role in facilitating training and education programs for our employees, enabling our workforce to acquire critical skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to support KRB’s strategic and operational plan. Maine MEP also facilitated ISO workshops for employees who had been tasked to implement or update a quality management system to meet the requirement of ISO 17025:2005.” William Keleher, President and CEO (KRB provides comprehensive testing and health services to farms, businesses, government agencies, and scientific research institutions involved with aquatic species.)

Kennebec Technologies, Augusta – “Kennebec Technologies has called upon Maine MEP many times looking to upgrade our systems, improve our production processes and deliver new training to our 60 plus employees. We have improved our productivity by 50 percent, doubled our sales revenue and been able to invest our capital in new technologies.  When improving our business processes, we continue to see MEP as our ‘go to’ partner for planning and training and continue to see them as a strong partner.”  Harvey Smith, Vice President of Operations (KT is a full-service, high-precision machine products manufacturer specializing in complex, high-value-added parts and assemblies, providing well above average paying jobs servicing the Aerospace and Defense industries.)

Little Harbor Window, Berwick – “Maine MEP's Lean training helped us to implement systemic changes needed to double throughput with our existing amount of floor space. Value Stream Mapping and Kaizen Improvement activities also helped us focus on the manufacturing processes.  An engineering Kaizen helped us reduce information search time by 90 percent thus opening up highly valuable engineering capacity for quoting.”  James Eaton, President (Little Harbor Window manufactures highest quality custom mahogany doors and windows and distributes throughout New England.)

Coffee By Design, Portland –  “We engaged Maine MEP to facilitate a systematic layout planning (SLP) process in order to optimize the proximity of related functions and minimize material handling within our facility.  Maine MEP launched the initiative by assembling our entire roaster staff for training in lean manufacturing thereby “equipping” them with the know-how of world-class layout specialists.  Packaging that had traditionally been our production bottleneck is now complete 5 to 15 minutes after the last batch is discharged from the roaster.” Alan Spear, Owner (CBD is a sustainable business that currently employs 45 individuals in its four coffeehouses and micro roaster.)

Maine Medicinals, Inc., Dresden – “We turned to Maine MEP for assistance n redesigning our production process to scale up pour capacity and lean the operation.  We increased production capacity 12-fold, while reducing processing time by 80 percent.  This resulted in a projected savings of $72,000 annually, representing 20-fold ROI.”    Geoffrey Johnston, Director of Operations (Maine Medicinals is a certified organic processer and manufacturer of standardized nutraceuticals.)

Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, Hancock – “When Maine Coast Sea Vegetables found it necessary to implement FDA Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) to insure our food safety; we turned to Maine MEP to help us create all the components. We know that successfully executing a HACCP Quality plan will allow us to open new markets for our sustainably harvested sea vegetables.”  Shep Erhart, President; Seraphina Erhart, General Manager (Maine Coast Sea Vegetables mission is to provide high quality North Atlantic sea vegetables as user-friendly foods, supported by reliable information and build respectful, long-term relationships with customers/suppliers/employees and the environment.)

Maine Department of Corrections, State Prison Woodworking Shop, Warren – “One of the challenges we had in the one of the prison's woodworking shop was that the lead time was 8-14 weeks from the time the product was completed until it hit the shelves.  We engaged the Maine MEP to implement a Lean transformation, which resulted in reducing the lead-time to one week, and achieved significant improvements in the efficiency of operations.   The cost savings were directly responsible for enabling the program to sell goods out of state.  The 80 inmates who participated in the Lean awareness program were very engaged in the training and continue to offer ideas for improvements, which is changing the entire culture of the shop.”  Dr. Joseph Fitzpatrick, Commissioner (The Maine State Prison system operates eight industry shops, producing a variety of goods from embroidery to license plates.)

The Strainrite Companies, Auburn - “We engaged Maine MEP to guide us through our ISO certification process and to work with us to integrate our current ultrasonic welding matching technology and automate the process.  As a result of this work, we anticipate the machine will increase capacity 300%, volume will increase 25%, lower the cost per unit, increase payroll and increase revenue from $2 million to an anticipated $8 to $10 million over the next five years.  Alan Lapoint, President (Strainrite designs and manufactures filtration products for a wide range of worldwide industries.)

Mathews Brothers, Belfast – “Maine MEP has been an integral asset to our lean journey. Our managers participated in a two-month train-the-trainer course facilitated by Maine MEP. The results of the training showed an investment of $30,000 in workforce development and a savings to the company of approximately $75,000.” Robert R. Maynes, Director of Marketing (Over the 160 years in business, Mathews Brothers has evolved into a high-tech manufacturer of innovative vinyl and vinyl composites windows and doors with 150 employees.)

Morningstar Stone and Tile, Topsham – “Maine MEP facilitated a Value Stream Mapping to help our employees identify the opportunities for improvements throughout the manufacturing process and develop solutions. Working with Maine MEP to implement lean initiatives, we have been able to turn out work at a fairly high volume.” Nick Whatley, President (Morningstar is a team of 22 dedicated craftsmen, designers, and project managers specializing in precision work with natural stone and tile.)

Precision Manufacturing Solutions, Inc., Biddeford – “Utilizing lean process mapping and continuous improvement workshops MEP uncovered 12.5hrs/wk of available machine time, improved paperwork accuracy by 55%, and reduced set up time by 10%.  Another cell improvement team yielded a 60% reduction in travel waste which frees up to 710 hrs/yr that can be used to increase production capacity.” Jamie Bell, Vice President Operations (Specializes in precision products made from traditional and exotic materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, inconels, hastelloy and titanium.)

Windham Millwork, Inc., Windham – “We reached out to Maine MEP to assess and identify our technology needs in order to participate in the bidding process and ensure that the wood products we used were sustainably harvested and met LLED requirements.  Thanks to Maine MEP’s guidance we were able to demonstrate our capacity to collaborate on the Integrated Project Delivery contract and we were award the $5.3 million contract.”  Bruce Pulkkinen, President (Windham Millwork is a three generation architectural woodworking family owned business.)

Yale Cordage, Saco – “Maine MEP facilitated the implementation of the ISO 9001 Quality Management System training process.  The multiple levels of ownership and participation in the QMS training created a more robust system and minimized employee turnover.  Certification has allowed the company to satisfy demanding customers in a more streamline want.”  William G. Putnam, President (Yale Cordage is a custom cordage manufacturer that designs application-specific rope for utilities, telephone construction, arborists, industrial applications and marine applications.)

ACME Monaco Corp Presque Isle Facility, Presque Isle - “The MEP project manager conducted Lean Awareness and 5S programs.  The training set the stage for a set up reduction process in the company's arch machine area. As a result of that project, we hired 18 people, maintained our required production levels and created six new positions to support our forecasted growth.” Mark Jarrett, Plant Manager, Presque Isle Facility (Original Equipment Manufacturer specialty wire manufacturer serving the medical, commercial and orthodontic industries.)

Huhtamaki, Waterville – “Our partnership with Maine MEP has been beneficial for us to expand our implementation and training in lean manufacturing and continuous improvement programs.”  James Stewart, Continuous Improvement Leader (A global manufacturer of consumer and specialty packaging.)

Thos. Moser Cabinet Makers, Auburn – “Thos. Moser engaged Maine MEP to develop a lean culture, training that included a comprehensive leadership training program that encompassed all aspect of the organization.  The long term results have been an organization that operates with self-director work groups who focus on developing solutions.”  Rick Foss, Operations Manager (Thos. Moser company is a designer and maker of American hardwood fine furniture.)

Katahdin Cedar Log Homes, Oakfield – “Maine MEP provided a strategic analysis of our company using a SWOT methodology which provided us with insights of internal improvements to implement and explore new market opportunities.  The technological advantage we gained from MEP's training propelled Katahdin to the top of its industry, tripling our sales and dealer network within 24 months.” David Gordon, CEO (Manufacturer of top quality cedar log homes.)

Bourgeois Guitars, Lewiston – “With the help of Maine MEP, Bourgeois positioned itself for future growth.  Uniquely combining industrial engineering and lean manufacturing tool and techniques, the project team analyzed the process flow.  Spaghetti diagrams highlighted areas of improvement and the team developed a plan for continuously improving the production process and an ideal layout for the facility.  John Karp, CEO (Bourgeois has been building guitars for nearly 40 years and are known around the world for its superb craftsmanship.)

Cobscook Bay Company, Trescott – “Working collaboratively with Maine MEP has greatly enhanced our company’s employee productivity, production flow and operational efficiency.  Not only has the initiative helped us analyze the critical details of our manufacturing process, but it’s created a valuable partnership between our company and Maine MEP.” Jeff Johnson, CEO (Savory seafood pies created with premium, all natural and sustainably harvested Maine ingredients.)

Senior Flexonics Pathway, Inc., Lewiston - “Working with the Maine MEP, the Career Center, Western Maine Community Action and the New England School of Metalwork, we were able to develop a curriculum that meets our shop-floor needs, so that trainees have the skills required to immediately become productive employees.”  Don Mondor, Manufacturing Manager (The Company has been a pioneer in providing solutions to movements in high pressure and temperature process equipment.)

Gracefully Clean, Gardiner – “…we are experiencing success with the methods MEP implemented to our manufacturing setups and systems.  Within minutes of observing our coding system the project manager had a much more efficient system in place that reduced the handling of individual bottles to 75%.”  Grace Montalbo, Owner (Manufacturer of environmentally safe and healthy cleaning system.)

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