Growth Manufacturers Case Studies
Human Systems Integration Partners with MassMEP to Set Company Vision and Drive Growth
By Kathie Mahoney, Center Director, MassMEP
Human Systems Integration, Inc. (HSI) is a leading developer and provider of wearable situational awareness products and solutions. HSI engineers products that emphasize ergonomics and human factors while ensuring that they will perform in some of the most challenging and austere environments and applications in the world.
To date, the wearables market has been defined by discrete devices such as Smartwatches, Heads Up AR/VR Displays, and Personal Fitness Monitors. However, HSI believes that multi-sensor, garment integrated/embedded wearable solutions will truly disrupt this market, and this is where they are developing the team, the environment, and the strategic focus to pioneer and lead this exciting new market category.
Improvements in Strategy, Cyber Security, and Supply Chain
HSI was referred to MassMEP through Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2), where the HSI had engaged with the NextFlex Manufacturing USA Institute. After attending a marketing and sales event in September 2018, HSI partnered with MassMEP to build their marketing and organizational capabilities and to develop a strategic growth plan. The strategic plan has been essential in defining the future direction of the company over the next 3 years. The plan has enabled HSI to identify highly achievable goals and to provide a clear vision for the future. The process used by MassMEP's partner is simple, straightforward, and provides clear direction for the short and long-term growth of the firm.
HSI also engaged MassMEP on a Cyber Security assessment project. At this time, HSI's primary customer market is the defense industry, and a critical requirement for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is to comply with, or have a roadmap and plan in place to comply with, NIST SP 800-171. NIST compliance was a key foundation for their growth plan with the DoD.
While consulting with MassMEP throughout the process, HSI applied for and was awarded a capital grant of $1.45M from M2I2, a state resource that provides capital funding for Massachusetts companies. As part of their grant, HSI has committed $150k for state-of-the-art fabric and garment fabrication equipment to be placed at local supply chain partner facilities throughout the Commonwealth. Enhancing their partners' capabilities is a key component to the future transition to manufacturing for HSI and their electronic fabric applications for the DoD and medical markets.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has invested in several of the Manufacturing USA Institutes, one of them being NextFlex. HSI understands the value of the manufacturing institutes in identifying future technology trends and will continue to partner with the Manufacturing USA Institutes, most notably NextFlex, whom they have partnered with on a number of projects. HSI's collaboration with NextFlex has been extremely productive and HSI is excited about their future collaboration with the NextFlex node in Massachusetts.
HSI's Primary KPI's since Engaging MassMEP
- Jobs – 8 new jobs
- Sales – tripled sales
"When we were introduced to MassMEP, we had been looking for a partner who understood the overall manufacturing landscape and capabilities within the state. We knew the capabilities we were looking for in supply chain partners, and, although, as a company, we have many years of experience in the industry, the technologies and the manufacturing landscape are constantly changing. Having a partner (MassMEP) who is solely focused on staying on top of the manufacturing landscape in the state has proven to be invaluable to us. They are always available and have made some very valuable introductions to specific partners who are now part of our supply chain. Aside from their knowledge with the Commonwealth's manufacturing eco-system, they also provide, both in-house and in partnership with others, very valuable trainings across a broad spectrum of topics from Cyber Security to Business Strategy and from Lean Operations to New Product Introduction. As we look out into the future, we look forward to continuing to work closely with MassMEP." -- Brian Farrell, President of HSI