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M&K Engineering Boosts Sales

“The Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership has proven to be a most valuable ally in our struggle to meet the demands of an increasingly competitive marketplace.” — Henry Bernardo, President

M&K Engineering, Inc., in Woburn, Massachusetts, is a small contract machine shop specializing in the production of Swiss screw machine precision components. This minority-owned business also has expertise in all-around machining, CNC (computer numerical control), and milling and turning. The company has been in business for over five years and almost 90% of its business is geared to military contracting.

Continually looking to the future of his company, President Henry Bernardo realized that he needed to change the ways in which he was doing business to better meet the demands of M&K’s market. They could no longer afford a four- to six-week turnaround time on delivery, and they needed to invest in the latest technology and “best business practices” to be able to manufacture their products better, faster, and cheaper. He began looking to the feasibility of implementing a customized material review process (MRP) to accomplish this goal. Faced with the dual pressures of running his business and administering a project that would accelerate the company’s move toward the 21st Century, Mr. Bernardo turned to its local Manufacturing Extension Partnership affiliate, the MassMEP, for assistance.

For the past five years, M&K’s accounting, purchasing, job costing, and invoicing systems had been maintained separately from each other, and many of the systems were still handled on paper. Mr. Bernardo realized that this situation needed to change. M&K had already laid the foundation for upgrading their computer systems to better meet their increasing demands and to streamline their internal processes. With the assistance of the MassMEP, M&K investigated several systems that were designed to streamline these particular tasks. However, the costs associated with several of these options represented a significant computer capital investment and were clearly not viable. Together, MassMEP and M&K brought in a software developer who custom designed a program that would run in a Windows environment and allow the company to handle these administrative tasks with only incremental hardware upgrades and at minimal cost to the company.

Although the first phase of the project has just recently been completed, the company is anticipating significant returns on their initial investment. Because of an increase in inventory turns to eight day, the company expects a significant increase in sales with an additional $100,000 savings in inventory control. They also expect that the project will result in a reduction in rework by 10%, saving the company about $10,000 through scrap reduction.

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