Wisconsin MEP Increases Manufacturing Revenues

Partnership fuels sales growth and productivity gains

Wisconsin manufacturers report that assistance they received from the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) last year produced an economic benefit of $137 million, much of it in sales growth.

"The impact we're reporting demonstrates that we can compete and win in the global marketplace -- as long as we understand the old rules of success no longer apply. Innovation and transformation are the new currencies of the global economy," said Michael Klonsinski, executive director of WMEP, a non-profit consulting organization that helps small and mid-size manufacturers grow and succeed.

WMEP-assisted companies reported improvements valued at $137 million, including:

  • $75.7 million in increased/retained sales
  • $16.7 million in cost savings
  • $44.8 million in investment, including new plant and equipment
  • 855 created/retained jobs

In addition, state tax revenues are projected to increase $6.2 million as a result of higher sales and job creation. More than half of this year's impact came from higher/retained sales reported by surveyed firms.

During the past five years, WMEP-assisted manufacturers reported impact of $839 million with more than 8,000 jobs created/retained.

Manufacturing is a $47.2 billion industry in Wisconsin, employing more than 500,000. During 2006, manufacturing's contribution to Wisconsin's economy grew $2.2 billion, according to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

WMEP provided services to 435 state manufacturers last year. Among them:

  • Franksville-based Cornerstone Design Ltd. says WMEP played a key role in helping the company sustain its lean culture, improve performance and ramp up sales. Cornerstone designs and installs turn-key automation equipment and lean manufacturing systems that improve efficiency and safety.
  • Waupaca-based Centerline Machine Inc., a custom machining and fabrication company that specializes in just-in-time manufacturing, credits WMEP for helping it overcome significant business challenges at a time when the firm was struggling to survive. WMEP helped Centerline overhaul its operations and implement measures to improve its workforce, efficiency, quality and service.
  • Milwaukee-based E.R. Wagner Manufacturing Co., Tubular Products Division, an engineered component supplier to the automotive industry, turned to WMEP to implement ISO/TS16949, an internationally-recognized quality management system for the automotive industry.
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