Manufacturing Peer Council
*Exclusive to manufacturers*
Risk Management Essentials
*Exclusive to manufacturers*
Helping Manufacturing Enterprises Grow Profitably.
Enterprise Minnesota is an ISO 9001:2008 certified consulting organization that works with medium and smaller manufacturing enterprises to help them compete and grow profitably. The organization also serves as the “voice” for the industry, raising visibility and appreciation for the value manufacturers provide our communities and the state’s economy. Our affiliation with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) further positions us to offer clients leading-edge services to improve manufacturing operations and strengthen business.
How We Help Manufacturers
Our team of 30 business advisors and technical experts provide expertise that helps clients improve productivity, increase sales, grow profits, as well as create and retain jobs.
Let us help your organization:
Minnesota’s manufacturers are feeling remarkable levels of across-the-board confidence in the financial prospects for their companies in 2016, according to the eighth annual State of Manufacturing® survey. At the same time, the survey reveals a growing concern about the U.S. economy.
Upcoming Business Events
“Enterprise Minnesota has never felt like an outside consultant and has always been a valued partner in helping us improve the way we do business. These consulting projects not only helped us develop a roadmap to meet our strategic objective of growth, but most importantly ensured that we included all the stakeholders in Harmony Enterprises, Inc. in the process.”
Steve Cremer – President
Harmony Enterprises, Inc.
“We have reduced our costs and lowered our cycle times which has led to increased capacity. We couldn’t have done with this without Enterprise Minnesota.”
Ken Detloff – Owner and CEO
“The support we have had from Enterprise Minnesota has proved to be invaluable. The knowledge the staff has working with people is impressive. With their help, we are now able to consistently train our staff on the important steps, what we do, in what order, how we do it, and why we do it that way. Whenever we ask for a follow-up or help dealing with an issue that arises, Enterprise Minnesota’s staff has been more than willing to come to our aid whether it's a phone call or an on-site visit. At times, that has meant spending some time on our midnight shift, or even working an extra-long day to cover all three shifts; no matter, they are there for us regardless.”
Randy Tupa – Quality Assurance Manager
“While we have done formal strategic planning for many years, marketing has always been an afterthought. With the help of Enterprise Minnesota, our marketing plan is now focused on how we can best serve our customers and has become a key part of our strategic plan.”
Tom Murphy – President
“The consultants we have worked with at Enterprise Minnesota have been fantastic. Mary Connor was really knowledgeable and knew the Strategy Management process. The process itself was so useful and we have utilized what we learned there on other projects and initiatives during the past few years.”
Traci Tapani – Co-President
“Kent Myhrman and the team at Enterprise Minnesota were great to work with. They brought new angles and different experience to not only help us with ISO certification but helped other areas of our business. It was a very smooth and useful experience.”
Jon Boutain – CFO and Part Owner
“I heartily endorse Enterprise Minnesota. They have helped us focus on what is important and have added profits and value to our company.”
John Babcock – President
St. Martin, MN
“Enterprise Minnesota has provided Massman Automation Design with very experienced and knowledgeable support throughout the training we have received. The content has been presented in practical ways that can be applied by all who have attended. They have been instrumental in expanding the lean knowledge within our company. I would suggest that any company that has not taken the opportunity to work with Enterprise Minnesota should do so.”
Chuck Geris – Manufacturing Manager
Massman Automation Designs, LLC
"Enterprise Minnesota gave us the tools and the confidence to improve our business. With their help, Von Ruden is prepared to face challenges head on and compete on a global playing field."
Brandon Anderson – President
Von Ruden Manufacturing, Inc.
“I was fortunate to be involved with both the Proactive Marketing and Strategy Management projects. Both were great as they focused on the needs of manufacturing companies. Roger (Hurd) and Mary (Connor) were great resources and did a wonderful job of steering us through the projects. With the Strategy Management, every employee in the company was involved in at least one or more of the 21 research areas. We also included customers and vendors in the process. As a result, we established a solid foundation from which we are able to build upon and keep the business moving forward.”
John Kroll – VP, Sales and Marketing
Midwest Rubber Service & Supply Company
“What I appreciate most about Enterprise Minnesota’s training is that it not only allows but requires us to work on solutions to actual problems from the business. I've received excellent payback from Enterprise Minnesota training sessions in the form of solutions to problems upon following through. In addition, attendees of these sessions develop improved problem solving skills and acquire a common language for problem solving. I highly recommend this training.”
Sam Wagner – Operations Manager
“Enterprise Minnesota has helped us to improve several aspects of our company. Becoming ISO 9001 certified helped us fill many gaps in our quality control program, helped us land new customers, and has also helped with the teamwork aspect of our company. Probably the greatest impact on our company was the lean manufacturing program, which gave us more room, better lead times, and more cash than we could have ever imagined. In three months we dropped our inventory amounts over 40% which enabled us to make cost saving improvements to increase profitability.”
Tom Rogus – President
“Smith Foundry experienced very positive results while working with Enterprise Minnesota on several GreenLean projects. Smith realized significant cost savings and reduced environmental impact simultaneously. We highly recommend Enterprise Minnesota to any business that is interested in increasing profitability while also being a good steward to the environment.”
Neil Ahlstrom – President
Smith Foundry Company
"The [CEO Council] group provides an opportunity to collaborate with owners who deal with similar situations. The discussion makes you think about things you might not think of otherwise. There’s openness in the sharing, so it makes you consider all angles.”
Daryle Pomranke – President & Owner
Winnebago Manufacturing Company
Blue Earth, MN
“Enterprise Minnesota’s staff was very knowledgeable and the pace of the training was perfect. We have seen improved communication across the board, not only inside the plant, but externally with our customers as well.”
Craig Ryan – General Manager/Owner
Page 1 Printers
“Through the ISO certification process we have learned that not only does it open the door for new customers, but it also helps us as a company to get our processes and procedures in line. ISO is a great drawing card because companies realize we went through the process to make our company better. Enterprise Minnesota did a great job of helping us understand ISO and getting us through the certification process.”
Greg Zierke – President & CEO
Zierke Built Manufacturing
“I feel like the networking and resources that we gained through Enterprise Minnesota's Global Market Strategy program helped us to move forward the equivalent of 3-4 years in about six months. It has really accelerated our movement forward towards accomplishing our strategic goal of developing a global presence in support of our growth goals.”
Jerry Kauffman – President & CEO
New Ulm, MN
“We are a growing company, we have been adding 10 to 20 employees a year and our experience with TWI for the leadership team proved to us that it works so with our new people we decided to make TWI a priority and we have been very happy with it. With TWI, not only do we have employees who are improving their skills, but we find that they are happier employees because they know we want them to succeed and be prepared to advance. The instructors from Enterprise Minnesota did a good job of developing a thorough process and their willingness to regularly follow-up to ensure the training was effective has definitely helped us create a better culture for change.”
Mark Shervey – President
Pequot Tool & Manufacturing, Inc.
“Participating in Enterprise Minnesota’s Proactive Marketing for Manufacturers helped us realize that sales and marketing have strategic and tactical components just like any other function in the company. Our marketing plan combines all the information we gathered and places it into a detailed action plan. The time and money we committed to working with Enterprise Minnesota has generated many multiples of return in increased sales and profits."
Steve McKeown – President & CEO
Kluge Design, Inc.
“We now have solid relationships in several new countries and have the resources here in the U.S. to help us expand to other markets. Our company is growing because we took that first step to becoming knowledgeable about exporting and gaining the confidence to sell internationally.”
Allan Cronen – President
“Enterprise Minnesota offered a program that appeared well aligned to providing Delkor support in meeting our objectives. Over a period of three months, Enterprise Minnesota worked with us to help define our product offering, focus on the best markets for penetration and growth, and connect us with numerous external resources we were previously unaware of. The combination of these elements enabled us to achieve our strategic objectives and has positioned us to expand our presence in the Latin America market and improve our efforts in the Canada, Australia, and New Zealand markets.”
Mike Wilcox – Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Delkor Systems, Inc.
Arden Hills, MN
“Being able to know that we’re polluting less, spending less, and making more is one of the very rare win-win-win situations.”
Tim Ranta – Plant Engineer
Minnesota Twist Drill
“To be the best supplier that we can be, we don’t just pass on an increase. We have to look at other ways to counter that increase. If you incorporate lean into your facility, you can make money in other ways than by raising prices. A lot of waste is out there that people don’t see. If we can save there, that will help our bottom line.”
Jeff Zoubek – Executive Vice President and Production Manager
“RIE Coatings could be a case study in how a company can define a value proposition, and then create and implement a plan. It’s gone very well for us.”
Chuck Rau – President
Eden Valley, MN
“We were very happy with what came out of it. Tim Bjorgum [of Enterprise Minnesota] was extremely knowledgeable and he had walked in our shoes. There is a theoretical way and then the way to do things from someone who has been on the floor and run into these problems. He’s walked the walk and is very good at workable solutions.”
Mike Conklin – Manufacturing Manager
“Enteprise Minnesota's SFM [Synchronous Flow Manufacturing] helped us maintain a very strong cash position during the recession. When credit was drying up, we didn’t need to go to creditors because we had the cash to grow. That made us able to respond to customer demand in the market. We were a company that was able to say yes every time [a company] came to us and said, ‘We’re bouncing back, can you help us?’ or, ‘We want to grow, can you help us?'"
Chad Carson – General Manager
Avicenna Technology, Inc.
“I’ve never seen so much new work coming into our facility as there is now. That’s a direct effort from the strategic plan, looking for new markets and listening to what the market needs are. With Enterprise Minnesota coming in and helping us, they led us through a very unique process for strategic planning, [and] gave a unique perspective that we would not have come up with our own.”
Tom Renk – President
“Participating in Enterprise Minnesota’s Practical Problem Solving helped us see the value of developing our problem-solving expertise and we are becoming better at defining problems with increasing clarity. Using real problems we were experiencing during the consulting gave us the confidence that we are on the right track to higher customer satisfaction, higher margins and better teamwork.”
Dale Walker – Director of Continuous Improvement
Le Sueur Inc.
Le Sueur, MN
“Achieving ISO status has impacted ERMC in ways we didn’t anticipate. For some companies having a Quality Management System or “QMS” is all about the quality. For ERMC, it’s a management system to improve how we run our business. It’s about having a management system in place that will allow our organization to grow beyond our entrepreneurial roots to become a company that can do much, much more. Focusing on the ‘M’ in our QMS has allowed us to improve our management system in ways that will enhance our organizational discipline and allow us to double the size of our operation.”
Jim Barthel – President
Elk River Machine Company
Elk River, MN
"I feel blessed to have Enterprise Minnesota on my side working with me to be a better manufacturer in greater Minnesota."
Denise Johnson – President
Lester Prairie, MN
"The participants who took part in the training were extremely impressed with the quality of the instruction; it was practical and useful in their daily activities at Douglas Machine. In terms of its usefulness and practicality, I would give it very high marks.I would also give high-marks to the instructors who provided quality hands-on training."
Rick Paulsen – CEO
Douglas Machine, Inc.
“For many companies, GMI included, the appeal of ISO certification is a variety of tangible value-adds. But I believe some of the greatest benefits GMI has seen cannot be measured. Interactions between departments and personnel during our internal audits have proven extremely valuable in helping foster better communication among and a thorough understanding of each department’s responsibilities. As a result, there is a greater respect among departments for the role each plays within the larger system. The certification process has also opened employees’ minds to look for opportunities to gain even more efficiencies moving forward. In short, our culture has shifted to one of continuous improvement, adding what we feel is tremendous value to the business.”
Richard Powell – President
"The value to me is being in a group exclusively with other manufacturers. The group members come from a variety of industries, but we are all facing a lot of the same issues unique to manufacturing."
Lori Tapani – Co-President
"There is a real value in sitting in a room with people who have an outsider perspective on your business and come from different types of enterprises, but still face many similar issues. We learn from each other about the right way to do things and the wrong way to do things, the peer council helps me keep my business on the right track."
Tom Murphy – President
CARDSource was looking to grow its revenue by better targeting and servicing specific market segments.Full Story
Voyager Industries was looking to ensure that it continued to uphold its high standards for quality and sustained its best practices as it grew. ISO 9001 proved to be the solution Voyager needed.Full Story
Kenway was looking to diversify its product offerings while maintaining quality and maximizing margins to help the company achieve its top-line and bottom-line growth objectives in order to grow by 100% over the next five years. To accomplish this, Kenway sought to implement a culture of continuous improvement.Full Story
L&M Radiator was looking for a way to provide its new supervisors with the tools and skills they needed to perform as leaders as well as a way to standardize its training for new and existing employees in order to get everyone on the same page in a speedy manner.Full Story
Page 1 Printers was looking for a solution that would help its frontline supervisors develop strong leadership and communication skills to make productive improvements in their processes, training, and customer service.Full Story
Midwest Rubber experienced tremendous growth and leadership knew it needed to establish a more structured long-term strategic approach for the business to effectively position the company for continued rapid growth, and also prepare to transition to a new generation of leadership.Full Story
Terog was looking to earn ISO 9001 Certification as a way to further bolster its reputation for quality products. More importantly, Terog was seeking ways to improve its business processes and management systemsFull Story
Harmony Enterprises wanted to double its sales and increase profitably while maintaining its long-held core values.Full Story
Wyoming Machine needed a new path to achieve its growth goals, Enterprise Minnesota's Strategy Management helped lead the company in the right direction.Full Story
Smith Foundry needed to find ways to scale up its operations while simultaneously implementing lean principals and reducing its environmental impact.Full Story
New Ulm manufacturer Windings Inc. takes its business global thanks to Enterprise Minnesota's Global Market Strategy program.Full Story
Massman Automation was looking for ways to empower its employees to question what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. Enterprise Minnesota had the answer.Full Story
Needing expertise in order to grow its client base, Kluge Design Inc. looked to Enterprise Minnesota to help it proactively identify new markets for its products.Full Story
Alliant Castings was facing a transfer of ownership from one generation of the family-run business to the next. At the same time, due to the economic downturn, the company was experiencing a 35 percent to 40 percent decrease in sales. The majority of the company’s business was also strongly concentrated in a handful of major clients.Full Story
Enterprise Minnesota and RIE worked on a plan that repositioned the company in its market place and elevated its connection with customers.Full Story
Pequot Tool’s rapidly rising number of employees meant that the company would have a lot of new employees to train, in addition to its existing goal of implementing a standardized talent development program for current employees.Full Story
Le Sueur Inc. participated in Enterprise Minnesota’s Practical Problem Solving (PPS) consulting service, which shows employees how to define and analyze problems, develop an implementation plan and implement corrective measures.Full Story
Zierke had two distinct issues to address: one, almost 30 percent of its customers now require their suppliers to be ISO certified, and two; it wanted to grow business internationally.Full Story
Delkor worked with Enterprise Minnesota to develop a systematic process for expanding its global markets.Full Story
Enterprise Minnesota’s Global Market Strategy service gave the company confidence in dealing with a range of exporting issues like shipping, containers, currency and distribution.Full Story
Minnesota Twist Drill president Scott Allison asked Enterprise Minnesota to help his company strengthen the leadership skills of its supervisory staff as they worked on implementing Lean initiatives.Full Story
Enterprise Minnesota presented Elk River Machine Company with a structured approach to becoming ISO certifiedFull Story
Enterprise Minnesota recommended Absolute Quality utilize its Lean Enterprise methodologies and pursue a companywide value stream mapping (VSM) project to identify bottlenecks within the company’s processes.Full Story
Atlas worked with Enterprise Minnesota on creating a value stream mapping (VSM) process that tracks work flow and total costs. A VSM looks at how the flow of work impacts the total costs, and helps develop methods to improve processes.Full Story
In the last five years alone Enterprise Minnesota has had the following impacts:
Manufacturing Companies Helped.
in Manufacturing Sales Growth.
in Manufacturing Cost Reductions.
Increase Capitol Expenditures & Modernization.
in Manufacturing Created or Retained.