Background

AmFor Electronics’ primary business focus is the development, manufacturing and marketing of automotive electrical test equipment, direct connection test leads, repair, adapter and custom wiring harnesses.

In June of 2006, AmFor contacted OMEP for some manufacturing help. Their management team had been reading about the Toyota Production System and Lean Manufacturing and decided that they needed to implement some of these concepts in their operation.

13
New Employees
33%
Sales Increase
15%
Profit Increase

The Situation

When OMEP did the initial assessment it became very apparent that AmFor Electronics needed more than just help on their production floor. With their sales flat and profit margins decreasing, they really needed help with top line growth and they needed it fast—new customers, new markets, and a new marketing message.

The Solution

OMEP took the lead and helped AmFor obtain grant funded training and provided marketing strategy and Lean Enterprise assistance. OMEP contacted the Portland Development Commission and secured funding for a marketing/sales improvement initiative.

  • In a matter of just a few weeks they cemented their business identity as AmFor Electronics
  • Upgraded their corporate image
  • Moved their entire operation to a new facility that was more conducive to product flow
  • Acquired the assets a few large customers from a smaller competitor
  • Reorganized the company to be more focused on specific market segments

With OMEP’s help, AmFor Electronics received a Governor’s Workforce Training Grant for employee training and Lean implementation.

  • They placed all their crimping machines onto rolling carts instead of having them lined up on fixed bench tops giving employees flexibility to move the machines around
  • They also combined their two electrical test assembly stations into one assembly cell that reduced the square footage required by more than 50 percent
  • Reduced their lead times to their customers
  • Continued to produce a high-quality product

The Results

  • AmFor Electronics has seen their sales increase by 33 percent in one year
  • Profits have increased by 15 percent
  • On time delivery to one of their newest and largest customers is 100 percent
  • Prior to starting the project AmFor Electronics had 24 employees and today they have 37
  • They have brought back some cable assemblies from China, because Lean manufacturing enables them to be more competitive in a global marketplace
  • The grant funded investment in OMEP’s consulting service was recovered in new sales growth more than 10 times over in about one year

OMEP recommended working with a sales/marketing consultant (Arezzini Associates) to improve our market and sales growth. As we worked to build our sales growth, OMEP developed a training program funded by a matching grant from the Oregon Governor's Workforce Training Initiative to educate our organization on the principles of a Lean Enterprise.

Jerry Koopman
CEO

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