Posted by Manufacturing Innovation Blog | 2/26/15 2:00 PM 0 Comments

The Wagner Companies, a 120-person, family-owned company located in Milwaukee, Wis., manufactures and stocks standard products for metal fabricators and also produces custom products — primarily for handrails. The organization was able to increase sales through exporting.

The Wagner Companies accelerated its exporting efforts by connecting with the Wisconsin MEP and participating in ExporTech™. This program consists of three intense sessions scheduled one month apart, and coaching and assistance are provided between the sessions.

The key takeaway: The Wagner Companies worked to develop a strategic plan for exporting with recognized experts. As a result, the organization has increased export sales 40% each year and has increased the countries served from 2 to 16.

Read the full story.

CleveMed (New Product Development)

CleveMed is a leader in web-based solutions and miniaturized wireless monitors for sleep disorders. The company is located in Cleveland, OH, and has 40 employees. The organization was able to grow through new product developments.

CleveMed had a great concept for a new device that would help people diagnose sleep apnea. However, they were challenged by creating a physical design for the product that would be extremely user friendly, which would make or break the success of the product. The organization connected with MAGNET, part of the Ohio MEP, who provided a product development engineer to help them solve the problem and successfully introduce the product to the market.

The key takeaway: New product enhancements and developments are vital to growth. If you run into a problem, seek outside assistance. As a result of MAGNET’s help, CleveMed was able to achieve $500,000 in new sales and created 2 new jobs.

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RF Micro Devices (Workforce Training)

RF Micro Devices (RFMD) was founded in Greensboro, N.C., in 1991. It designs and manufactures high-performance radio frequency systems and solutions for applications that drive wireless and broadband communications.

RFMD enlisted the N.C. State Industrial Extension Service (the MEP Center in North Carolina) to provide Six Sigma on-site Green Belt training. Participants were given real-world projects during training that they would continue to work on after its completion.

The key takeaway: Training your staff is critical to your company’s success. Six Sigma on-site Green Belt training led to the development of better processes for inventory control levels and final product test efficiency.  As a result, RFMD experienced multi-million dollar cost savings.

Read the full story.

To learn more by reading about real-life success stories from US manufacturers, please visit our success stories page (which has around 950 success stories from the past three years alone).


Ms. Reidy leads the NIST MEP Communication team. This team oversees the messaging and outreach efforts focused on highlighting MEP accomplishments and positioning the program as a resource for manufacturers.

Topics: Manufacturing