“VMEC is a reliable and trusted partner for Rhino Foods. Innovation Engineering is a perfect example of where VMEC is helping Vermont manufacturers lead and compete on a global scale.”
– Dan Kiniry, Director of Marketing, Rhino Foods Inc.
“Rutland has invested in a new, multi-million dollar automated cold forming line. One of our Apprentice grads is working the project through to completion. He was selected because of the Apprentice Program training (6,000 Hours OJT, 950 Hours of Classes from VT Technical College and the VMEC courses) and having a Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Vermont. There are other investments that have been made in the last year where past Apprentice grads are currently working the implementation part of the project. It is one thing to invest the money in projects. It is another to implement the projects. Our Apprentice Program continues to graduate individuals that have the knowledge and skills to make this happen.”
– Randall Ouellette, Senior Product/Process Specialist, GE – Aviation, Rutland Operation
“I would recommend VMEC & EA to anyone considering updating their ERP system. The cost of contracting these two helped eliminate the risk of this large decision by focusing us on the ERP packages that best met our needs. The results of the program was Ai ended up with a painless transition from our old system, and continuous improvement opportunities since implementation.”
– Joseph Smith, Director of Operations, Advanced illumination Inc.
“Without the assistance of VMEC, we would have chosen a different software solution that may have not met our needs as effectively as the one we secured. We are pleased with the process and outcome.”
– Kim Danforth, Office Supervisor, Vermont Creamery Inc.
“I can’t even begin to thank you enough for all of the wonderful learning experiences that I have had through VMEC. As a young engineer getting his start in the world, I would say my time working with your company has been some of the most beneficial to my professional development.”
– Travis Russell, Plant Engineer and EHS Manager, Isovolta Inc.
“I really enjoyed the day. It was an eye-opener! I thought I had understood most of the concepts of Lean Manufacturing, but the hands-on experience made it “real”. Clearly you have done this many times and it was obvious. You had the characters and sequence down pat, very enjoyable.”
– Brian Haas, President, VIS Construction Consultants
“I had a great time at the Lean Manufacturing Class and will certainly recommend it to people I am working with as well as employers. It was well worth the time and very well presented.”
– Christine Longmore, Workforce Development Specialist, VABIR/Community Justice Center
“It used to be that product development was a one person show, me. I took in ideas and suggestions but ultimately all designs and decisions were up to me. At the same time I was, as typical, wearing many other hats. Therefore, product development was uneven and often hurried. Through my experiences with Innovation Engineering I realized I needed to respect the creative process more. We needed more ideas, more input to filter them properly, and more time to polish the good ones. Our most practical move was the creation about four years ago of a production development team, made up of internal people with enough varied skills to work on ideas without me. We have probably doubled our idea generation and doubled our new product introductions, often with greater success than we’ve seen in previous years. We are able to make more profitable judgments about what products we keep in our line because we know there is a solid pipeline of additional products coming. The continuous push of IE in the back of my mind keeps us moving along.”
– Mike Rainville, President, Maple Landmark Woodcraft
“It [VMEC] is an invaluable resource for Vermont businesses.”
– Tony Dunne, Sales Manager, Absolute Precision, Morrisville, VT
“There is a certain value of having an outside expert involved in the process to lend legitimacy.”
– Ben Wallace, Continuous Improvement Director, Sonnax, Bellows Falls, VT
“VMEC continues to be a great educational resource for NRG Systems. We utilize programs like Lean 101, Value Stream Mapping, and 5S to enhance our team’s ability to succeed. By aligning with VMEC, our company has consistently improved its processes, and more importantly, has committed to best-practice philosophies. VMEC has helped NRG Systems become a leader in wind measurement worldwide.”
– Louis Prue, Logistics Manager, NRG Systems, Hinesburg, VT
“By identifying the various components of materials waste on the machines during set up, we were able to systematically reduce our materials usage overall.”
– Robert Hibbert, Operations Manager, Questech, Rutland, VT
“Outstanding services resulting in efficiency gains, material savings, and improvement of business processes.”
– Jeff Dezotell, Product Manager, Dynapower, South Burlington, VT
“Going through this process we learned a different way to look at our business as a whole. The most immediate effect was that it freed up alot of cash for us. But more than that, now that we have started our transition we know exactly how we need to change our relationships with our suppliers and our customers so everyone benefits. It is the next logical step for a company which is growing as fast as we are.”
– Paul Laderoute, CFO/VP Finance, Questech Metals, Rutland, VT
“As a small Vermont manufacturer competing on a global basis, we need to capitalize on every advantage and resource available to us, in order to accomplish our goals. VMEC has become a strategic and beneficial partner in a very short time. With the direct assistance of the VMEC team of consultants we partnered with, we have recently accomplished our new ISO 13485:2003 certification.”
– Scott Andrews, VP Sales, Cutting Edge Instruments, Bridgewater Corners, VT
“None of this would have happened without VMEC and Paul Demers’ passion for Lean. Our clients are interested in getting their wafers processed as quickly as possible, reducing their manufacturing cycle time. With VMEC’s assistance, we’re studying everything that feeds into the process to identify and trim waste. The faster we get new products into our clients’ hands, the more successful they will be, and that’s the value we can offer. The VMEC team has made an incredible difference at IBM.”
– Jeff Maling, STI Etch Manufacturing Engineer, IBM, Burlington, VT
“The Soft Select process enabled us to determine what was important to us in looking for a new software package and clarified the areas where our current software package was falling short. The functional questionnaire forced us to look at the specifics of how we wanted to use information technology in our business and what software features were important to us. Once we had identified these important features, we could ensure that we were shown these features during the software demos. The functional database feature saved us a lot of time in weeding out software packages that didn’t meet our functional requirements. VMEC’s Information Technology Specialist worked closely with us throughout the project and was extremely knowledgeable and helpful in guiding us through the process of picking the best ERP software package to meet our needs. VMEC’s guidance and skills saved us considerable time and money on this project.”
– Bruce Bove, IS Manager, Autumn Harp, Inc., Bristol, VT
“Using the SoftSelect process made my job in managing the selection process easy and provided a methodology that supported our culture of keeping everyone informed of the what’s and why’s of the project. Getting necessary information and feedback from key users regarding system requirements, and then the packages presented, was critical and left those who participated feeling enrolled in the final vendor selection. Users are excited and happily anticipating our “Go Live” date – while this is a huge endeavor and lots of extra work for most, the benefits of completing the project are well understood by all.”
– Jayne Magnant, Director of IT, Rhino Foods, Inc., South Burlington, VT
“Before we started this project, some employees would ‘do it all’ and others were in the dark about how to help. Now we have developed a culture of continuous improvement, and everyone participates.”
– Tommy Harmon, CEO / Owner, Sonnax Industries, Bellows Falls, VT
“I feel strongly that if you are in machine trades and you want to be in business five years from now, you have to have these ratings.”
– Harold Torre, President, Whitetail Manufacturing, Williston, VT
“Eureka! Winning Ways gave us a clear path of what to expect from our testing. ‘Fail fast, fail cheap’ has been a liberating motto to live by. There’s comfort in knowing that success can come from failure – try, discover, correct, execute. This has made our current retail test lab successful for this roll-out, and will certainly be invaluable when we’re ready to move on to the next great idea.”
– Gary Marmer, Vice President Marketing, Questech, Rutland, VT
“Overall support from VMEC to BioTek has been outstanding, VMEC’s personnel has been the key to our success. VMEC’s skill base, flexibility to meet our needs, and willingness from its personnel to challenge BioTek’s personnel has maximized our overall success.”
– Briar Alpert, President, BioTek, Winooski, VT
“We were out of floor space and tight on cash. Where was the cash?” inventory. But of course, all good manufacturers know that cutting inventory increases lead times. After taking Lean classes from VMEC, sending my staff through them and continually getting lectured by VMEC, we decided to actually give this “Lean” thing a try.
In short, my life has changed. Our inventory is roughly half what is was, our lead times have remained at “same day shipping” and our backorders have been virtually eliminated. We have freed up tremendous floor space and eliminated numerous non-value-added jobs like scheduling, re-scheduling and then convincing customers to move out their ship dates.
The process is straight forward, but requires dedication from top to bottom. Most importantly, from the top. Every element of the process needs to be thought through, down to the smallest detail, such as determining a re-order level for thank you cards. It takes a tremendous amount of planning time and forces you to think about every part of your business.
In the end, it makes us nimble. We are prepared to make what the customer wants when they want it, no excuses. And isn’t that the point?
– Ben Clark, VP and General Manager, Ann Clark Ltd., Rutland, VT
“We have attended the Lean 101 and Making Sense of Defense workshops. The VMEC staff and workshops are great. More of our staff will be attending. We tried it and it worked for us.”
– Matt Alley, Owner, Absolute Precision, Inc., Morrisville, VT
“VMEC continues to provide tools to support in cost cutting and continuous improvements.” An effect of VMEC assistance is, “Better trained employees to work on our more complex components.”
– Mark Boutin, Facilities Manager, BioTek, Winooski, VT
“As a result of VMEC services, we increased our velocity. This was done by making more robust processes. Robust processes minimize waste and improve efficiency and lower cost. Lower costs, shorter leadtimes, and higher quality lead to more customers. ”
– John G. Palermo, Production Manager, Huber + Suhner, Inc, Essex Junction, VT
“Because of our work with VMEC, we have seen our gross profit margin double in less than one year. We have much room for improvement, but it now feels like we are operating a real business, not just managing chaos and making pretty bags. We are making ten times as many bags in a much smaller space with the same number of people. Our employees are happy to come to work, are able to find the sources for their own errors, and suggest methods for improvements. We are able to predict turnaround time and volume requirements from our suppliers based on our own order volume. We have built an organized space with clear visual cues and indicators for when an action is necessary. ”
– Alicia Marchildon, Co-Founder, Flashbags, South Burlington, VT
“We began our Lean journey in manufacturing over two years ago. Don Paul, Bill Kuhns, Dick Morse, Paul Demers and the staff at VMEC have been extremely supportive of our Lean initiatives and have always been there to help out along the way. Although we appreciate the compliments and continued support, and good relationship we have with VMEC, half the fun is knowing that we are far from done and still have a lot of work to do. With CHP’s renewed commitment to Lean and support from VMEC, we’re confident that we will continue to improve in the years to come.”
– Jim Fay, Plant Manager, Country Home Products, Winooski, VT
“If the VMEC team had not stepped in with the knowledge and effort that it did, there is no question we would not have passed our ISO 9001 audit.”
– Eric Hounchell, Vice President of Operations, Revision Eyewear, Essex Junction, VT
“In our industry, it’s critical to keep developing new ideas to grow our market position. Eureka! Winning Ways put a structure to our new ideas, giving us a methodology to ask the questions we may have otherwise not taken the time to explore but which are necessary for launching a new idea.”
– Mike Rainville, Owner, Maple Landmark Woodcraft, Middlebury, VT