Category Archive: Business Growth

The Progression to Lean Manufacturing

If you were to travel back in time to manufacturing facilities from twenty years ago, you would notice the vast differences between those facilities and today’s facilities. Back then, each manufacturer focused on their own skills, and businesses had a larger amount of employees. Now, as we have seen even in our own business, small to medium sized manufacturers have a smaller group of employees who wear multiple hats within the business.

Since the recession hit in 2009, businesses, especially manufacturers, were forced to delegate business in a leaner manner. Lean manufacturing, as defined by the EPA, is “a business model and collection of tactical methods that emphasize eliminating non-value added activities while delivering quality products on time at least cost with greater efficiency.” Lean manufacturing, as stated in the article, has quickly been implemented by a plethora of industries in recent years.

Today, as more and more younger people are heading on different career paths and there is an increased use of automation and technology in the manufacturing process, businesses are learning to do more with less; we certainly have. However, we are hoping that as manufacturing continues to grow and come back, more college-educated people will see how other disciplines fit into the field and choose careers in the manufacturing world.

We know we aren’t the only ones faced with these challenges. Instead, lean manufacturing and the idea of working with you have has become widespread throughout the industry. Not only have businesses been forced into this survival mode because of the recent economy, but the introduction of new technologies has also lent itself to lean manufacturing. Together, we are all becoming more lean and adaptable to the quickly-changing industry.

Helping the Resurgence in Manufacturing, One Step at a Time

Across the world of manufacturing, businesses are beginning to rebound from the recent recession. Manufacturers in a variety of industries are experiencing growth for the first time in years and they are building up for a peak in orders. As there has been a resurgence in manufacturing, we have also seen more support for local customers and for American-made products.

As a company that persevered through the recession, we believe that manufacturers who endured the recession are currently doing it again, by integrating lean manufacturing into their processes, investing in automation and new technologies, and making the right adjustments. We have seen this on a personal note as well.

Our parent company, Cypress, hosts an annual corporate managers’ meeting for all of their companies and staff. Every year, the senior managers meet, make presentations, and discuss various initiatives they have worked on in their business. It is a good opportunity for us to present what we have been working on, see what the other companies are doing, and network within our parent company in order to achieve best practices.

Not only is it exciting for us to be a part of a company that continues to grow, but it is also important for us to share experiences and tips on how to be a successful manufacturer in today’s marketplace as well. We plan on making whatever adjustments necessary to progress in this manufacturing resurgence.

The Power of Momentum

Here at UP&R we’re growing. And not only are we growing, we have momentum. We’re on pace to do almost twice as much business in 2012 as we did in 2006. And we’re looking to do even more business in 2013. There’s no better feeling than momentum. It means our success is more than just a flash in the pan, and that the strategies we’re employing are working and working well.

And what are those strategies? The first is acquisition. Much like our acquisition of Dybrook, Inc. a few months back, we seek out the best businesses in the industry to increase our capacity and our capabilities. We also learn from each business we acquire, making us a stronger company overall.

The second factor that’s made sustained growth possible is our incredible sales force. They truly can’t be beat in terms of knowledge, experience and the rapport they have with their clients. Our sales force falls into two groups. The first is made up of guys that have been working for us for years. They know the industry inside and out, and have the product knowledge to get clients the answers they need. The other part of our sales team is made up of former manufacturers. They were operations guys, down on the floor making parts. So when they’re out visiting a client’s plant, not only can they tell the client whether or not UP&R can make a certain part, they can tell them how we’ll make that part. They can take them through the process step by step, because they have years of experience doing it themselves.

And what does our growth mean for our customers? First, by growing profitably, we’re ensuring that we can reinvest in our business to stay globally competitive. Second, it could potentially grant us leverage when ordering raw materials, allowing us to purchase materials at a lower price and pass those savings onto our customers. Third, growth begets growth. Projects that haven’t been nurtured can now be brought to fruition. A stronger UP&R means a stronger partner for our clients, and our growth shows no signs of stopping.