TechHelp delivers technical and business assistance to Idaho manufacturers. We focus on results just as our clients and you – our investor – do. Here are some highlights from the last quarter.
Why Are Some Idaho Manufacturers Growing?
In the last year, Idaho employment and gross state product have struggled along with several other economic indicators. But a select group of Idaho manufacturers are bucking that trend. They grew their revenue, added to their bottom lines and hired employees. “They” are TechHelp’s clients.
Client Reported Impact on Idaho in 2010
Through new product development and idea engineering, TechHelp clients are innovating and growing sales. Through Lean manufacturing, quality systems and our new E3 program (mentioned below) TechHelp clients are cutting costs without cutting jobs.
In 2010, we worked with 131 clients who reported their results to an independent research firm. The numbers shown above are their numbers, not ours. We measure our success by their success.
E3 – Putting Energy into our Efficiency Efforts
Manufacturing and food processing plants are the largest consumers of energy in the United States, accounting for nearly one-third of all U.S. energy consumption. A small gain in energy efficiency can make a big difference on a manufacturer’s bottom line. Improvements in energy efficiency can also reduce green house gases and curb the need for expensive, new power plants. That’s why TechHelp is adding a new service – called E3 – to help manufacturers produce more with less energy and fewer pollutants. By reducing overproduction, defects and other production wastes, manufacturers can realize energy and environmental savings without major capital outlays. And, in some cases, capital outlays for more efficient lighting, heating/cooling or motors can pay for themselves in a short time. TechHelp is building on its partnerships with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, the Pollution Prevention Resource Center and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance to make this happen. “Going green” can mean the bottom line of the income statement, too.
Another Success Story -
Garbanzos Are Golden in the Palouse Thanks to the Pacific Northwest Farmers Cooperative (PNW)
In a state famous for its potatoes, in a region known for its rolling wheat hills, garbanzo beans are poking up their protein laden heads and gaining some attention. also known as chick peas, Garbanzos are being made into many familiar products by PNW customers nationwide. Humus dip and ready to eat garbanzos used in salads, soups and other products are becoming increasingly popular.
Growth in demand for garbanzos, dried peas and lentils combined with customer demand for quality product and food safety led PNW to seek official certification of its food safety system. PNW brought in Jeff Kronenberg, Food Specialist for the University of Idaho & TechHelp, to provide technical assistance in upgrading food safety systems to meet the requirements of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification as well as develop a comprehensive food safety and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) program. Jeff examined PNW's facilities and encouraged them to seek a third party food safety certification. The company also needed help training new employees hired to run new technically advanced equipment.
PNW food safety and product quality certification efforts led to:
- an increase in sales of $3,133,100.00 with new and existing customers.
- retained sales of $10,000,000 with existing customers. $250,000 in cost savings.
- an investment of $1,800,000 in productive plant equipment.
- savings of $5,000,000 in unnecessary investments.
- an investment $5,000 in information systems.
- a $250,000 investment in workforce practices.
- the creation of 6 new jobs and retention of 10 jobs
Read more about PNW and other successful Idaho companies at www.techhelp.org .
TechHelp provides technical and business assistance to Idaho manufacturers making them more competitive through continuous process and product innovation. The center is a partnership of Idaho’s three state universities and an affiliate of the federal Manufacturing Extension Partnership. It is also Idaho’s EDA University Center targeting economically distressed areas.