The University of Utah Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center (MEP Center) is part of the nationwide NIST MEP network and the only public-private partnership dedicated to serving small and medium-sized manufacturers. We work directly with Utah manufacturers and contribute to the growth of well-paying jobs, dynamic manufacturing communities, American innovation, and global competitiveness.
Their mission is to strengthen the Utah manufacturing industry and create lasting economic impact by providing subsidized services to all Utah manufacturers, regardless of location, size, or output production.
Recently, the MEP Center worked with a company called OTW Safety (based in Salt Lake City). The OTW Safety manufactures plastic barricades and safety equipment for use in multiple industries, including protecting roadway construction crews, warning pilots of airfield hazards, security barriers, crowd control, and delineating spaces at public events. They have been in business since 1989 and employ seven people. You can find OTW barriers at major airports, including SLC, ATL, BOS, SAN, LAX, and at sports stadiums of the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, and Detroit Red Wings among others.
OTW Safety was looking for best-practices to apply to their supply chain management, so they could spend more time focusing on strategic business growth. As a result of working with the MEP Center, the company was able to develop a robust company strategy and vision, and strengthen their supply chain.
OTW Safety’s VP of Operations, Eric Stevens, says, “Connecting with the MEP Center has provided a valuable and qualified third-party viewpoint that has given us confidence in our current vision and direction. We strongly feel that the impact on our company will continue in a positive direction as we move into more tactical initiatives. In the long term, we see the result of this partnership being one of critical advantage to our small business and the spring board to fast-tracking our expansion and efficiency goals. “
The University of Utah MEP Center offers services in the following areas:
- Operational Excellence: Assists manufacturing businesses in addressing challenges related to operational and business process optimization.
- Workforce Training: Provides a complete suite of training services, custom courses, workshops, and technology and business training.
- Advanced Manufacturing: Helps “bridge the gap” between high-tech and the work floor of Utah’s manufacturers by helping implement advanced manufacturing technology.
- Innovation: Together with their partners, they provide services that include product and process innovation, business and market analytics.
- Investment Access: Together with their partners, they connect manufacturers with investment resources and grant opportunities.
Their client engagement process:
*Blog post contributed by the University of Utah MEP Center.