North Industrial Machine improves quality following SCMEP’s Competitiveness Review
Headquartered in Hartsville, South Carolina, North Industrial Machine was founded in 1995. A family owned and operated company, North Industrial Machine serves the steel, paper, aerospace, textile, automotive, and medical industries with its staff of over 175 employees. Throughout its three plants, they provide machining, fabrication, plant maintenance, and engineering to industrial customers throughout the United States. The company had very humble beginnings, starting with just one employee. By the spring of 2004, North Industrial Machine had doubled in size by constructing a large fabrication department. Expanding further in 2009, North Industrial Machine purchased Precision Components and Services, located in Patrick, South Carolina. The latest round of expansion took place in 2010 when the fabrication department was relocated to a 4-acre building in Society Hill, South Carolina.
North Industrial Machine was searching for ways to improve business practices, which led them to SCMEP’s Competitiveness Review. Developed by SCMEP, the Competitiveness Review is a comprehensive, on-site evaluation of the company’s operations that both appraises capabilities and gauges the effectiveness of business systems.
North Industrial Machine decided to utilize SCMEP’s Competitiveness Review. This put SCMEP in the unique position to make targeted recommendations and, if needed, link the company to resources that would not only provide the service or training needed, but would be a good overall fit for the company.
As a result of the Competitiveness Review, a need to improve quality was identified. The company decided to make a major investment by purchasing a large Coordinate Measuring Machine, added numerous amounts of new inspection equipment, added a centralized quality department for all of their companies and shops, and hired additional employees with a vast amount of quality control experience. North Industrial Machine now tracks all data related to quality within their accounting system, which was developed in-house. The new system tracks material type along with material certifications, date of inspection, results of inspection, assigned operator, and a copy of the work order and packing list for future reference. Monthly reports are now issued to each shop manager so that quality can be monitored. Five new jobs were created within the quality department along with additional hires in production as workload has increased. In addition, the cost of rework has drastically reduced and customer complaints have decreased significantly.
“SCMEP is very professional and extremely knowledgeable of the manufacturing industry. The Competitiveness Review was free of charge and I would recommend companies of all sizes to take advantage of this offering. SCMEP helps to identify your strengths and weaknesses and then recommends areas of improvement. If you want to grow as a company, you must constantly improve, and SCMEP will certainly help you accomplish that.”
“SCMEP can give you another perspective as to how your company is performing. It is a confidential relationship and very beneficial to establishing future goals.” Danny Johnson, Jr., Vice President, North Industrial Machine