From Worldlawn Power Equipment to Dyna-Tech Aviation to Brehmer Manufacturing, Inc., the Nebraska Business Development Center at the University of Nebraska-Omaha has helped countless manufacturers improve their business processes. In 1977, UNO was awarded one of seven federal contracts to operate a University Business Development Center, and since its beginning, the center has provided professional-level consulting to small businesses in both rural and urban Nebraska, an assistance available through no other service.
Each NBDC consultant is a qualified professional, passionate about the application of effective business practices for all varieties of businesses. For manufacturers, this kind of consultation can transition the business from dream to reality. Take, for example, the GrainGoat, the first patented hand-held harvesting sampling machine. Created by Martin Bremmer of Venango, Nebraska, the unique new product has already caught the attention of professional custom harvesters.
This month, Bremmer learned that the GrainGoat and their manufacturing company, Windcall Manufacturing, have been named the Innovation Business of the Year for 2015 by the NBDC. Bremmer told the Imperial Republican this week that both the Center and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development have played instrumental roles in helping him and his wife, Patti, to develop the product. Next week, Bremmer is even bringing on a new employee to help with the burgeoning demand.
NBDC also helps manufacturers who need to move their operations into Nebraska. Worldlawn Power Equipment, Inc. moved to Beatrice, Nebraska, from their previous location. “City and state officials and people at NBDC have been very wonderful,” says Hardy Shao, who founded Worldlawn in 2006. “Whatever information I need, I call or send an email and they’ve been very helpful to me.”
NBDC Manufacturing consultants evaluated work processes, an NBDC procurement assistance counselor helped staff complete the process for the central contract registry, and consultants from the energy efficiency program helped redesign their lighting to take advantage of an energy grant. Since their arrival in Nebraska, the company has hired 30 employees, and continues to grow today.
Another service that’s been particularly useful for many Nebraska manufacturers is the process improvement consulting for those looking to implement lean manufacturing practices. “Getting lean” has been a major focus in the industry: Streamlining the supply chain can help businesses cut costs, recover wasted resources, and increase profits.
Cutting out wasted time, space, and movement can revitalize a business, as this testimony from Brand Hydraulics in Omaha, Nebraska, proves: “The NBDC lean facilitator was highly engaged and coached us through the entire process. The kaizen event was fast-paced, on point, and very intense. We never lost sight of the goal and actually doubled our output.” From workshops to training at company sites, the NBDC team can work with your company to achieve cost reductions and improved quality.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The NBDC exists to help businesses become better and more profitable, and manufacturers will find a willing partner in their talented team.