Neighborhood Manufacturing Quadruples Outsourcing Opportunities Without Impairing Parent Company Sales

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Neighborhood Manufacturing is a subsidiary of Superior Tool Company, both located in Cleveland, Ohio. Neighborhood was purchased nearly three years ago and restructured as a contract manufacturer, supplying bench-top machining, assembly and packaging as an outsource resource for other companies. Many of the core employees are original to the company's early years and have specialized skills the new owners are able to leverage for a rare commodity: outsourced custom machining.

Company president Charles Mintz was thrilled with the new service concept, which no one in the region was offering. A company without the necessary skills for making a special part for its own operations, or that of a customer's, could outsource it to Neighborhood Manufacturing quickly and reasonably. He knew he had a corner on the market...but where was his market? And how was he to inform them of this valuable outsourcing service?

Andy met with Mintz and his partner and compartmentalized the problems. To build the customer base, they analyzed facility capabilities and employee talent to outline possibilities and limitations. They profiled their ideal customer and made lists of potential customers. Andy structured a survey to be used at a trade show to help determine which decision-makers in the customer's operations would most likely want to receive marketing materials.

"The survey concluded that the company could actually engage people from all of those disciplines-sales, management, purchasing, upper level executives. It also revealed the communications problems we were experiencing in the sales process. The survey gave us constructive discussions with people we would not necessarily think of talking to, like the sales guy." Andy also advised Mintz to join community-networking functions to build a word of mouth awareness of their service.

Neighborhood's outsourcing base has quadrupled over the last year without cannibalizing the parent company's sales growth. They have increased their base from one outside customer to eight.

"When small companies get consulting they're usually unhappy because it's hard to tie expense to return. But we were very happy with the results. Andy understood that we weren't building a $50 million enterprise. We weren't expecting him to take over the world. He was well focused, satisfying and met our expectations and allowed us to go forward finding new customers in a reasonable fashion."

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