South Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership
ASMC Member Providing Hands-On Help through the South Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Dakota Machine Works was founded in 1973 in Corona, South Dakota. The company specializes in precision machining, producing high quality Swiss Screw machine products and other turned parts for clients across the United States. The company utilizes stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, brass, plastic, Teflon, aircraft and high-temperature alloys in their manufacturing processes. Dakota Machine Works has served manufacturers in the industrial sectors which include medical and dental components, electronics, defense and aircraft, business machines, photographic equipment, computers, and precision Instruments. The company’s strengths have always been the conventionally valued manufacturing elements of quality, competitive pricing, and on time delivery. Dakota Machine Works employs 10 people.
Dakota Machine Works’ sales had begun to stagnate. They had traditionally used independent manufacturer’s representatives to market their products, and it was becoming more difficult to attract new customers. Having recognized and acknowledged the need for a comprehensive, coordinated, sales and marketing approach, company General Manager, Richard Whitlow, was looking for assistance when he was introduced to The Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Inc. (TD MEP) in the fall of 2004.
After several meetings between Dakota Machine Works personnel and representatives of TD MEP, the situation was further clarified and the parties agreed to embark on a program of sales and marketing training. The project objective was to provide Dakota Machine Works with the necessary tools and activities that needed to be implemented in order for the company to achieve its goals of increased revenue and profitability. Specifically, a complete marketing and sales assessment would be conducted to identify the following: 1) the appropriate market for the client; 2) a viable sales model; 3) development of a client profile for Most Valuable Customers/Prospects, and 4) competitive analysis.
- Secured new clients.
- Increased revenues by 20 percent.
- Developed a systematic and disciplined approach to insure continued market development.
- Improved profitability.
- Increased staffing levels by 11 percent due to increased sales and market demand.
“The company will continue to work with TD MEP on other projects in the future. Solving our sales and marketing issues has led to a new problem for us and that is expanding our capacity to meet future customer demand. That is a nice problem to have, and we will engage the TD MEP to assist us in that area as well.”
Richard Whitlow, General Manager