Retail Store Fixture Manufacturer
This company designs and manufactures custom retail
store fixtures. Primary customers are large chains
and store locations throughout the United States.
During 2000 the company suffered from both the
economic recession and continued shrinking market
share due to increasing foreign competition. A
slowdown of new retail store rollouts was the first
negative impacts of the economic recession at that
time. This was compounded with aggressive low price
from high quality Canadian manufacturers. As a
result, 2001 annual sales decreased 54% and
employment decreased 22%.
The company, with assistance from the University of
Southern California’s Western Trade Adjustment
Assistance Center (Western TAAC), became certified
impacted by the US Dept. of Commerce, Economic
Development Administration (EDA) in January of 2002.
Western TAAC and the company’s management
developed a strategy to re-establish its cost
competitiveness position and expand its customer
base. This would enable the company to again be able
to capitalize on its established customer base and
strengths in value engineering, high quality
products, and on-time delivery.
The company has finished its 5th year in the
implementation phase of the TAA Program, and has
successfully implemented its information technology
project and two of its production engineering
projects. These projects focused on significantly
improving manufacturing efficiency, reducing
production cost and shortening cycle times. Since
beginning its public/private sector partnership with the TAA for
Firms Program, sales increased 91% to $3.2M,
productivity improved 99% to
$133,333 sales per employee, and the company
regained profitable operating
income for the first time in six years.