NMC recently won the Overall Excellence award for mid-size manufacturer in the Providence Business News 2016 Manufacturing Awards. The honor can be attributed to their innovative and efficient manufacturing processes, which has helped them find success in a substantial and competitive market.
"From 2011…until now we've doubled gross revenue and…we're shipping twice as fast," President Michael Black told PBN. There is something to be said for results such as those.
To put in some perspective, the safety sign industry is a $5.5 billion market. With no one owning more than 5 percent, its clear there is a front and center opportunity to continue the growth trajectory and acquire greater market share. It will not only take greater investments towards innovation and efficiency improvements, but in leadership, team building and training in big-picture thinking—all ongoing priorities they will steadily pursue.
It's easy to see why NMC stood out among other mid-size manufacturing competitors. NMC has been able to react to market demands instantaneously. For example, take their increase in demand for custom products. They have responded to the customer's needs with innovative design solutions and quick turnarounds featuring unique, personalized product designs that incorporate company logos, messaging and branding. Today, more than 50 percent of their revenue is driven from custom orders.
They also launch new products monthly—the largest to date featured over 200 traffic and parking products. The company plans to roll out new large-format wall and floor art in April, as well as GHS standard labeling solutions.
And finally, a prized $500,000 investment in their proprietary, sign protection liquid laminate exemplifies their ability to discover innovative manufacturing solutions. They call it Sign Muscle®, a UV-cured liquid laminate that protects every sign leaving the warehouse from fading, scratches and vandalism.
Black attributes the workforce training grants and other investments made into NMC's employees as an important step in the process to becoming an award-winning company.
National Marker in review and moving forward
Seemingly every new venture seems to go over well for the company. It was awarded national vendor of the year in 2013 by Fathead and has been producing products ever since. Black has also placed a lot of importance on data mining and has completely digitized the company's warehouse. Tablets only – no pencils and paper.
It can be easy for a safety sign company to become lost in its own work, but NMC has yet to stagnate. The company is constantly looking for new ways of doing things better and faster, and it's already yielding the rewards of its endeavors. One investment of $1,000 into reorganizing its infrastructure resulted in reducing a department's operational work area by 60 percent, returning an increase in capacity by 25 percent. It's these smart decisions and wisely-used investments that are propelling NMC to the top of a heavily-contested industry.
Moving forward, National Marker plans to adopt new technology even more, making it easier for employees and customers to interact and achieve its goals.
The company has pulled a complete turnaround under Black's leadership since 2012, when it was slated to close. It goes without saying that Black is extremely proud of his employees and the work they do every day, which is the driving force behind this type of recognition.