Window Technology, Inc. – Monett
Mark Harper is vice president of Window Technology, Inc., which goes by WinTech, Inc. WinTech is a custom door and window manufacturer located in Monett, Mo., just west of Springfield.
In 2009, this 100-employee-owned company was under attack.
“We were getting threats to our business internationally,” Harper says. “We were losing some business to imported windows from China.”
WinTech’s main product lines are aluminum and vinyl windows for commercial construction, pre-engineered metal buildings and residential concrete foundations. WinTech also produces HVAC plenum access doors and aluminum louvers for terminal air conditioning units.
When the competition from overseas began to take its toll in 2009, Harper approached the the Mid-America Trade Adjustment Assistance Center for assistance. Consultations with Jeannine Goodrich, TAAF project manager, indicated the program and WinTech were a good fit.
The manufacturer was approved for funds in March 2010. The first improvement projects began that summer and continue to this day. They include:
- An enterprise resource planning system upgrade, with additional form and report writing capability and advanced configuration of bills of material
- A new product development reload process that used WinTech people to come up with 62 ideas for new or improved products. The firm has pursued these new products and is rolling out a new commercial window system and a new foam-filled panel system for use in the HVAC commercial air handler manufacturing industry
- Creation and implementation of a formalized company-wide quality management system
- Completion of a facility-wide energy audit, with cost improvement opportunities reported
- Marketing improvements for the company’s website and printed literature.
“The process was very detailed, and there was a lot of paperwork and information to supply,” Harper admits. “But I wanted to make sure I understood the program. It’s not like we were in a dire mode of needing money by any means. More like, let’s use this funding for what it’s there for, to get more competitive.”
He adds that making the program work is a three-way street between the recipient manufacturer, TAAF staff and outside consultants.
“It’s definitely been worthwhile,” he says. “Jeannine and the TAAF team are easy to work with. They understand the process and are a great resource. I was very happy to work with them.”
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