MME group Inc. is proud to announce that we have received approval for two new International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Certifications: ISO 13485-2016 and ISO 9001-2015.

These certifications show that MME group is well suited to manufacture medical devices meeting customer and regulatory requirements, and that the company has met ISO’s quality management principles.

In the world of contract manufacturing ISO certifications are all-important third party verifications that a company provides a high level of service with a demonstrated ability to meet key requirements important to any business seeking a manufacturing partner.

ISO is an international, independent, non-governmental organization which develops specifications to ensure quality, safety, and efficiency while promoting innovation and providing solutions to global challenges.

Of course, these types of certifications are nothing new to MME. In fact, we have long held ISO’s previous versions of these very same certifications – and are honored to once again display to ISO auditors our technical capabilities and customer-focused principles.

On May 5th, MME group will again participate in Moving Day® Twin Cities, a fundraiser walking event dedicated to organizing families, friends, and communities in the fight against Parkinson’s Disease.

If you would like to join us during this inspirational day, or seek to make a tax deductible donation, please visit our team page on the Moving Day® website. We are proud to announce that MME corporate matches all donations raised.

Making a donation on the site is easy, is a wonderful way to show your support, and is greatly appreciated. By benefiting The Parkinson’s Foundation Minnesota Chapter your donation will help improve the care of those affected and further research aimed at finding a cure.

Physical movement has been found to delay the effects of Parkinson’s Disease. Moving Day® Twin Cities participants walk in acknowledgement of those benefits and the enduring hope of finding a cure.

Please help us spread the word about this exceptionally important event.

Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation (VHEDC) Honors MME Group Vice President of Operations and HR

(Vadnais Heights, MN) On Wednesday, March 21st, at Vadnais Heights Commons, the VHEDC presented awards to several outstanding individuals for their excellence in business and their valuable contributions to the community.

VHEDC Executive Director Ling Becker says, “Congratulations from the entire VHEDC Board of Directors to David Gunderson on receiving the 2018 VHEDC Rising Star Award. We appreciate the opportunity to recognize emerging leaders in our community and the impacts they are making in their businesses and beyond.”

Rising Star Awards

Rising Stars Awards are presented to individuals younger than 40 years of age who demonstrate outstanding leadership that benefits the community and its citizens. Areas of outstanding service include working with youth, adults, and families to improve the northeast metro area. Leadership qualities include creativity, volunteerism, responsibility, problem-solving, respectfulness, cooperation and organizational skills. Leadership qualities are not limited to VHEDC activities and may include work for other organizations.

Alexandria Schumacher, Vice President of Operations and HR for MME Group

Alexandria has risen to the top of her profession in less than seven years from Customer Service entry level employee to VP level at a $20M+ manufacturing company that employees over 100 people. Alexandria began her climb to the top by recognizing the need to create a new role in the corporation to take a large load of the ownership. She built the role of Account manager plus an entire “Customer Experience Department” which services all customer needs. That success led her to accept the huge challenge of driving all company product operations. 

Alexandria directs all company product operations. She has created and empowered teams for continuous improvement, is changing the scheduling processes for two plants and coaching technical leads to grow their people. She has taken the company core beliefs of “treating everyone with dignity and respect” and built that into company culture. She has driven and installed a mandatory management leadership training program, coordinated for others to have continuing education courses and is collaborating to help send technical people to out-of-state conventions for their exposure and educational purposes.

Alexandria’s drive does not stop at MME group. She has another company that is an LLC with large goals to own several luxury hotels in the future. Her efforts today are also coupled with her goals for the future of her own private company.

About VHEDC

The VHEDC is a private non-profit organization made up of investing businesses since 1984. Its mission is to enhance economic development in the City of Vadnais Heights and the surrounding areas through the attraction, retention and expansion of existing businesses and industries. This will be accomplished by serving as a conduit of economic development resources, building collaborations with strategic partners, and providing advocacy.  For more information about the VHEDC, contact Executive Director Ling Becker at 651-485-9532 or lingbecker@vhedc.com.

When people talk about millennials in manufacturing, preconceptions abound. They are seen as having a poor work ethic, being in constant need of praise, and possessing no loyalty to their employers. Not only have we found these stereotypes to be divorced from reality, but, far from succumbing to the demands of an entitled generation, we’ve seen firsthand how embracing the expectations of a millennial workforce can help manufacturers succeed.

The Workforce of The Future (And The Present)

Millennials will make up 35 percent of the global workforce by 2020. Not only that, but millennials aren’t just “kids.” Some are approaching forty. In other words, they can’t and shouldn’t be ignored.

To ensure manufacturers have a talented pool of trained professionals to draw from, they need to work to correct outdated misconceptions about the manufacturing industry and ensure they are fostering a culture that is attractive to a generation with a new set of expectations and norms.

And, when we talk about millennials’ professional ”expectations” and “norms” it’s important to remember that every generation has had them. These concepts were certainly not invented for today’s young workers. In our experience, when even the smallest amount of skepticism is applied, the stereotypes about millennials quickly unravel.

How Millennials Are Changing Manufacturing… For The Better

Younger workers are certainly challenging more traditionally-minded employers in their desire to change long-standing practices. Certainly that is true in manufacturing. However, what many modern manufacturers are learning is that the rewards – in recruiting, retention, productivity, and innovation –  far outweigh the costs of changing policies. And, when new policies and procedures are implemented, and leadership embraces change, a cultural shift is sure to follow.

In a 2017 Gallup poll, millennials were found to desire flexibility when and where they work, seek work with a purpose, hope to speak more frequently with superiors, and display a willingness to change employers when the fit isn’t right (though they were found to value stability).

Meeting those expectations head-on means fostering an engaged and innovation-focused workforce where everyone – not just millennials – can grow and thrive.

Connected And Dedicated

Being connected to everyone and everything at all times is obviously something millennials have embraced throughout their lives. This, more than anything, has upended traditional models of the workplace.

The trade-off for millennials raised in the internet age means that, yes, they are willing to be available more often, and from more places, than their predecessors. But in exchange they require flexibility about when and where they work.

Some industries have embraced this change and the benefits of an always-connected workforce more rapidly than others. To be sure, in our view, when logistically possible, the trade-offs seem to benefit both employers and employees. However, more traditional industries like manufacturing still – in many cases – are in the process of undergoing this cultural shift.

When a company culture embraces the freedoms that technology provides, millennials are incredibly productive, dedicated to a company and their future in it, and are important collaborators throughout the manufacturing process.

Purposeful Work is Good Work

The drive to find work with purpose is another reason for manufacturers to embrace the expectations of today’s younger workers. When being part of a production team means more than checking a box, and instead involves a team of people invested in helping businesses and individuals succeed, everyone benefits.

And, no matter what the role, there’s always room to foster individual talents. When ideas are encouraged from contributors across an organization, not only are valuable insights gained, but those who want and need to feel a sense of purpose understand they have a voice and their talents are being utilized.

Manufacturing Has Its Own Stereotypes

Despite possessing advanced technologically capabilities and using them to build the world’s most sophisticated products, manufacturers are still seen as outdated by many young entrants to the workforce. Some students do not see engineering and other manufacturing-oriented paths as a modern career choice. This could not be further from the truth.

Education and outreach regarding today’s modern manufacturing industry is required – and required early – to ensure an eager young generation of skilled professionals is available to manufacturers.

On a micro-level, individual organizations also benefit from these outreach efforts by establishing relationships early for an increasingly frictionless recruiting process.

Reaching Millennials

Once an organization sees past the stereotypes and recognizes the incredible strengths this young generation of professionals possess, the next question is, how do you reach them?

Even during the recruiting process a company can drive home some of the concepts that millennials expect from employers. At MME group, Inc., for example, we are open to creating unique job descriptions based on an individual candidate’s skills and interests. When desired and appropriate, we let candidates know we see real benefits in catering roles specifically to them.

We also recommending extensive outreach to educational institutions to highlight – through real world examples – the benefits of careers in manufacturing, the technological innovations teams take part in, and opportunities for advancement.

Finally, reaching millennials where they live – online – can help set manufacturers apart by conveying key aspects of the company culture, the team, and the experience.

The Future is Bright

When we see the dedication our young generation of professionals brings to the table, we can’t help but be bullish on the future of manufacturing. They are a workforce that is raring to go and eager to learn. As more and more manufacturers recognize that the stereotypes about millennials are, in reality, benefits, we can’t wait to see what the future brings.

Learn More About MME group

Explore MME group Careers

Every entrepreneur faces a series of daily decisions that are crucial to achieve success. For startup entrepreneurs, endeavoring to finding the right contract manufacturer is one of the most impactful and – when thoroughly considered – the most beneficial. For established and growing businesses the decision is equally important. Hard lessons may have already been learned, or current partners may not be sufficiently agile to meeting demands.

To help innovators understand how to approach this decision, we’ve compiled a checklist of the most immediate and important questions that every business – whether newly created or firmly established – should ask to ensure they get the most out of their contract manufacturing partnership.

 

The Checklist

 

      • Is the contract manufacturer vertically integrated, with full control of the supply chain?

 

      • Do they have a rapid change cycle and in-facility testing, with design and manufacturing professionals collaborating in close proximity?

 

      • Does the contract manufacturer provide leadership in coordinating other suppliers while serving as a central hub to ensure timeliness and quality?

 

      • Does the manufacturer practice open communication and partnership with other suppliers, without protecting markups or other business details?

 

      • Do they incorporate a MSA (Manufacturing Supply Agreement) that is developed in partnership with business leadership, providing expert guidance about inventory needs and strategy?

 

      • Does their team include a range of professionals with specialty areas of expertise, and a culture that encourages them to bring forward solutions – even when it means challenging business norms?

 

      • When making recommendations, do they help business leaders understand the pros and cons of each proposed solution?

 

      • Do they have extensive support that meets the needs of a fast-moving business?

 

      • Do they effectively use Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) software for materials costing and other benefits?

 

      • Do they serve entrepreneurs as their core mission, or have they carved out specific services in an attempt to partner with entrepreneurs?

 

Partnerships Models are Changing

If there is one truism reflected in this checklist, it’s that partnership models are changing. Norms are being questioned. Entrepreneurs expect solutions from manufacturers, not just the ability to follow direction. Truth be told, at MME group Inc., we think today’s business leaders deserve nothing less.

 

Download Checklist PDF

Learn More About MME group

Any business working with multiple partners to manufacture a product has likely faced a similar set of challenges. Coordination can be difficult, parties may have competing interests, and project costs and lead times suffer as a result. Not only that, but a segmented workflow can make it difficult for expert suppliers to question traditional practices and bring forward new solutions.

Worse still, sometimes this is just “the way it’s done.” It’s time to question these assumptions.

During the product development lifecycle there is certainly no shortage of questions businesses should attempt to answer. How will issues large and small be communicated and acted on quickly? Will a beneficial partnership with open communication be maintained across all contributors? Will there be real opportunity to benefit from the wealth of knowledge manufacturing partners have in the category, or are individual parties protecting their piece of the pie?

These are not abstract questions. During our long history we have seen many businesses tackle these considerations head on, and we have never shied away from sharing our perspective in recommending the best course of action.

A New Way to Think About Contract Manufacturing

Though each project warrants its own assessment, experience tells us that many businesses benefit from working with an experienced full service vertically integrated contract manufacturer to fulfill needs that otherwise would require input from multiple manufacturing partners.

We’ve found that, all-too-often, a circuit board manufacturer or other single component supplier is responsible for assembling elements from multiple parties. This can lead to a multitude of inefficiencies. Compounding the problem, those responsible for assembly many times have no experience manufacturing components using the materials used by the other suppliers.

Still, this is many times seen as the “way things are done. ” This warrants a fresh look at typical contract manufacturing relationships and responsibilities, and the benefits of structuring partnerships differently.

Shorter Lead Time

When a circuit board manufacturer or other supplier who does not have complete control of the plastics associated with a product determines a change is needed during assembly or testing, the resulting back and forth communication required can turn even a simple change into a days-long delay.

At MME group, we know that when you are vertically integrated and are responsible for the full breadth of components in a product, a quick team re-group can determine what adjustments are needed. Simply put, an integrated team of experts can help bring a product to market more quickly.

Cost Savings

Though many businesses initially seek efficiencies by working with various manufacturers to produce product components – with one organization ultimately responsible for sourcing and assembly – there are additional costs associated with that approach that are not always considered.

When a manufacturer brings in components for assembly it must be stored and inspected. Additionally, if any challenges do arise, logistical demands mean finding a solution also comes at an additional cost.

This, again, is where partnering with a single, experienced team in control of all aspects of the supply chain provides real benefits.

Utilizing Expert Knowledge

When truly partnering with a contract manufacturer a business benefits from that manufacturer’s years of experience and expertise. When manufacturing responsibilities are diffuse, expert opinions can be diffuse as well.

An overly aggressive division of responsibility can lead to each manufacturing partner fulfilling their obligation to the best of their ability – though without the necessary context to help a business make holistic decisions. What are the tradeoffs of each decision regarding materials, sourcing, assembly, and all associated costs? Is each manufacturing partner just working with – or even “dealing with” – what they view as sub-par components from other manufacturers? Is there a better way that is falling through the cracks?

These are questions that true partnership with a contract manufacturer can help answer.

An Extension of Your Company

The manufacturer you work with should be an extension of your company that serves as a true solutions provider. This view encompasses everything MME group does, and in our view is the key paradigm shift contract manufacturing needs.

Valued clients and prospective clients,

As of October 2nd, MME is pleased to announce the return of Alexandria Schumacher as Vice President of Operations & HR.

Miss Schumacher brings with her a commitment to drive our company’s core beliefs…provide a truly world class partnership experience for our current and future clients…and to apply her expertise to foster an environment of respect and collaboration with our partners and associates.

This is an exciting time in MME’s development, as Miss Schumacher’s return adds a new chapter to our 44-year history as a box build contract manufacturer with full supply chain management and control. Rest assured, the pillars of our approach to business will remain unchanged:

  1. All of MME’s associates will continue to give their best efforts to provide you with a world class partnership experience.
  2. Our entire suite of full contract manufacturing services is still at your disposal, and it will evolve and grow with the addition of new products and services when appropriate.
  3. MME’s belief in open and honest communication will continue.

We are grateful to you, our valued customer, not only for giving us the opportunity to provide you with Contract Manufacturing services, but for your loyalty and friendship, which have enriched our relationship. We are confident that this partnership will serve us all well.

If you have any questions about this exciting news and what it will mean for you, please contact any of us at any time.

Miss Schumacher

Miss Schumacher
MME group Vice President
aschumacher@mmegroupinc.com

What’s the Weld You Want?

 

The very fact that you’re reading this piece means that it’s highly likely you’re aware of Hot Plate Welding. Good; you’re our kind of person.

But is Hot Plate Welding right for your project?  Does it provide the very best solution to your problem?

There are multiple ways to bond two thermoplastic surfaces; Hot Plate Welding is one of them, along with Glue, Spin, and Sonic Welding to list a few. 

Before you choose the process that’s right for you, you need to consider a range of factors, all of which could have an influence on your decision.

MaterialsWhat’s the most appropriate and efficient process for the materials you need bonded?

Hot Plate Welding is certainly one of the most durable processes, but under certain circumstances other applications could provide similar results. MME group will work with your team to help understand the product requirements and testing, then come up with materials and make the appropriate recommendation for the application.

ScaleWhat volume of product will you need to produce to reach a viable price point?

This is where you need to find the sweet spot.  Hot Plate Welding can often come at a higher price point for lower quantities, but may be the best option based on part geometry, part size, and material selection. MME engineers partner with customers to find the best solution to fit the project’s needs.

TestingDo you need every part fully tested to prove functionality before delivery?

Quality in materials and process mitigates risk. MME can work with your team to determine the best testing methods and build testing equipment to your specific needs.

EnvironmentAre you aware of the environment in which the product will be used? 

In environments of extreme temperatures or pressure, Hot Plate Welding passes every test. But if those factors aren’t in play, other bonding applications may suit the job well enough.

ProcessIs the process you choose robust and repeatable?

Reliability and repeatability are two of the key benefits of Hot Plate Welding.  When there is little room for error, Hot Plate Welding is top dog.

Choosing Hot Plate Welding isn’t simply selecting an application. The equipment itself must operate at a capacity to produce the results you expect.

We have two vertical machines capable of contact and non-contact welding, and depending on the size of the part being processed, they have a typical cycle time of somewhere between 20 and 40 seconds.

Batteries, fuel tanks, automobile lighting, washer bottles, medical devices…whatever particular assembly challenge your company is facing, we can offer a quick, effective Hot Plate Welding solution.

For further information or to organize a demonstration of MME’s Hot Plate Welding capabilities, contact Alan Christensen… Lead Manufacturing Engineer …OFFICE: 651 289 8932   MOBILE: 651 270 2160  achristensen@mmegroupinc.com

Product image of the Decon7 Biological Decontaminant Accelerated Spray Plus

Product image of the Decon7 Biological Decontaminant Accelerated Spray Plus

At MME we’re firm believers in the power of collaboration.

A product’s journey from concept to completion requires a highly specialized combination of talent and technology, and a seamless convergence of design, engineering and manufacturing.

All of these elements aligned when we partnered with Decon7 Systems (D7) to produce their patented multi-part application system.

The Decon7 Biological Decontaminant Accelerated Spray Plus (BDAS+) is a breakthrough solution to the complex chemical and engineering issues of containing the world’s most effective military grade decontaminant in an individual rapid response application system.  Combining familiar operation steps similar to a fire extinguisher, but with improved ergonomics tailored to the task and user, warfighters and first responders now have access to a truly immediate decon solution.

The Decon7 BDAS+ is ready-to-use (RTU), lightweight, portable, and rapidly deployable.  It neutralizes chemical and biological warfare agents (CBWs), hazardous industrial chemicals (TICs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), bodily fluids, bacteria and viruses. 

Three liquid components are contained in three bag-on-valve cylinders, protected by a roll cage-inspired, slatted casework made from high-impact plastic that provides excellent impact and drop-resistance.  Through careful material selection, component reduction, and designing the product for ease of assembly and simplified manufacturing, Decon7 and MME were able to balance the need for ruggedness and durability with the demand for a disposable product.

There’s no margin for error when manufacturing a product that will significantly enhance the safety of military and first responder personnel in crisis situations and extreme environments.

With that in mind, D7 was understandably diligent and thorough in their vetting of potential partners.  Some of their essential needs and “non-negotiables” were:

  • USA MADE
  • ITAR Registered Facility
  • Essential Price Point
  • Production Scalability
  • Packaging Design Team
  • Hazmat Shipping Certified Supplier

“MME was able to offer all of the critical elements we required in a contract manufacturer, including an experienced team we knew we could trust.  The MME team collaborated with our design and engineering firm on every detail, working together to efficiently execute the production plan.  Seeing our pilot product fully assembled, packaged, and ready for distribution was a fulfilling achievement for the Decon7 team.” – Matt Bluhm, CEO Decon7 Systems LLC

Thanks to stellar communication and collaboration between MME and Decon7 Systems, the D7 BDAS+ design is now a real life tool available for our brave first responders and we must say this expertly crafted, vital product is a great source of pride for both companies.

Please learn more about this project, customer, MME and other details.

19 Jan 2017

We Strive for Better

At MME Group, there is more to our business than making products or turning a dollar.  We strive to better our world, community, staff, and the environment at every possible turn.  We believe a level of fulfillment is achieved across the board from our efforts.   These words can often be lip service in business today, but we walk the walk.

It starts with an unwavering commitment from our Owners to encourage all employees to take paid time away from work to give back.  Staff can self-select or choose from many options to be stewards in the community.

When you make products there is inherent waste which is especially apparent in our industry.  Beyond the skilled engineering that reduces the waste in the design, the waste from operations is recycled at MME.  Tons of materials, like various grades plastic, are collected, stored, and sent away to be reused.

A source of extreme pride is our safety and performance record.  We have received ratings that exceed all industry standards in all categories.  Our third party consultants regard our performance exceptional.  This not only creates a safe and secure environment for work to be done, but the company can operate with profound efficiency under such conditions.

The value of a manufacturing skill goes beyond a paycheck.  Making products in America means so much more now than ever when it becomes harder to compete internationally.  Our culture envelops the American spirit of hard work and pride.  We encourage future generations to enter our trade through hundreds of our hours we donate to the local community college.  We promote “a culture of accountability,” marked by the MME Mantra; See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It.

Organizations including Minnesota Parkinson’s Foundation, Toys For Tots, American Red Cross Blood Drives and Walk to End Hunger benefit from the time and money dedicated from MME.  What does this summary of social responsibility say about MME?  We say, “Let it speak for itself.”  We do it because we should, not because people think we should.