The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 37–41 | Cite as

Waste not, want not—A look at the impact of manufacturing extension centers

  • Eric Oldsman
  • Chris Heye
Symposium Contrasting Perspectives on the Evaluation of Industrial Modernization


Manufacturing extension centers have helped small manufacturers improve performance on the shop floor and thereby reduce costs. This article presents a case study of a metal working firm that was able to increase productivity and profits by instituting measures recommended by a field agent working for the Florida Manufacturing Technology Center (FMTC). As a result of services provided, the company was able to boost manufacturing throughput and increase production efficiencies. Using a simulation model, the article explores how small changes in manufacturing performance can result in significant cost reduction. It then discusses the consequences of alternative strategies designed to enhance the value of goods sold, rather than lower the costs of production. It concludes by arguing that manufacturing extension centers should help companies become more distinctive as well as more efficient.


Computer Numerical Control Extension Center Shop Floor Small Manufacturer Original Equipment Manufacturer 
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  1. Luria, D. “Toward Lean or Rich? What Performance Benchmarking Tells Us About SME Performance, and Some Implications for Extension Center Services and Mission.” InManufacturing Modernization: Learning from Evaluation Practices and Results, ed. Philip Shapira and Jan Youtie. Atlanta, GA: Georgia Institute of Technology, 1997, pp. 99–114.Google Scholar
  2. Oldsman, E., and D. Welch. “Money on the Shop Floor: How Manufacturing Extension Centers Help Firms Become More Efficient.”Economic Development Commentary 20(4), Winter 1997, pp. 6–11.Google Scholar
  3. U.S. Department of Commerce.MEP Successes: A Case Study Approach. Gaithersburg, MD: NIST Special Publication 916, 1997.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Technology Transfer Society 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Oldsman
    • 1
  • Chris Heye
    • 2
  1. 1.Nexus Associates, Inc.Belmont
  2. 2.Nexus Associates, Inc.Belmont

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