The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program generated $32 in new sales growth for companies that received assistance, for every $1 invested in the program by the federal government, according to a survey of companies that utilized MEP services. In 2009, manufacturing companies that hired MEP specialists created or retained 72,000 jobs, increased or retained $8.4-billion in sales, leveraged $1.9 billion in new private-sector investment and generated cost savings of $1.3 billion.
“Two out of every three MEP clients reported that they are very likely to recommend MEP to others,” says the survey conducted by market research firm Turner Marketing Inc.
MEP “focuses on results and outcomes,” according to Turner Marketing. “MEP maintains accountability to clients, investors and stakeholders by asking people with the best information — manufacturing clients — about impacts of MEP services. Each year, MEP makes it possible for thousands of companies to solve problems, increase productivity, achieve higher profits, find new markets, adopt technologies, innovate and create and retain thousands of jobs.”
The MEP program, run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, received good marks for providing a high-level of expertise at competitive costs. Companies hired MEP consultants to help with continuous improvement, identifying growth opportunities, help with product innovation and development, adopt sustainability in products and processes, help recruit and retain employees and deal with financing issues, among others. Companies using the services reported increasing sales by $3.5 billion and retaining $4.9 billion in sales. Twenty-two percent hired new workers, and 43 percent retained jobs as a result of their interaction with their local MEP. “Two-thirds of MEP clients surveyed said the services resulted in cost savings in areas such as labor, materials, inventory and energy,” says Turner Marketing. “MEP clients realized over $1.3 billion in total cost savings in FY 2009.” MEP has a federal budget of about $120 million per year and requires state matching contributions and companies to pay for services.
Click here to download the survey: “Delivering Measurable Results to Manufacturing Clients.”