Wirth Machine Inc. (WMI) is a small family owned S-corporation established in 1974 to provide machining services to the industrial market.
Although WMI was producing a modest profit, growth had been slow, leaving the corporation vulnerable due to a shrinking customer base and pricing pressures. As the nature of machine shops changed to CNC technology, WMI was able to transition to the higher accuracy, efficiency, and productivity CNC machining provides. During the transition, WMI also landed a lucrative long term project producing special fasteners for the ALCOA smelter works in Warrick County. More recently, WMI acquired a contract producing fuel injection components for diesel engines. The customer was satisfied with the quality and production rate of WMI, and entrusted the responsibility of producing 100% of their demand. This increase in sales and profits allowed WMI to begin mapping a new direction for growth. It was decided the critical component to growth would be obtaining ISO certification.
In order to secure ISO certification, WMI turned to Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Purdue MEP) for assistance. The company felt the certification would add value to their billable hour, and also allow them to expand into other markets. WMI is also a supplier to the defense industry and had experienced a decrease in sales. Upon onsite evaluation by Purdue MEP subject matter experts, the company qualified for the Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program (DMAP), and this allowed for a portion of the project fees to be covered by the DMAP grant.
Wirth is still in the ISO process, but the professional assistance the company’s received has allowed them to recover from a sudden and unexpected 30% loss in revenue and put them back on track for 50% growth this year.
“Adam Auffart, an Industry Advisor with Purdue MEP, met with the principles of WMI, and addressed our initial concern of being a small business that would not qualify for the Purdue MEP program. Adam showed a great interest in our business, and assured us the MEP program was a resource for all manufacturers. Before work began on the ISO program, ALCOA announced it was closing its Warrick smelter works, a 30% loss in revenue for WMI. Fortunately, our company was healthy enough to be able to weather the initial impact of this loss, but quick action was needed. Adam was contacted for advice and assistance, and went to work for us again. Through additional resources of Purdue, Adam secured assistance in revamping our website, which expedited the certification process. He also connected our company to other economic development partners. Purdue not only provided the expertise of its MEP program, but went far beyond what was expected and took a genuine interest in this company. The expertise and personnel of the Purdue MEP program are an Indiana treasure that is difficult to find elsewhere.”
-Jerry Wirth, Owner, WMI