Updated: Monday, 08 Dec 2008, 5:26 PM EST
Published : Monday, 08 Dec 2008, 4:31 PM EST
North Haven (WTNH) - Some businesses are surviving the tough economic tide, like one Connecticut manufacturing company which says its business is booming. That's quite a statement in this environment. So, what's the secret?
In the post-911 world, security is on the minds of many -- government organizations, financial institutions, businesses, universities. One company is using that to stay steady in the current storm.
A little card is keeping 100 people employed in North Haven -- it's the HID Global manufacturers high-tech security badges. They include a hologram, a personalization chip, even an embedded antenna.
Linda Coppola has been an assembler at HID Global for 22 years.
"I've seen our company bought out like four times," Coppola, of HID Global, said. "I've seen a lot of management here, a lot of different changes."
Things weren't always good here.
"Four years ago, this site was really at a point of closing its doors and decided to take the Lean journey," HID Global Manager Bill Vincelette said.
But they decided to adopt the manufacturing philosophy created by Toyota, it's called Lean, and at HID they say it's made all the difference.
"Rooms as large as this with inventory that is no longer there so we've improved our cash flow from that perspective," Vincelette said. "And our service levels to our customers have gone up to, and beyond, 95-percent on-time delivery."
News Channel 8 was given a tour of their facility to see how it all works. Lean is employee-driven with lots of input and incentives. The plant is also the perfect example of where our state economy is heading. The New Haven Manufacturer's Association tells News Channel 8, smaller plants, less than 200 employees, who have found a high-tech niche are our future.
"Manufacturing's not dead, it's different," Jerry Clupper, of New Haven Manufacturer's Association, said. "And it's key to make sure that the Connecticut economy remains strong. Three out of every four new dollars that comes in to Connecticut comes from a manufacturer."
At HID, things are steady and secure. It's something no one's taking for granted, these days.
"Very lucky," Coppola said. "Yes, very lucky."
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