MFG.com Projects Support Riverside Industries’ Entry into OEM Role

 

THE BUSINESS CHALLENGE

Riverside Industries LLC, founded in 1984, is an ISO-compliant shop that offers laser cutting, forming and fabrication services as well as AutoCad and Solid Works drafting. Riverside is also a full line steel, stainless steel and aluminum distributor of sheet, plat and tubing products. Located in Huron, South Dakota, the firm employs approximately 10 people and occupies a 38,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. The company prides itself on a reputation for uncompromising quality, outstanding service, customer loyalty and fair pricing.

According to Jerome Waldner, shop foreman, “We purchased the company in 2015 with the idea of eventually entering the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) space. However, we first needed to identify work and find custom jobs to support the shop until our product line got off the ground.”

THE SOLUTION

In the summer of 2016, Jerome and his brother John, the CEO, looked to MFG.com, the leading global marketplace that brings buyers and suppliers together, to be the source of the work they sought to sustain their shop. Upon activating their subscription they took advantage of the wide-ranging training that MFG.com provides. After learning the mechanics of the website and the variety of tools at their disposal, they set up searches focusing on work involving stainless and carbon steel, as machining with sheet metal is the shop’s specialty.

THE RESULTS

Nine months later, Jerome reports that work identified via MFG.com constitutes 50 percent of Riverside Industries’ production.  He’s offered quotes on 265 RFQs and been awarded 61 jobs as of this writing. The jobs awarded were orders involving 1 to 750 pieces. Fifty percent involved aluminum and carbon steel. Jerome indicates that he has connected with some bigger companies via MFG.com and established some excellent business relationships. Much of this work involves laser cutting, another specialty of the firm.

He says that the buyers with which he works come from all over the United States and represent a variety of industries. Jerome is quick to add that, “We go with the flow and take whatever work comes our way.”

He attributes the use of ShopIQ, a tool MFG.com offers to subscribers to help them benchmark their quotes against their competitors, as “helping us a lot. It has educated us on how to be competitive with other U.S. manufacturers.” Jerome relates that his bids were too high at first but now he’s got a firm grasp on his bidding strategy. He says, “We are regulated now. The practice has been good for us.”

He indicates that buyer ratings also have assisted his success on MFG.com. So far, Riverside Industries has received six or seven ratings, which Jerome feels were both fair and accurate. When asked if they facilitated job wins, he says, “They help us a lot. We even got a five-star rating.”

“All the work we’ve been doing has helped us become more efficient with our tooling, too,” says Jerome. “Being more efficient saves time and money for us and our buyers.”

Jerome adds that, “MFG.com has allowed us to fulfill our dream of being able to make OEM products on the side. Beyond giving us much-needed work experience, MFG.com jobs provided us the monetary resources to start making prototypes. We are now ready to market the products that we’ve made in house, such as our own lift table.”

Interestingly, Riverside Industries’ in-house product line includes an imaginative way to recycle old thrash wheels as a pneumatic row cleaner for agriculture, an apple press, a dumpster and part box, a shop press and a vegetable press.

Jerome states that, “Our idea of entering the OEM space is now almost a reality thanks to MFG.com. The work we won in its marketplace supported our operations as we designed our product line and perfected our prototypes. And, that work provided us the opportunity to hone our shop skills and be more efficient across the board. Now, MFG.com awards – and the ongoing business contacts we’ve made on that platform – will help support us as we market our product line. We are most grateful to MFG.com for the role it’s played in our business development.”

 

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