K-Kleen Launches New Website

Company overview

In 1995 Patrick Kennedy Sr. founded K-Kleen Inc., a service company, which specializes in cleaning kitchen exhaust systems.  K-Kleen now provides service to over seven hundred customers in 5 different states.  Some of their notable customers include:  RiderUniversity, WestminsterCollege, Burger King, McDonald’s, Sonic, Wendy’s, Turkey Hill, TGI Fridays, Red Robin and Red Lobster.

As a proud sponsor of American Made Matters, K-Kleen only purchases from local suppliers, and uses 100% made in USA products on job sites.  In an industry where cheaper, foreign products can used to lower overhead cost, K-Kleen continues to buy American for the higher quality and to support local businesses.  Patrick Kennedy Jr., Executive Director of Marketing at K-Kleen, said “Sometimes we are forced to increase prices of our service in order to compensate for the higher price we pay for American made.” Competitors that go with foreign products because they are cheaper simply cannot match the quality that K-Kleen offers to their loyal customer base.

New Website and Expansion

K-Kleen has just launched a brand new website. An energized Patrick Kennedy Jr. proclaimed, “There will be Optimized Personal Accounts in which customers can log in and view before and after pictures of the work we most recently did in their facility, as well as, check outstanding balances owed and schedule another service.” The ability to perform these tasks online brings a whole new level of convenience and customer satisfaction.

In addition to providing a kitchen exhaust cleaning service, the experts at K-Kleen produce some of their own chemicals they use on the job. Consumers will soon be able to purchase all of the following items through their new site:  Kitchen Exhaust Grease Filters, SureGrip Floor Safety Solutions, Grease Gutter Grease Containment Systems, Commercial Bathroom Supplies, and K-Kleen’s own degreaser:  Kem4.  Each item has its own page on the site with a video featuring the product.

Retailing products online is a new business function for the K-Kleen team.  Products were previously offered to their service customers only, and have never been marketed toward a broad consumer base.  K-Kleen has begun to focus more on marketing their products in an effort to increase exposure and gain awareness of their top notch cleaning supplies.

With years of hard work and special attention to quality, Pat Kennedy Sr. is ready to capitalize on the opportunity to expand his business.  There is a plan in the works to have the K-Kleen name franchised in South Carolina by next winter.  This will also bring opportunities to service surrounding states and potentially double their geographical reach.

Starting at the bottom with a commitment to quality, and excellent service, K-Kleen has the perfect recipe to run a successful business while supporting local suppliers, right here in the USA.

Please visit K-Kleen’s brand new site:  http://k-kleen.com/

 

Changes in Manufacturing Technology Lead to Changes in Job Growth

As manufacturing starts to make a shift back to the US, demand for jobs in other fields of work are becoming more essential to the business process.  A whole multitude of jobs are needed to support the manufacturing process.  Companies need to provide operations like IT support, supply chain management, and database experts to effectively produce products, and get them to the consumer.  According to Pamela M. Prah, “This year, Ford is hiring 3,000 employees – 800 more than previously expected – of which 80 percent will be technical professionals.”

While Ford is hiring in-house technical employees, many companies choose not to hire for these support jobs and will instead outsource IT jobs to other American companies. This creates a demand for hundreds of jobs in the technology support and business solution industries.  Think of manufacturing as the lead car in a train, also known as the pilot car.  All the other cars are important and are needed to carry their portion of the load, but will remain still if there is no pilot to lead them.

Manufacturing and support jobs have an interdependent relationship. Support jobs cannot be created without manufacturing which provides a need for their services.  Effective use of technology allows companies to save money in areas like supply chain, training and waste reduction, while spending more money on skilled American workers.

Manufacturing statistics are not always the best indicator of today’s manufacturing comeback.  The key reason manufacturing is unlikely to return to the high numbers of jobs of past years is that the industry and its role in the US economy have changed.  “In steelmaking, for example, the 94,000 people working in the industry in 2012 produced 14 percent more steel than nearly 400,000 workers did in 1980, a government report shows.”

To summarize recent reports, while the number of manufacturing jobs remains flat, the number of support jobs is on a steady incline.  If manufacturing is the pilot car in the American job train, I think it’s safe to say these findings suggest we’re at a plateau, and the only way is up.  So all aboard America!

 

Supporting articles:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/30/us-manufacturing-comeback-stalling/2599059/

http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag31-33.htm

http://www.scdigest.com/ontarget/13-07-10-3.php?cid=7216&ctype=content

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-01/why-celebrate-a-false-u-s-manufacturing-renaissance-.html

 

The Real Way to Re-Shore American Manufacturing

Re-Shoring- Reversal of outsourcing; the transfer of a business operation back to its country of origin.

The idea of “re-shoring” American manufacturing has recently become a tagline for businesses, and government leaders.  In today’s tumultuous economic climate, millions of Americans have been forced to weather the storm of unemployment, but could re-shoring be the answer to our problems?

Re-shoring is the new term businesses are using to explain the opposite of outsourcing.  That’s right, many companies are actually bringing their manufacturing facilities back to the United States after having outsourced throughout the past decade.  Despite these re-shoring efforts, the number of new manufacturing jobs created is nowhere near the number of manufacturing jobs lost since the 1980’s. In a recent article, Mubin S Khan said, “There is a lot of lost ground. The manufacturing industry’s share of GDP stands at a meager 11.5% – down from 28% in the 1950s – and it employs half the number of people it did in the 1980s.”

In the past five years, companies like Apple, General Electric, and Ford have started building new factories in the US in efforts to re-shore.  This is a positive trend, however many smaller companies are unable to simply open new facilities here in the US.  Many cannot afford to build a new facility, let alone pay for American employees to run a new facility.  On the other hand, larger companies have the revenue to engage in re-shoring but their efforts alone will not create enough jobs to replace every job that was lost.

The definition of re-shoring may be simple, but its execution will not be easy.  The truth is we need consumers to “re-shore” spending.  There is no doubt that when Americans go out and buy products from US manufacturers it helps our economy.  However, to solve the whole problem we need all American consumers to make a conscious effort to buy American every time they shop.  If consumers spent 1% more on American made products, it would create twenty-thousand additional jobs according to ABC News.  Do the math – if everyone spent 5% more on American made products, that’s a million American jobs created!  The only way America can truly begin to re-shore manufacturing is if we re-shore our spending, so the next time you go to the store, will you consider where your purchases are manufactured?

When American manufacturers, large and small, begin to see more revenue, that is when we will see more jobs, a strengthened economy, and a brighter future.

 

L&H Talks New Patient Care Signs

Company Profile:

L&H Sign Company, proud member of American Made Matters was started in 1992 and only had one full time and one part time employee.  21 years later they have about 46 employees and are leader in quality architectural sign products. They use a vertical process, starting with raw materials and seeing the project through to instillation.  Eight different departments have a hand in each project L&H works on.  These departments include:  Project management, design, fabrication, installation, and more.  This wide range of skilled employees allows L&H to create, manufacture and install award winning signage for clients.  You can see L&H’s work in sports venues, banks, healthcare facilities, corporate offices, retail stores, and much more.

Patient Care Signs from L&H

During a recent sit-down with Bob McClennan of L&H signs, we were able to learn about one of their newest and most successful projects. The project involves creating new and improved signage for hospitals and other healthcare facilities.  L&H’s signs are designed to improve communication between doctors, nurses and patients by using a specialized patient sign located right outside the hospital room door.  Unlike typical signs that are only posted to list a room number, L&H’s patient signs have a variety of slide-out options to alert doctors or nurses of a patient’s condition.  For example a physician can look at the sign prior to entering the room and know that a patient is prone to seizures or has allergies.

“One of the keys to reducing medical mistakes is improving and standardizing communication. Patients are more likely to score a hospital and its staff highly if the caregivers are knowledgeable about their medical conditions,” said Bob McClennan.

“Doctors need to be able to walk into a room with knowledge of the patient, in order to minimize mistakes and give the patient the best experience possible.”

All of these issues were considered in L&H’s project design process.  By using an evidence based design, they worked with doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to develop the new patient care signs.  The prototyping of these signs took roughly 12 to 18 months but in the end L&H has unveiled a product that is simple to use and solves many of the communications errors doctors and nurses face each day.

L&H’s patient care signs are in their sixth generation and are now injection mold friendly.  Using an injection mold helps cut down manufacturing time from roughly 6 weeks to 2 weeks.  Thanks in part to this technology, L&H is able to produce more patient care signs in less time, right here in the United States.

The customization options L&H offers have been a huge selling point for their patient care signs. The signs are currently in 45 hospitals and will be found in over 100 hospitals within the next year

http://www.lhsigns.com/featured-new/

L&H

Rodon Group Hosts Congressman Fitzpatrick for Press Conference Regarding the Made in America Act of 2013

Last week one of our members, the Rodon Group, hosted Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick for a press conference discussing the new bill – The Made in America Act of 2013.  The bill will create the American Star Program which will raise consumer awareness of American made products.

“Similar to the Energy Star Program, this voluntary labeling program has several goals. First, the new labeling would provide consumers an easy way to identify American made products.  Second, manufacturers would be encouraged to meet certain American manufacturing benchmarks, showing the percentage of the product made in the U.S.A.” (Paula Hynes).

This bill could have a huge impact on our economy and perhaps change the way Americans shop.

We are very proud to have Rodon Group as an American Made Matters member, and congratulate them on hosting Congressmen Mike Fitzpatrick.  To read the whole article, click here:

http://www.wfmz.com/news/congressman-introduces-legislation-to-promote-american-made-products/-/121458/20961692/-/qjtsrqz/-/index.html

Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick and Rodon Group CEO Michael Araten

Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick and Rodon Group CEO Michael Araten

Todd Shelton – An American Story

 “After several years of operating the Todd Shelton brand using the same production model as every other fashion brand (design garments and find a factory to make them), we questioned our direction.  Then made the biggest decision we’ve ever made.  We built a factory.”

-Todd Shelton

In an effort to avoid future supply chain problems, Todd Shelton decided to enter the manufacturing business and build a factory.  The brand formerly outsourced their manufacturing to other US factories which brought some issues with supply and quality control.

By opening a new factory, the Todd Shelton brand is creating jobs and starting a new history and tradition of manufacturing.  Of course, the best part of it all is that they are building their factory right here in the United States!

What started as a business decision to solve a problem has turned into a way for the Todd Shelton brand to further it’s passion and creativity.  “Made in USA” has become a staple of the brand’s identity. This three part series allows us to witness a true American brand building a new foundation while continuing to uphold its original ideals. Read their story of passion and ingenuity by clicking on the links below.

http://toddshelton.com/blog/the-company/we-built-a-factory-part-1
http://toddshelton.com/blog/the-company/we-built-a-factory-part-2
http://toddshelton.com/blog/the-company/we-built-a-factory-part-3

Member News: Stormy Kromer Launches Video Series

Stormy Kromer is an American brand that continues to produce here in the USA.  Throughout their history, they have employed Americans and created a product that they take much pride in. The videos below show Stormy Kromer’s American story.  In an industry that has shipped countless jobs over seas, Stormy Kromer’s commitment to US manufacturing represents the passion and craftsmanship that they strive for every day.

https://vimeo.com/69100929
https://vimeo.com/69094926
https://vimeo.com/69058296

American Made Matters and Bollman Hat Company Featured on PhillyBurb.com

Recently a reporter from PhillyBurb.com sat down with Bollman Hat Company President and CEO, Don Rongione, to discuss why American-made matters.  In the interview, Rongione explains why he founded American Made Matters, the organization, and what he’s been doing to encourage consumers to “buy American” again.

Click here to read the full article:

http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/made-in-usa/nation-s-oldest-hat-company-says-american-made-matters/article_01164a99-d01c-509f-b19d-faae792560fb.html

New Balance Launches New Ad Campaign to Focus on its U.S. Manufacturing Heritage

With a new campaign called “America is for the Makers,” New Balance hopes to appeal to consumers who share a passion for supporting our country while creating awareness for buying American made goods. 

When you walk into a shoe store, you may not be thinking about where the shoes are made, but New Balance’s campaign is designed to get consumers to do just that. The power in the campaign is not only saying that their products are made in the US, but getting the consumer to ask oneself, “Where are the other brands making their shoes?” 

New Balance is using Made in America to differentiate their brand, setting them apart from other shoe makers.  Competing brands like Nike and Adidas are simply unable to use their manufacturing heritage as a marketing strategy. On the contrary, New Balance takes pride in its American manufacturing tradition and is now using that as a marketing tool.  

In an industry where most manufacturing has been moved over seas, New Balance continues to employ Americans and provide a strong national culture that the other brands cannot match.  It all comes down to two key points; manufacturing products in the United States creates jobs, and strengthens our economy.  

“Made in America” is a proud claim.  It is a declaration of quality, ingenuity,  hard work, and craftsmanship.   Developing a marketing campaign that can capitalize on the Made-in-America theme, will set New Balance apart from their competition and draw attention to their strong American manufacturing heritage. 

New Balance Launches New Ad Campaign to Focus on its U.S. Manufacturing Heritage