With a history of manufacturing precision parts for the aviation industry dating back to World War II, MSP Manufacturing remains a leader in its field, in part due to President and COO Johnny Goode’s willingness to embrace the latest technology in creating precision products.

This year we’re beta-testing some augmented reality, and seeing what kind of AI we can utilize to streamline our processes.

Investing in Technology

Since Goode joined the business four years ago, the company has been gradually increasing its automated manufacturing operations to fuel its growth and stability. Goode says, “Prior to my coming on, we were replacing machines with other used machines, and not really getting super innovative with new tech. That’s where I think we’ve seen a big shift. Our goal is to increase our production and capacity, and not add more shifts.” In the longer term, Goode wants to have all their equipment able to perform automated functions that will further improve efficiency.

He looks to augmented reality to reduce time in training lower-skilled employees. However, he is aware of potential security issues of any AI from adversaries and follows government standards.

From Father to Son

The company that started life as Marion Screw Products in 1943 was purchased by John Goode, Johnny’s father, in 2002. A few years ago, business had slowed to the point that the elder Goode was thinking about selling the company. Johnny wanted to retain the business in the family after coming aboard a few years ago, and the decision was made to begin investing in the advanced technology that has since paid off nicely in improving profitability and growth. Johnny also implemented short-term goals for expansion and improvements that made longer-term goals more reachable.

Industries Served   

MSP has branched out beyond aviation in recent years to provide a variety of quality products, both in contract manufacturing and of their own design. These new industries include medical equipment, automotive, and firearms. These days, aerospace and defense account for the lion’s share of business and sales focus, with direct, face-to-face efforts to build the customer base being their preferred method, both domestically and internationally.

We’ve seen tradeshows and in-person events have a lot better ROI than SEO marketing and that type of thing. We are pretty relationship-based.

Teamwork and Loyalty

Those relationships are very important within the company, as well.  MSP’s workforce of 30 employees is very stable, and people seldom leave, according to Goode. “When I was in the military, and law enforcement, I had seen a lot of forms of toxic leadership that were not really the best for teamwork.  It’s really nice to see a team here where it seems like every individual wants this company to succeed, wants to hit our goals, and wants to do whatever it takes to get the job done,” he says.

Machining, precision painting, and assembly are all done in-house, with outside vendors being used for certain processes, such as coatings and heat treating. The ability of MSP to provide completed parts eases the burden on customers and helps set the company above much of its competition. “We’re able to manufacture, paint, do outside processing, and assemble parts, whereas a lot of other machine shops don’t have that attention to detail, and the ability to do the intricate assemblies,” says Goode. “That seems to be where we provide the most value added. Instead of a customer having to manage four vendors, they only have to manage one, because we’re almost providing a turn-key solution for their projects.” 

The company has solid, long-term relationships with its network of outside service suppliers, and can depend on them to provide the quality necessary for customer requirements. On-time delivery is an important consideration for Goode, and he says that the timeframes for outside sourcing have sometimes wavered in the recent past, but have improved over the last year. 

Pricing for raw aluminum and steel materials, all sourced domestically, have increased modestly, or remained relatively steady over the last few years, although costs for outside processes have increased more substantially.

Certifications

MSP holds numerous high-level quality certifications for aviation and defense work, further cementing their positions with customers, as often they are the only approved supplier for certain products.  Production runs vary from single digits to tens of thousands for the company, and although selling internationally, operating under ITAR, MSP provides products only to approved allies of the United States.

Future

Continued controlled growth is on the agenda for MSP, as they continue to provide the quality, service, and attention to detail they have become known for over the last 80 years.

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