Even though many competitors are moving to China for the cheaper labour costs, Milwaukee Electronics Corp. is trying to stay in Milwaukee.

The company, 5855 N. Glen Park Road, which produces highly engineered circuit boards, has invested more than $800,000 in new technology and services over the past two years and has spent more than 5,000 hours implementing lean manufacturing principles in its production process. Company officials hope these and other strategies will keep Milwaukee Electronics competitive and enhance customer service.

“Our customers want a level of service that is high quality and cost competitive,” said Mike Stoehr, president of Milwaukee Electronics, which provides circuit board design and assembly services and contract manufacturing work. “We are doing things to make sure we are all of those to our customers.”


That strategy has helped boost the bottom line. In 2003, sales at two company plants grew by 8 percent, and Milwaukee Electronics is forecasting double digit sales growth for 2004.

The first element of its strategy was implemented in 2002. As other manufacturers were shrinking or shutting down their operations because of declining sales, Milwaukee Electronics’ sales remained steady. Stoehr saw that as a chance to invest in new, more advanced assembly equipment, which mounts components in the circuit boards, at used equipment prices.

“It’s like rearming yourself during a time out,” Stoehr said. “The more automated our business becomes, the less intimidated we are by China.”

Invested in new equipment

Milwaukee Electronics installed the new equipment in two production plants- in Milwaukee at 5855 N. Glen Park Road, and in Milwaukie, Ore. It financed the $700,000 purchase through internal cash reserves and a bank loan.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation