Small to medium-sized manufacturers can grow faster by applying lean management techniques and emerging technologies, the president of Marlin Steel Wire Products, one of the country’s fastest growing private manufacturing companies, will discuss at a pair of national conferences this spring.
Drew Greenblatt will discuss “Beyond Bagels: How a Basket Company Remade Itself Through ‘Quality Engineering Quick’” at the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) conference in San Antonio, Texas April 15-18. By focusing on quality control, lean manufacturing, engineering and new technology, Marlin Steel went from a company in decline to one exporting stainless steel baskets and wire products to 36 countries. Mr. Greenblatt will give a keynote address about how a change in focus can help American businesses compete in what the late management theorist and author Eli Goldratt called the “blue ocean” of higher quality products, higher margins and higher wages.
"I was fortunate to get to meet Mr. Goldratt shortly before he passed away in 2011," Mr. Greenblatt said. "I told him that his techniques helped save my company. He observed that most manufacturers swim in a 'red ocean,' clawing to be a penny cheaper than their competitors with slim margins and a fragile environment. In 'blue oceans,' your offerings are so superior, you have no true competition."
Two weeks later, Mr. Greenblatt will speak about how radio-frequency identification technology can transform manufacturing processes at RFID Journal LIVE! The conference in Orlando, Florida is billed as the world’s largest RFID event. Mr. Greenblatt will describe how wireless readers can help eliminate chokepoints in the assembly process.
Marlin Steel manufactures precision-engineered material handling containers from steel wire and sheet metal for a variety of industries, including automotive, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, aerospace and defense. Its seven consecutive years of revenue growth led it to be ranked as the 162nd fastest-growing private manufacturer in the U.S. by Inc. magazine on its "5,000" list. Based in Baltimore, Marlin Steel also was named among the 100 fastest-growing inner city employers in the country by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City.
Mr. Greenblatt is on the executive board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)and is chairman of the Regional Manufacturing Institute (RMI) of Maryland. He is a member of the Maryland Advisory Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness and the Governor's International Advisory Council. He has been invited to the White House on six occasions, and has appeared more than 40 times on national television on the subject of manufacturing and small-business needs.