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General Information:

100 Bureau Drive, M/S 4800
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4800

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Manufacturers Toolbox

The simple truth: manufacturing matters in the U.S. It creates wealth in the form of economic growth, increased jobs, and robust trade in world markets.


How does MEP help?

MEP’s mission is to support, strengthen, and grow U.S. manufacturing. To do this, MEP provides customized and direct assistance to manufacturers through the nationwide network of MEP centers, with over 350 locations across the country, and more than 1400 field staff working every day with companies in their plants and offices.

MEP center specialists provide an array of services to companies, from initial assessments prioritizing opportunities for improvement, to implementation projects guiding companies through process improvements, productivity increases and growth. Centers provide companies with access to training resources as well as specific project assistance. Some engagements are short-term classes or basic projects. Other companies engage in multiple projects with their local field specialist as one project often leads to several others.

MEP Tools

Every MEP center is unique in the tools and services they provide to U.S. manufacturers. Listed below is a small sampling of effective, proven tools to help your company grow profits.


ExporTech helps companies enter or expand in global markets. The program assists your company in developing an international growth plan, provides experts who will vet your plan, and connects you with organizations that will help you move quickly beyond planning to actual export sales.
For more information, visit ExporTech page.

Lean Product Development and Design methods and principles help companies overcome time to market, portfolio management, design and development resource, and new product cost challenges. The workshops expose clients to an ideal New Product Development Process that can be easily scaled to their size and need, while providing insight and tools to begin the journey to transform their product design and development activity into a low waste, high value, lean process.
For more information, visit
Lean Product Development page.

Supply Chain Optimization is a program that equips manufacturers of all sizes with tools to integrate strategy into collaboration across the multiple tiers of their supply chains.  Many manufacturers face supply chain issues every day, from identifing new suppliers and materials through manufacturing transportation and distribution to customers. MEP helps manufacturers use a strategic approach to develop a synchronized plan optimized across the value and supply chains.  This optimized plan reduces risk and volatility, increases collaboration with suppliers, reveals the true total cost of the supply chain, and increases capability to develop and distribute products.  MEP leverages its expertise in resolving the challenges experienced by U.S. manufacturers to create stronger, more connected supply chains. For more information, visit

Model Based Enterprise provides manufacturers with an overview of what is going on in the area of using 3D models and Technical Data Packages as a single source model throughout the lifecycle of a product. MBE is an integrated and collaborative environment, founded on 3D product definition (Model Based Definition) shared across the enterprise, enabling rapid, seamless, and affordable deployment of products from concept to disposal. For more information, visit the Model Based Enterprise Website

Technology Scouting is a component of NIST MEP’s Technology Acceleration strategy. Unlike traditional “push” based-technology transfer, pull-based Technology Scouting is intended to search outside normal channels to find solutions for a small manufacturing client’s unmet technology need.
For more information, download Technology Scouting details

Business Continuity Planning Suite helps manufacturers with the need to create, improve, or update their business plans.. The Suite is scalable for optimal use by organizations of any size and consists of business continuity plan training, automated BCP and disaster recovery plan (DRP) generators, and a self-directed exercise for testing an implemented BCP. Businesses can utilize this solution to maintain normal operations and provide resilience during a disruption. 
For more information, visit the Business Continuity Planning website


Contact your local center to learn more about these and other tools available.