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Accelerating Automation in the US Manufacturing and Engineering Talent Pipeline

With the help of: TechHelp


House of Design (HoD) is a key player in Idaho’s advanced manufacturing community. Founded in 2012 in Nampa, Idaho, the company provides software development, engineering services, and robot integration for industries such as aerospace, medical device, electronics, apparel, consumer goods, packaging and agriculture. In recent years they have shifted focus to supply software and automated systems to support the offsite construction and building component industries.

The Challenge

In three years House of Design grew rapidly from 20 to 96 employees and outgrew its space at the Nampa Small Business Accelerator, requiring a move to a new facility. During this period of growth the company identified needs in workforce, engineering and operations and reached out to TechHelp, a member of the MEP National Network™, for assistance.
The TechHelp team and the NPD lab have a number of offerings to assist entrepreneurs and startups. The services of rapid prototyping, design, and CAD work are very advantageous and have filled important needs for us and others. What I see though, as the real value of the organization, is the real-world experience in both engineering and customer service that the students are getting. What a wealth of knowledge and opportunities they are developing to take into their future careers!
— Ryan Okelberry, Co-Owner and Co-Founder

MEP's Role

TechHelp and other manufacturing support organizations in Idaho helped House of Design address challenges associated with the company’s rapid growth. TechHelp services and support included projects regarding prototyping, fabrication procurement, products and processes, people, and partners and ecosystems.

The TechHelp New Product Development Team produced prototypes to HoD specifications. HoD specializes in custom automation therefore needed fabrication of new parts in varied materials. TechHelp has provided cost-effective fabricated parts for almost every HoD project.

While participating in TechHelp Lean Six Sigma courses, HoD staff members created projects that helped the company tackle inefficiencies. LSS projects focused on creating a formal design process, enacting a method for managing customer feedback, developing an onsite support program, and creating a standard work cell design.

As a partnership of Idaho’s three state universities, TechHelp acts as a bridge between HoD and the university talent the company needs to grow. HoD hired two mechanical engineers from the TechHelp New Product Development Team and is playing a key role in expanding the university talent pipeline via a new university program known as studio\Blu. HoD has been supported in its growth journey by TechHelp and its partners, including the Small Business Development Center (knowledge & mentorship), the Nampa Business Accelerator (room to grow), the Idaho Manufacturing Alliance (networking & marketing), Idaho Commerce (incentives), Idaho Labor (workforce), the Idaho STEM Action Center, and the Idaho Technology Council.

Created August 4, 2022