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A Growth Plan in Uncertain Times

With the help of: Kansas Manufacturing Solutions


Since 1983, Mid-State Aerospace, Inc. has been a premier provider of aerospace hardware and hose assemblies for commercial and military aerospace, as well as specialized industrial and marine applications. MSA has built a strong reputation of providing exceptional products and service to original equipment manufacturers, government agencies, and maintenance repair providers. As a wholly minority woman-owned small business with 25 employees, MSA has assembled a team of key personnel with over 100 years of experience in providing high quality products, unrivaled customer support and a thorough understanding of MSA’s commitment to satisfying their customer’s needs.

The Challenge

As with many small companies, time limitations make the most pressing needs leadership's focus. Planning for the future, especially in the middle of a global pandemic, may not have appeared to be MSA's most pressing need, but a majority of their business was with one client. Although a multi-year contract was in place there was always a risk of that business going away. MSA could become financially unsuccessful overnight. Mid-State Aerospace brought in Kansas Manufacturing Solutions, part of the MEP National Network™, to guide the creation of a flexible, actionable growth plan during an uncertain time. 

KMS was able to take a very complex set of opportunities facing Mid-State Aerospace, distill them down to very understandable and prioritized list of actions to grow our business as well as develop a roadmap to address the COVID impacts from both an operational and economic standpoint.
— Robert Rogers, President

MEP's Role

Kansas Manufacturing Solutions supported Mid-State Aerospace with the future state optimization (FSO) solution. FSO is a strategic planning solution developed to assist manufacturers during the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The solution provides manufacturers a roadmap that allows them to pivot based upon changing conditions. MSA received recommendations to help them become more agile and growth oriented. 

A seven-point plan was established for MSA. The unique analytics showcased where MSA could win with their current distribution model as well where they had a high probability to penetrate new markets profitability. Recommendations included where to focus to increase close rates, bandwidth in their pricing models, how to better partner with their largest distributer (which included embedding an employee in their organization), and joint strategic planning sessions. The plan also prioritized and explained how to diversify industries and customers within these new verticals to mitigate their single supplier risk. An upgrade to their website, including proudly communicating MSA’s story of being a minority woman-owned company, has helped expand their marketability.   

FSO also provided MSA guidance during a COVID-19 outbreak in their facility. MSA was able to make pivots that allowed them to keep their facility operational, avoiding the loss of existing and new orders. 

Created July 14, 2021, Updated July 16, 2022