After starting from his garage, Terry Hill’s initial success with Rapid Application Group led to a small but functional production facility. RAG’s unique capabilities generated additional business and Hill was soon eyeing a significant expansion—both in physical factory space and sales growth.
Looking for advice, he turned to Jenny Cothran, a manufacturing extension agent with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, part of the MEP National Network™. Cothran had worked with Rapid Application Group on several projects and enjoyed a solid relationship with Hill.
We come to work every day to lead the industry in additive manufacturing. The Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance is right there with us, helping us grow and helping our community prosper.
Cothran met with Hill and a new 10,000-square-foot site was secured. Applications engineers working for the Manufacturing Alliance helped design a factory layout that optimized production capabilities. Making use of Hill’s expertise, Cothran and engineers helped RAG purchase specific equipment to optimize resources and capacity. On certain fabrications, production times were reduced by more than 90 percent.
Cothran used her local, state and national networking connections to help Rapid Application Group form more than a dozen business-to-business relationships, leading to a significant increase in sales. That work, in turn, increased the industry recognition of RAG’s unique abilities, expanding business further. Additionally, Cothran helped RAG work its way through the process to earn ASA9100 industry certification, leading to many additional markets.
During the pandemic, RAG quickly pivoted and began using its resources to produce personal protective equipment. Cothran and others at the Manufacturing Alliance helped connect the company to the right state and federal agencies, ensuring the pieces got into the hands of the people that needed them most.