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Continuous Improvement through Organizational Development


In 2015, FreMarq Innovations was founded in Merrill, Wisconsin, with the mission to reverse the impact of climate change by reducing a building’s carbon emissions. After years of continuous research and design, FreMarq designed a thermal break technology that completely isolates the interior from the exterior of a commercial window system (CW), which significantly reduces the thermal transfer, in turn saving energy consumption and reducing carbon emissions.

The Challenge

As FreMarq’s sales grew, so did its organization, adding more complexity to on-time deliveries, quality, and production needs. These factors are a serious threat to a growing business. “We can’t afford not to perform," stated Todd Fredrick, co-owner and founder of FreMarq Innovations. “We have talented people; we just needed a better way to execute our processes. We have had a long relationship with the MOC and the project managers. We reach out to MOC because we trust and respect their experience."
The staff and professional approach the MOC brings is second to none. My advice to small- and medium-sized manufacturers is to give them a call, it’s worth it.
— Todd Fredrick, Co-owner and Founder

MEP's Role

The University of Wisconsin-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center’s (MOC) staff, part of the Wisconsin MEP and the MEP National Network™, listened to the management team and people on the floor. They walked the processes and sought to understand what was working, and what was not. The MOC helped identify the top issues and put together a plan to take immediate action; a high-level plan called organizational development. It had four objectives for the year, which Kevin Thiel, MOC project manager, calls, "must-dos." “We need to have some systems people can rely on; a recipe to turn things; a system that can be responsive to the business and easy to use; improve how we do work. With some collaboration and evaluation of supporting systems, an introduction to the entire staff was facilitated in an all-day simulation," Todd stated.

This simulation was based on lean manufacturing principles and, in a matter of 4 months, the organization has realized significant improvements. “Things are much better and we are achieving our needs,” described co-owner Renea Fredrick. “The impacts at a high level have improved our throughput time in manufacturing. We have doubled our output. The productivity and quality improvements have reduced all kinds of waste, stress, and nonsense." The total impact is estimated at 100% improvement. “The responsiveness, productivity, and execution in our plant now has increased capacity," Todd cited. “People understand their role, how they contribute, expectations, and how the team approach gives everyone more," Renea explained.

Created July 29, 2023