Howe Corporation of Chicago, Illinois, has been in the business of preserving foods since its early days. Back then the company was known as Howe Ice Machine company; however, that was also when ice machines were refrigeration compressors used to produce block ice, which was then shaved into shaved or cubed ice to cool and preserve fresh meat and dairy products. It was a natural evolution to find a better way to provide a means of producing shaved ice, and somewhere in the late 1940s, Howe developed the Howe Flake Ice Maker. This ice flaker was a vast improvement over block ice shaved down to a usable shaved ice. Howe now offers various products related to these high-quality ice machines made in the USA, including ice storage bins as well as condensing units and accessories.
Howe Corporation started their connection with IMEC, part of the MEP National Network™, back in 2014. Initially connecting with IMEC through a grant, their initial projects were focused on plant layout and lean. Howe stayed connected with IMEC to continue to find ways to grow and, in the past 3 years, they’ve collaborated on projects such as ISO training, SEO, cybersecurity and marketing.
I always feel like the IMEC team is in an office right down the hall. They take the time to learn our company so they can truly provide the best support. They not only activate immediately when I reach out with a need, they also proactively think of us when new grants and trainings present themselves. So much of what I have accomplished at Howe is due to the resources and support of IMEC!
One of the first big goals for Howe Corporation was receiving ISO 9001:2015 training. Strong knowledge of ISO shows that the company has put in the effort to better their workforce and helps build trust with clients. Over the course of 7 months, Howe worked with IMEC to ensure they were able to use their training to make long-term growth.
Following their ISO training, Howe saw an area of growth within SEO (search engine optimization), which helps to grow traction for websites or social media. Howe completed a SEO analysis with recommendations for growth with an IMEC expert and followed up with a training program co-led by StratMg. This program, along with their brand-new website, generated great growth for Howe in the digital space, leading to more exposure and new leads.
A stronger presence online leads to the need for strong, safe cybersecurity, to protect the company and its clients. Towards the end of 2021, Howe Corporation participated in a CMMC cybersecurity training series. Once a month from August 2021-October 2022, Howe learned to create a strong foundation in cybersecurity and to feel confident in the safety of their technology.
More recently, Howe collaborated with IMEC on sales presentation training, trade show marketing, and newsletter template work. The connection with IMEC over the last decade has had a significant impact for Howe Corporation. Howe and IMEC look forward to their work in the future.