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New Communication Process Implementation Puts Harris Machine Company on the Right Track to Improvements and New Growth

With the help of: Impact Dakota


Harris Machine Company (HMC), a family-owned business, in Oakes, North Dakota, was established in 2000 by Nick and Jay Harris. HMC provides contract manufacturing such as fabricating, machining, welding, and assembly; powder coat painting; plasma and oxyfuel cutting; and remanufacturing. Over the years, HMC has experienced steady growth. With modern manufacturing facilities spanning over 250,000 square feet, they proudly offer a wide range of services to both existing and new customers.

The Challenge

HMC has continued to grow in size and complexity over the years; diversifying in advanced technologies and building stronger relationships with preferred OEM and Tier 1 customers. This has helped them retain and attract the most talented team in a large area. With growth comes reaching higher levels of capabilities and capacities as well as some growing pains. HMC turned to Impact Dakota, part of the MEP National Network™, for help.  

Partnering with Impact Dakota has proven to be an effective way to identify and address the challenges we face within our organization. The vast manufacturing experience of their team, along with the additional resources they provided have made positive and lasting changes to the way we do business.

— Dana Grosgebauer, Business Manager

MEP's Role

The HMC senior leadership team of President Jay Harris and Business Manager Dana Grosgebauer visited with Impact Dakota CEO Jodie Mjoen, for options to improve throughput and mitigate disruptions.  After discussing options, they decided on doing a leadership team assessment. They were interested in their input on what is going very well and what they should focus on improving to best support their team. They want to help them continue to be a great place to work and be the preferred sourcing partner with their customers.

Each leader spent 7-13 minutes answering the 53 assessment questions  in the Impact Dakota Business Excellence Optimization Assessment. The questions covered Harris Machine Company's Strategy in Action, Structure & Accountability, People, Methods & Tools, Communications, and Metrics/ Rewards. Impact Dakota facilitated a two-hour debrief communications session with all the leaders sharing the things that work well, their pain, what's causing pain, and what they should do to fix it. Impact Dakota provided a report summarizing the results, HMC team debrief comments/inputs, and an implementation plan. 

Based on the findings from the report, HMC implemented a new, more comprehensive communications process and requested Impact Dakota's assistance implementing their actions plan. The team built a simple dashboard to review during meetings to include, track, and update key/critical information their team needed to optimize priorities, know their targets, changes coming, and any planned or unexpected disruptions.

Created March 14, 2024