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New Mexico MEP's Work with Aztec Company Shows Power of Relationships


Started by Chris Jaquez in 2009, Industrial Cooling Exchangers Ltd. (ICE) is a father-son business that fabricates large-scale cooling systems for businesses working in the oil and gas, mining, and power-generation industries. Its 12 employees can also repair, rebuild, replace, clean and refurbish radiators, fuel tanks, fans and louvers, among other equipment. Located in Aztec, New Mexico, the company serves businesses in the 4-Corners area of the Southwest and nearby oil and gas regions.

The Challenge

After meeting ICE's president, Chris Jaquez, at an economic development event in 2017, New Mexico MEP Innovation Director Denise Williams visited the company to talk about services offered by New Mexico MEP, part of the MEP National Network™, and explore any issues the company was experiencing. Jaquez invited her to attend a company meeting, and thus began a six-year partnership of improvements.


Denise and New Mexico MEP have been a great help in motivating my team to see how running a lean company can contribute to their success with ICE and grow into a strong future. Employees see where they can step into other roles and take ownership. Production has improved. [The website overhaul] definitely brought us more customers and more traffic to our business. [Denise] is definitely a team player and wants to see us succeed.
— Chris Jaquez, President

MEP's Role

Starting with an onsite seminar to introduce ICE employees to lean concepts, Williams followed up with facility visits to study how workers did their jobs. Once she understood the rationale for the company’s procedures and practices, she offered ideas for how the company could improve inventory tracking, restructure some procedures, and reorganize workplaces. Increasing revenue was identified as a goal, and Williams helped secure a grant that allowed ICE to revamp its website to bring in new customers and make existing customers aware of the company’s range of dynamic services.
Created November 1, 2023