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MMEC and Associated Employers

Blend Services for Customer Convenience and Savings

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC) and Associated Employers (AE) are blending expertise and convenience in complementary services for companies interested in growth and sustainability.

Manufacturers will now be able to access assistance through one contact from either organization and coordinate joint services for greater impact. Blended services will be invoiced in one transaction that includes a ten percent discount for customer convenience and savings. This collaboration is part of a continuing effort by MMEC and AE to cultivate resources and partnerships that help manufacturers succeed.

SmartLam in Columbia Falls, the only cross laminated timber manufacturer in the U.S., is the first Montana company to complete the blended training offering. It consisted of conflict management, communication, performance management, discipline, team dynamics, problem solving and principles of Lean Manufacturing. Michelle Herman of SmartLam was pleased with the training delivered by Paul Hutter of AE and Bill Nicholson of MMEC and said, “I give Associated Employers and MMEC – FIVE Stars!! for quality and cost of their services and training!!”
Since 1916, Associated Employers has provided business and human resource advice, support, information, education, consulting and training as a not-for-profit voluntary membership association. It also serves over 940 businesses and organizations throughout the region as the premier Human Resource outsourcing specialist with offices in Billings and Missoula. AE sponsors a health benefit program through its AE Group Benefit Plan & Trust, a program endorsed by the Montana Chamber of Commerce.

Since 1996, MMEC has worked on-site with manufacturers to identify and deliver business systems and strategies tailored to individual company needs and goals. Key services include business management, facility planning, leadership, innovation and strategic growth, efficiencies, business development and quality systems, as well as finding additional resources for customers. MMEC is an outreach center in the Montana State University College of Engineering and part of a nationwide network, the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), developed to assist small and mid-size manufacturers in becoming more competitive and profitable.

Both firms are members of another statewide organization committed to the success of business, the Montana Chamber of Commerce, which offers e-Certify for companies doing business overseas, a new Montana Retirement Choices program for members, and a voice for manufacturers through its Montana Manufacturing Council.

To learn more, please contact Paddy Fleming, MMEC Interim Director, at 406-994-3812, or Paul Hutter, Associated Employers, at 406-248-6178. Click here to view the MMEC website.