Companies Prepped For Change Come Out Ahead

Target Magazine
by Douglas F. Carlberg
Date:  June 1st, 2012

M2 Global's Innovation Leads to Growth and Profitability

“The big eat the small” used to be a common saying in the business world, but in today’s environment, “the fast eat the slow.”  With the pace of commerce increasing, companies unprepared to make changes quickly are likely to fall behind.  Examples abound of yesterday’s market leaders becoming today’s followers.  To remain competitive, it is essential to be both competent and quick when making effective changes in implementing processes that facilitate significant and sustainable improvements.

M2 Global Technology, Ltd. in San Antonio has built a reputation as a premier manufacturer and service provider in an unusual way: by taking chances.  The winner of numerous awards, including selection as U.S. Small Business Administration Sub-contractor of the Year for its region in 2011, M2 Global builds on its successes but does not rest on its laurels.  When not challenged by external circumstances (such as a devastating factory fire and the major upset in its primary customers’ demand level in 2005), the company challenges itself. Investigating and leveraging virtually every effective process improvement tool and technique available.

An active member of AME since 1999, M2 Global offers an impressive example of the benefits of AME membership.  Headed by founder, president, and CEO Douglas Carlberg, M2 Global is a worldwide supplier of radio frequency microwave passive components and value-added services for the defense, telecommunications, and aerospace industries.  With its staff of more than 60 resourceful employees, M2 Global exemplifies a lean culture that encourages and rewards innovation and pushing the envelope on lean.

The company does not limit lean thinking to the factory floor. M2’s intent is to introduce world-class initiatives for business processes that support the entire product life cycle, from new business capture to after-market product service and support.  Its operational strategy is to apply lean manufacturing principles across the enterprise, leveraging commercial best practices to produce and service high-reliability electronic products.

M2 has several ongoing operational initiatives. Design-To-Cost involves setting a design target cost or market price that customers are willing to pay.  In Design-For-Manufacturing, products are designed with the intent of ease of manufacture.  Lean Supply Chain involves focus on optimizing supply-chain operations so that product is delivered to the end customer with minimum waste.  Quick-Changeover focuses on the reduction of material, skilled resources, and time needed for equipment setup.  Process and Knowledge Management is the practice of collecting lessons learned and applying them to new products and processes.  In Lean Six Sigma, lean principles are incorporated with Six Sigma, a method for identifying and removing the causes of defects and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes.

Where did M2 Global acquire these tools? According to Carlberg, one great resource is the company’s AME membership.  “The seminars, workshops, and networking contacts have enabled us to learn and apply lean best practices throughout the organization.  AME membership has returned benefits tenfold to M2 Global.”

Doug Carlberg is the chairman and CEO of M2 Global Technology, Ltd.  He has more than 30 years of experience in operations management in electronics, telecommunications, and defense industries.  His background includes more than 15 years of executive leadership with profit / loss responsibility for leading high-technology commercial and defense firms.  His areas of expertise include directing all lean manufacturing aspects of product development, production, supply-chain management, sales, and service.  The recipient of numerous awards for excellence in manufacturing, he serves as president of the Southwest Region of the AME.