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Northern Economic Initiatives

Engineered Machined Products
Engineered Machined Products

Two years ago, Engineered Machined Products (EMP) found that they could no longer rely solely on the mechanical oil and water pumps they manufactured. Having a limited amount of customers at the time, they realized it was time to diversify.

This is where Northern Initiatives (NI) came in. Vice President of Consulting at NI, Ruth Solinski, started working with Harvey about a year and a half ago, and EMP has since made many advances in its marketing and diversification efforts. "Ruth at NI came up with creative ways to help us diversify by engaging a team of industry experts and spearheaded a project plan to help us think outside the box," EMP's Director of New Business Development, Paul Harvey said. "The team, which included a
Michigan-based firm Riegner and Associates, helped us realize that we needed to understand the market with surveys and direct mail campaigns."

One of these direct mail campaigns involved contacting key parties in the transit bus market, a target market for EMP's innovative miniHybrid Thermal System and Power 450 Brushless Alternator technologies. This advanced cooling system is now used on municipal transit buses. "Over 100 buses have field tested our systems, logging nearly 1.5 million miles, across 15 metropolitan communities in North America," Harvey said.

The cost of replacing just one diesel bus with a environmentally-friendly hybrid bus can cost over a half-million dollars. With stories of 'green' technology filling the news, the cost-effectiveness of EMPís innovative product line is particularly timely. "Used in municipal transit markets, the miniHybrid offers innovative operational features and a quick payback. The investment and cost-benefit is attractive; it just makes a lot of sense for municipalities."

According to EMP, buses equipped with the miniHybrid get better mileage, generate lower emission levels, are curbside quiet and achieve the goals of hybrid buses. "Ultimately, EMP's miniHybrid achieves many of the same benefits of a hybrid bus, at a small fraction of the cost," Harvey noted.

Harvey said NI is helping EMP to develop the marketing components that will help commercialize this product and the company's other advanced electronic products. "We've been focusing on growing our company globally, not just with conventional products, but with electronic product solutions for new customers in new markets."

"Once we better understood the needs of our customers, NI enabled us to successfully target our products to the right markets," Harvey added. "We're moving forward toward a brighter future, thanks to the terrific support from the team at NI." (Victoria LaFave is a freelance writer for NI. She can be reached at or by phone at 906/466-0070.)

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