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Manufacturing (340)

There are many situations in the automotive business that require negotiation between component suppliers and their customers.

A commitment to technology and staying ahead of the curve has driven one family-owned West Michigan manufacturer to become one of the largest automotive suppliers in the region.

After a customer’s firearm business failed, Jenison-based Next Level Manufacturing LLC decided to use its expertise in high-end machining to spin off its own line of specialty rifles.

All indications point to West Michigan manufacturers continuing to struggle in the coming year to find qualified talent.

Experts predict uptick in auto supplier M&A

Written by | Sunday, 07 December 2014 22:00 |

Amid an improving automotive market, suppliers with easy access to capital and more deployable cash on their balance sheets are turning to mergers and acquisitions to drive growth.

Kentwood-based TerraTrike learned all too well the pitfalls a business can face when its sales projections fall short of anticipating the actual demand from consumers for its products.

Changing purchasing behaviors and a shift to lower-volume orders have middle-market manufacturers well-positioned to compete in an increasingly global marketplace against even the largest corporations in the office furniture industry.

Suppliers need to trust that they know their cost structures better than their customers when it comes time to bid on various components.

Executives at a West Michigan manufacturer of welding equipment are betting that increased production of gas and oil in North America will fuel growth for the company outside of the automotive industry.

While experts continue to tout wind energy as a diversification target for many West Michigan manufacturers, companies that supply the industry say they’ve faced a period of stagnant demand, especially now that a key federal incentive no longer exists.

A quarterly activity index for the office furniture industry in October reached its highest point in more than seven years.

Improving sales across all product categories and geographies helped boost Gentex Corp.’s performance in its third quarter that ended Sept. 30.

Wolverine open to M&A as it pays down debt

Written by | Sunday, 26 October 2014 22:00 |

Two years after completing the largest acquisition in the history of Wolverine World Wide Inc., the Rockford-based footwear and apparel marketer says it is again ready to begin looking at potential deals.

An increasing appetite for renewable energy across North America has prompted one manufacturer of solar energy components to expand its production outside of the Golden State.

As production for the 2015 model year of vehicles ramps up, one West Michigan automotive supplier has capitalized on a recent capacity expansion to accommodate growth.

As U.S. manufacturing activity continues to inch upward, the sector is contributing to growth among packaging firms nationwide and in West Michigan.

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