Leveraging Technology to Pull Off a Successful Business Turnaround

Kemco Aerospace Manufacturing is a diversified solutions provider for the aerospace and defense industries. They employ stringent controls and lean manufacturing practices to deliver certified, flight critical components that exceed exacting quality, cost and delivery standards. From precision manufacturing to innovative engineering services, Kemco Aerospace Manufacturing is the partner of choice for a wide range of aerospace and defense applications. Because the business was in financial distress, they wanted to avoid a major capital expenditure with their IT infrastructure.

When business partners Rick Zimmerman and Dan Ladenberger acquired Kemco in 2007, they were facing a challenging turnaround project. There were many issues with the company varying from internal manufacturing operations and infrastructure to external account related issues. As they built a plan to turnaround Kemco, they identified their IT infrastructure as strategic in their turnaround efforts, yet not core to their business. They needed a solution in place fast so they could focus their energy on improving manufacturing processes and enhancing client relationships.

The current IT infrastructure had a long list of issues:

  • Outdated hardware
  • Patchwork network
  • Part-time/non-skilled IT support
  • Expensive external IT consultants
  • No backup
  • No off-site storage
  • No disaster recovery

Because the business was in financial distress, they wanted to avoid a major capital expenditure with their IT infrastructure.

Kemco decided to go with CompleteCloud. They were able to avoid the capital expenditure while completely rebuilding their IT infrastructure. Their new infrastructure was built in a secure enterprise data center, which was critical due to the sensitivity of their client base being a Department of Defense supplier. They addressed the computing needs of their diverse 70 employees, varying from assembly line terminals to manufacturing engineers. They also checked the box on off-site backup and disaster recovery, which was important to them and their clients.

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Kemco has now been on CompleteCloud for seven years. They have grown to more than 170 employees in two locations. CompleteCloud supports three
separate businesses: Kemco Manufacturing, Kemco Labs and Rhino Arms. What was once a turnaround project for Rick and Dan is now a thriving enterprise. Dan Ladenberger, who is the President and runs the operations commented, “There were some unexpected advantages to the CompleteCloud. (1) We went through a major facility move, and it was easy and painless as we did not have to worry about moving computers. (2) We have 24/7 support. We did not consider this upfront, but we are manufacturing all night long and our IT issues used to just wait until the morning. Now they can be addressed in the middle of the night, which has increased productivity and employee morale.”

Rick and Dan recently started another business, Rhino Arms, which delivers commercial grade assault rifles. They will continue looking for opportunities to leverage their engineering and manufacturing expertise to grow their enterprise while spending very little time thinking about IT.