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Company Notebook

Steel Partners Recognizes OMG Inc. for Excellence

AGAWAM — Three kaizen teams from OMG Inc. have been recognized as 2016 Steel Partners Business System Hall of Fame winners. The announcement was made by Jeff Svoboda, president and CEO of Handy & Harman, a Steel Partners subsidiary. The Steel Partners Business System uses lean principles and tools, including kaizens, to increase sales, improve business processes, and reduce and eliminate waste and variation. Kaizen is a strategic activity where employees at every level of a company get together to work on a targeted improvement project. In manufacturing in particular, kaizens often demonstrate that big changes come from many small changes made over time. Kaizens are focused three- to five-day events that generally include defining a problem or goal, documenting the current state, brainstorming and developing a future state, implementing change, developing a follow-up plan and measurement metrics, presenting results, and celebrating success. “We complete over 40 kaizens a year, each involving on average a team of five, so for these three teams to be recognized by our parent companies is certainly a high honor for which we are very proud,” said Hubert McGovern, president and CEO of OMG Inc. A total of 19 employees participated in the three winning kaizens. Two of the kaizens were held at OMG’s headquarters location in Agawam, and one was held in the company’s Asheville, N.C. facility. “OMG is committed to lean manufacturing, and kaizens are just one of the tools we use to drive significant improvement to our overall effectiveness as a company,” said McGovern. “As a result of our lean initiatives, we’ve seen great progress throughout the company, including gains in reducing waste, improving product quality, and bringing value to our customers.” Some of the more significant results for these winning kaizens include a 66% increase in drain-assembly output; a 250% reduction in the need for overtime; a $10,000-per-day increase in sellable units assembled by a packaging team and a related $36,000 annual labor savings; and a $100,000 annual cost reduction related to quality improvement. Headquartered in Agawam, OMG Inc. is North America’s largest supplier of specialty fasteners and products for commercial and residential construction applications. The company operates two business units: OMG Roofing Products (www.omgroofing.com) and FastenMaster (www.fastenmaster.com). OMG is a subsidiary of Handy & Harman Group Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Handy & Harman Ltd.

Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center to Expand

HOLYOKE — The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) announced a $1.6 million expansion of its state-of-the-art facility on June 1. The center is located in downtown Holyoke, at 100 Bigelow St. Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse; Rick McCullough, vice provost for Research at Harvard University; and MGHPCC Executive Director John Goodhue will be on hand. The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center provides state-of-the-art infrastructure for computationally intensive research in the increasingly sensor- and data-rich environments of modern science and engineering. Computers at the MGHPCC run millions of virtual experiments every month, supporting thousands of researchers in Massachusetts and around the world. The MGHPCC was developed through an unprecedented collaboration among the state’s most research-intensive universities, including Boston University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, and UMass; the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and private industry (Cisco and EMC). The member universities fund the ongoing operation of the data center, which is open for use by any research organization. For more information, visit www.mghpcc.org.

The Creative Opens Office in Thornes Marketplace

NORTHAMPTON — The Creative, a collaboration of three local businesswomen, has opened an office in Thornes Office Suites. The collaboration, which launched in April 2013, is made up of Janice Beetle, principal of Beetle Press; Ruth Griggs, principal of RC Communications; and Maureen Scanlon, principal of Murre Creative. Together, they provide strategic marketing, messaging, and design services. The trio provide flexible services to clients, combining forces to match clients’ needs and offering a full complement of agency services where necessary. The Creative provides its clients with the opportunity for comprehensive marketing and communications services, including assistance with advertising campaigns, branding, public relations, print collateral, strategic marketing planning, and fund-raising campaigns. For more information, call (413) 727-3354 or visit thecreativemarketing.net.

Country Bank Awards Scholarships to Students

WARE — Officials at Country Bank announced the presentation of 15 scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each to area high-school seniors. The newly formed Country Bank for Higher Education Scholarship was offered to graduating students within the region. The recipients needed to demonstrate a commitment to their communities through volunteerism and leadership by submitting an essay outlining their experiences. “We are so pleased with the response we received for our new scholarship format,” said Shelley Regin, senior vice president, marketing at Country Bank. “Each applicant had a unique perspective on their involvement in helping others, from taking the lead on building a playground to feeding the homeless on Christmas Eve and developing a summer STEM program for underprivileged kids. We were so inspired by the great work these students are doing in their communities and how they are making a difference in the lives of others.” The recipients include Lily White, Auburn High School; Patrick O’Brien, Queen of Heaven Academy; Dong Liang Dzindolet, Leicester High School; Caleb Carr, MA Academy of Math & Science; Sarah Springer, Minnechaug Regional High School; Alexander Reed, Olivia Murray, and Serena Sandoval, Palmer High School; Alexis Nason and Riley Mucha, Quaboag Regional High School; Brittany Como, Emily Rusack, and Olivia Kiritsis, Shepherd Hill Regional High School; Kyle Hill and Sadie Simons, Ware High School.

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