Diving into the resource pool

Pamela Gathings has several businesses: Tethering Ideas, which provides consulting, prototyping, and research and development (R&D); Quick Carriers dba Hauling Accessories, which develops and produces items to expand vehicle storage; and Solar Lights, which provides solar power to the arts industries.

Gathings’ businesses fit a niche and solve a community challenge by creating employer diversification — Gathings has one employee at each business – as well as relying on a range of suppliers across New Mexico, Texas and California.

By attending various MEP workshops, Gathings was introduced to various tools, terminology, and processes such as Lean 101, Value Stream Mapping (VSM) and Workplace Organization. Workshops were followed by one-on-one consultations in which Gathings gained insight into the manufacturing world as a visual process whereby creating standards for products leads to maintaining quality. VSM, for example, produced a present and future map for R&D; manufacturing processes; finding the best raw material, vendor, and price; and realizing how important communication, information, and training is for the office and shop floor. MEP also helped with setting up a manufacturing cell; creating a roadmap for workflow production, vendors, and quality; and mapping markets.

Other resources Gathings has accessed are NMSBA technical assistance programs, and NMSU. Through NMSBA, Gathings has and is receiving help from both Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs. The former helped her produce a manufacturing design from a wooden box prototype, reducing the weight by 75 lbs. and then proceeding to analyze the weight load. The latter is working with Gathings in the solar arena on product development. NMSU provided a market analysis that Hauling Accessories will disrupt the market.

Gathings reports the following benefits that have resulted from her partnership with New Mexico MEP:

  • 10% reduction of staff mistakes in production via visual information that improved quality
  • 70% savings by accessing existing space to expand capacity rather than buying a building
  • 40% profit increase by creating standards in the production workflow, reducing materials cost and making the workspace mobile
  • Three additional contracts obtained in hospitality, floral, and tourism in AZ, CO, and NM
  • One new manufacturer of display shelves obtained
  • Four patents pending
  • Four inventors now working with NMSBA
  • Tethering Ideas now has a shop in the Aztec Hub

“New Mexico MEP is visual learning, great networking in workshops and has many resources. New Mexico MEP should be the front door for businesses to learn about resources — regardless if the business is new or existing.  Denise Williams has been a great asset to my many manufacturing businesses.”
– Pam Gathings, business owner and inventor