When Dave Keicher, vice president of Integrated Deposition Solutions (IDS), requested marketing and sales growth assistance in early 2020, New Mexico MEP saw an opportunity to innovate by adding services not typically provided by the center. IDS (https://www.idsnm.com/) is an eight-year-old electronic-printer company that uses technology commercialized from Sandia National Laboratory to embed electronics into 3D-printed parts. The four-person Albuquerque, New Mexico, company had perfected its technology and was poised for growth. A New Mexico MEP pilot project would help IDS achieve it.
Military electronics obsolescence and other applications are driving the growth of 3D-printed electronics because the technology allows factories and installations to avoid the downtime and cost of retooling. Electronic printing enables equipment operators to insert a new CAD file and quickly resume production. When IDS received a significant investment, Keicher knew his company was ready to expand its reach; however, he realized growth would be inhibited by its current sales strategy.
New Mexico MEP reached outside of its network of Innovation Directors to contract with “resource partners” who could provide the needed expertise and supplement MEP’s services. New Mexico MEP staff member and executive coach Sara Douglas created the framework in which resource partners would work, and she led the company through team-building exercises. Tech-marketer Lynore Abbott was brought in to implement a customer relationship management (CRM) system and help create infrastructure to standardize products and manage sales. A bookkeeper and an IT expert were brought in to address other challenges.
In the year since the pilot began, IDS has moved from a 1,200-square-foot space at the BioScience Center, a technology incubator, to a 6,000-square-foot-facility in northeast Albuquerque. Sales have increased from $580,000 in 2019 to $1.1 million in 2020. The company, which now employs 10 people and utilizes an international network of distributors, expects to reach $3 million in revenue in 2021.
“We identified where all the holes were, and there were plenty,” said Keicher. “And then we looked at filling the holes. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate New Mexico MEP. Together, Sara and Lynore worked really well because they have different skill sets. It’s been a really great relationship.”
What New Mexico MEP ID Sara Douglas had to say: “IDS leaders have very much of a learning mentality and they’re very open to getting outside help. It’s a really great quality and I think it’s really going to serve them well.