Milford By Orbitform
Continuous Improvement to the Milford Product Line
Posted on 09/12/2018 | by The Orbitform Blog Team
Growing With Purpose
Milford Fastening Company began in 1940 as Milford Rivet & Machine Company and was recognized across the industry for building quality riveting machines, many of which are still in operation today. When Orbitform identified Milford as an acquisition target, company leaders saw an opportunity to gain a brand with significant marketplace recognition that would benefit customers by offering them a full suite of fastening solutions under one roof.
The deal resulted in Orbitform expanding its lineup by adding light and medium-duty impact riveting machines to the existing product categories of orbital, radial and heavy-duty impact fastening capabilities. The company also gained loyal advocates who knew and trusted the Milford brand. This growth elevated Orbitform’s position as a leading one-stop-shop for all riveting applications.
Integrating Brand Identities
Upon approval of the acquisition, Orbitform took the first step in integrating Milford into its product line by moving the machine design and manufacturing to Orbitform’s facility in Jackson, Michigan. Rather than absorbing the product line and offering the capability as-is, Orbitform engineers constantly enhance Milford riveters by introducing modern manufacturing techniques, thus reducing the variability of internal components. The initial upgrades allowed new Milford machines to be built without their typical “fit at assembly” process.
Orbitform fastening experts also designed improved safety devices, new tooling configurations and automated rivet feeding systems for the Milford line of riveters. Milford riveters are now available in mechanical and pneumatic models with various upgrades: vibratory and mechanical rivet feeders, enhanced safety features, several operator actuation methods, and optional process monitoring of forces, loads, and deflections.
Brand Recognition Education
One of the key challenges in business acquisitions is educating past, current and new customers about changes that will impact them. More than a decade has passed since Orbitform’s procurement of Milford, yet some customers remain unaware of the transition.
There are multiple ways to share the news about major business changes and how they will impact customers, including written and digital communications, advertising, and even alignment of the sales force to ensure all products are being positioned equally. However, internal buy-in must be achieved before a transition will be successfully accepted externally.
Continued Legacy Product Support
An important factor to consider during an acquisition is determining how to offer customer service for products already in service. At Orbitform, the knowledgeable Spare Parts and Tooling team became experts on the entire spectrum of Milford products. This allowed the team to serve as an invaluable resource for previous and new customers seeking support, as well as for those who require extensive troubleshooting or replacement parts.
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