Possible Tools

Explore the possibilities in the NWMOC toolbox below:

Concept Feasibility Forecasting (Merwyn TM)

Intense idea evaluation to provide confidence in a go/no-go/revise idea decision. The description of your product idea will be evaluated for clarity, overt benefit, dramatic difference, and reason to believe through the Merwyn Concept evaluator. The concept score reflects how the final decision maker views the key factors in successfully selling your product and making money.

Energy Management

Assistance with identifying energy saving opportunities, and connecting businesses to resources and financial incentives to help fund and implement cost saving energy efficiency projects. Learn about equipment, tools and strategies to help your company manage rising energy costs and control energy demand and reduce operating costs while protecting the environment.

Enterprise Business Transformation

Through the use of assessment and benchmarking tools, MOC will assist you and your leadership team in analyzing your current business conditions and developing goals for the future. Along with MOC staff, you and your team will create a clear, shared direction for the organization and a detailed plan to get there.


This program was designed specifically for manufacturers that need innovative ways to grow, and see international sales as part of the answer. The program provides executive leaders with a systematic approach for entering or expanding in global markets.

Innovation Connections (National Innovation Marketplace)

The Innovation Marketplace helps companies find inventions and innovators find and connect with resources that can spark breakthrough products and accelerate development. It's the first internet networked marketplace where inventors and companies speak the same language. Two way publishing makes for painless finding and filtering. All inventions are presented with professional sales forecasts and company needs are presented as simple benefit focused innovation requests.

Lean Manufacturing

MOC helps you through a lean transformation by identifying the opportunities, designing the solution, implementing the solution and staying involved.

  • 5S Workplace Organization - A series of activities designed to improve workplace organization and standardization: sort, set in order, shine, standardize, sustain.
  • Cellular Flow Manufacturing - A process to link manual and machine operations into the most efficient combination of resources to maximize value-added content while minimizing waste.
  • Lean Office - A set of guidelines to improve office function by eliminating bottlenecks and waste.
  • Lean Overview - Learn how to reduce costs, achieve work standardization, decrease changeover time, improve safety, reduce storage costs, reduce machine downtime, and boost employee morale as well as work environment.
  • Pull Systems / Kanbans - A system to control the flow of resources in a production process by replacing only what has been consumed. Helps eliminate waste in handling, storing, and delivering your product to the consumer.
  • Setup / Changeover Reduction - A process to aid the ability to change from one product to another in order to meet customer demands for high-quality, low-cost products, delivered quickly and without the expense of excess inventory.
  • Total Productive Maintenance - A process designed to maximize the productivity of your equipment for its entire life.
  • Value Stream Mapping - A tool to map the flow of products that enables companies to streamline work processes, cutting lead times and reducing operating costs.

Market Diversification

Have a lot of "eggs in one basket", or untapped markets for your capabilities and products?  Businesses sustainability can be at risk if the majority of your production is focused on a few or only one customer, or if you rely on a specific industry for a majority of your orders. Market diversification services will assist you in exploring potential new customers for your products and new markets for your capabilities to help broaden your customer base, reducing risk and driving growth.

Opportunities Assessment

This process provides a fresh look at your operation framed around the common practices of high-performing companies. NWMOC will help you identify your strengths and opportunities for improvement and focus on a few key items for actions.

Plant Layout

NWMOC staff have the expertise to assist you in designing an optimized workflow in existing buildings or new construction. By developing a thorough understanding of where product moves within your system, and by designing in-process inventory positions and workflow strategies, space can be optimized and costs reduced. The goal is to maximize thru-put speed, reduce material handling costs, and save space. 

Employee Survey and Feedback Process

The NWMOC utilizes the expertise of UW-Stout student/faculty teams to conduct professional-level, scientific, unbiased employee surveys for a variety of purposes. We often incorporate these surveys into our work with companies for such topics as checking on how people feel any change initiative is progressing with the NWMOC, for feedback during an implementation of an employee empowerment process, how people would like to see performance measurement systems developed, and other topics. Some are simple surveys but most involve confidential interviews with employees as well. The keys to success of these surveys are the use of proven processes, pre-qualified, science-based questions, and the ability of the student/faculty teams to put the results into clear, actionable results.

Profitable Sustainability Initiative (PSI)

An innovative, highly successful state-wide program funded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This program addresses product and process optimization, energy and environment, logistics and product transport, and green product development and strategic marketing.

Root Cause Analysis (A3 Problem Solving)

The A3 process is a proven system for analyzing problems and developing effective solutions. It is a practical, step-by-step method to see past the easily visible symptoms and clearly identify the deep, root-cause problems. A strong set of root cause analysis tools and an action planning follow-up system help to ensure success. Companies use this as both a tactical problem solving tool and as an overall way of thinking to more effectively manage many of their daily challenges.

Strategic Planning

The MOC staff will help you and your management team analyze your current business conditions and develop goals for the future. Along with NWMOC staff, you and your team will create a clear, shared direction for the organization, including a detailed, documented plan with action steps on how to get there.

Technology Scouting

Through incorporating various research methods, Tech Scouting is a service to search outside normal client channels to find solutions for a specific unmet technology-based need. MOC staff looks directly at a company's need to determine the best research routes to pursue.