Consulting advice at no cost has helped a full-line bakery manufacturer in Escondido, Calif., set up a new production line.

After receiving a contract for specialty cupcakes from Seattle-based coffee-house giant Starbucks, Ne-Mo's bakery enlisted assistance from California Manufacturing Technology Consulting in Torrance, Calif. The bakery needed to improve its capacity to fill the Starbucks' orders. With completion of the new production line, Ne-Mo's added 50 new jobs and anticipates increasing sales by 12 percent, according to CMTC.

“With services provided by CMTC, we were able to fulfill our contract successfully, improve our overall business and create new jobs for the community,” says Frank Kieffer, Ne-Mo's vice president of operations.

The bakery is just one example of the sales impact southern California manufacturers have experienced when using CMTC's consulting services. In March, CMTC customers responding to a quarterly third-party survey reported $156 million in retained and new sales compared to the same time period in 2010 when combined sales were only $122 million - an increase of 28 percent, CMTC says. Improving sales is a positive indicator that manufacturers will need to add to their workforce in the future.

“These results demonstrate that even during difficult economic times, southern California manufacturers are spending time and money on initiatives to grow their businesses,” says David Braunstein, CMTC president and CEO. “These manufacturers have made a commitment to increase their capabilities to compete.”

CMTC is an affiliate of National Institute of Standards and Technology, under the Federal Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (HMEP) program, a network of more than 60 centers across the country that provides assistance to small, medium and large manufacturers.