After a decade of consulting in plastics engineering, Jeff Nicoll sold Mantis Associates in 2001 to start Ambix Consulting, LLC. He built Ambix Consulting, LLC as a premier consulting firm that specialized in creative engineering services for product development, failure analysis, tooling design, and precision plastics engineering.
In 2008 Jeff created Ambix Manufacturing, Inc. and expanded its services to offer prototyping and contract manufacturing. Around the same time Jeff’s wife, Melissa Florio, joined the Ambix team to oversee administrative management of the company. She used her decades of experience in Fortune 500 semiconductor companies to implement administrative systems to streamline their operations. This made Ambix not only competitive domestically, but also globally.
Ambix is located in a 10,000 square foot facility in Albany, New Hampshire and has 11 employees. Their product lines span the markets of defense, sporting goods, pet products, electrical distribution, power tools, telecommunications, other consumer products, and support in commercial and industrial sectors.
“Ambix has always been on the front-lines of the newest designs, concepts, materials, and more,” said Melissa Florio, President of Ambix. “We are always working to be more efficient, to stream-line operations, and to do things better, faster and for less money.”
Ambix faced its challenges like other companies. “New Hampshire has a very tight-labor market, rising electrical costs, and an extremely volatile raw material market,” said Florio. “But all of those things paled in comparison to the Covid-19 pandemic and the challenges that came with it.” That was when Melissa and Jeff realized that Ambix needed to expand its customer base and diversify into new markets. Around this time Melissa heard about a marketing information session workshop put on by NH MEP and presented by their 3rd party partner TribalVision- a cutting-edge digital marketing firm.
Melissa attended the information session workshop and was excited about what she learned. This led her to sign up for NH MEP’s full series of marketing training workshops called the “Marketing Strategies Collaborative Program” given by TribalVision.
The Marketing Strategies Collaborative Program is a four-part series of online workshops for small and medium sized manufacturers looking to accelerate their sales growth, and compete better on the local and global stage. It is designed to develop new markets, a marketing strategy, and branding materials, and to enhance the lead generation process. From four to six companies participate together to learn and share ideas.
The training sessions consisted of one day of classroom training with all of the participating companies. Then one week later another day of classroom training. That was followed by a day of individual company training. Then after all of the individual company training has been completed, there is a half day debrief session with all of participating companies.
“NHMEP has allowed Ambix to undertake a full marketing analysis, and most important to develop and implement an effective marketing strategy,” said Jeff Nicoll, Vice President of Ambix. “There we were in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic situation. But thanks to NH MEP and TribalVision we were able to learn the marketing techniques to help us improve our existing customer relations and expand our customer base into new markets.”
The following results for Ambix Manufacturing, Inc. can be credited to having gone through NH MEP’s Marketing Strategies Collaborative Program:
- $450,000 in new sales over the last 12 months
- Retained sales of $100,000 over the last 12 months that otherwise would have been lost
- Added 2 new jobs over the last 12 months
- Retained 12 new jobs over the last 12 months
- $30,000 cost savings in labor, materials energy, overhead or other areas over the last 12 months
- Increased investment of $20,000 in new products or processes over the last 12 months
- Increased investment of $200,000 in plant or equipment
- Increased investment of $30,000 in information systems and software over the last 12 months
- Avoided unnecessary investments of $75,000 over the last 12 months
“NHMEP was exactly what Ambix needed. They worked to secure grant funding to allow Ambix to benefit from Tribal Visions’ marketing expertise. They assisted in ensuring full grant compliance and managed the provided services. Further, NHMEP hired one of the best marketing firms in New England which allowed Ambix to gain expert support that is usually only afforded to companies with large bottom lines. This training has allowed us to better communicate our value to our existing customers, and positioned us to expand into other markets.”