You are here: Home/Success Stories/ REO Makes Big Changes to Better Serve Clients and Create a Positive Internal Culture Where Employees Are Empowered and Invested
REO Makes Big Changes to Better Serve Clients and Create a Positive Internal Culture Where Employees Are Empowered and Invested
Based in Boulder, Research Electro Optics is widely recognized as a leader for producing highly specialized optics necessary for multiple applications throughout the defense, aerospace, semiconductor, medical and industrial fields. With clients throughout their home state of Colorado, such as Ball Aerospace, REO’s services are also in high demand across the globe with over 25% of their business coming from other countries.
When Paul Kelly was named President and CEO of Research Electro Optics three years ago, he not only brought with him more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing, but also a mission to take REO to the next level of performance and to an age of faster growth. It is not unusual for a company that has been around for more than 40 years to hit a plateau, and as Kelly says, “a company that is flat is a company that is falling behind.”
Kelly’s first step was to identify where improvements could be made in order to expand the business, attract new clients, and recruit and retain the most talented workforce. After administering a series of surveys to their client base and employees, REO identified a number of areas that needed to be addressed. On the client side, they discovered that, even though the quality and technology of their product was top notch, clients were hungry for faster turnaround and delivery times. The surveys also revealed that the employees, although highly committed to the company, were eager for opportunities to give more input and become more personally invested in the organization.
At this point, REO reached out to Manufacturer’s Edge to provide them with the necessary training and expertise to address the issues they had identified through the surveys. By using the concepts they gained from systems such as Kaizen and 5S, REO redesigned the way they processed orders, implemented more checkpoints for communicating with the clients, and improved delivery time. The result is that REO’s clients have been delighted with the improvements. In fact, one of their largest clients, for whom they produce tens of thousands of components each year, recently recognized REO for “Flawless Execution” reflecting a 100% track record for quality and on-time delivery. Another large customer recently presented them with an award as an Outstanding Small Business for 2014.
Internally, REO also implemented many of the suggestions made by their employees and continue to solicit their feedback on everything from flexible workspace needs to administrative issues. Consequently, the internal culture of REO has changed and employee morale is improving as they feel that they have more buy-in, are heard by their leadership, and that their efforts are recognized and appreciated.
We still have a lot of work to do, but we are confident that we know what we need to do to move forward. We are encouraged by the improvements we have already made and are excited that our clients and employees are benefitting from those results.Paul C. Kelly, REO President & CEO