Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 73


Burke Porter Machinery

ny, Brazil, India, Poland, China, Japan,
South Korea and Indonesia.
DeBoer says that international
growth was driven by its customers,
who wanted Burke Porter to replicate
what it was doing in Michigan near their
overseas plants. Further, foreign automakers needed a systems maker that
could provide testing equipment that
met U.S. regulations, allowing them to
import their vehicles for sale.
Its global presence is a key advantage
Burke Porter has over many competitors; however, the company still wants
to provide customers with the feel of a
local operation. That has been accomplished through the company's decentralized manufacturing philosophy. Instead of having one global location that
outputs all of its products, each region
has its own primary production spot -
located in Grand Rapids, Belgium and
China - with other facilities handling
specialized work such as machining,
assembly automation integration or industrial balancing.
Decentralized manufacturing can
also save customers money. A customer
such as American Axle might first develop a product in the United States, but
later decide to bring it to market in Europe or Asia. Instead of making the part
domestically then shipping overseas,
the customer can work with Burke Porter's internal facilities to replicate the
manufacturing process abroad. "Building locally gives rise to a distinct advantage: It can buy more machine and less
shipping," DeBoer says.
To manage its global production,
Burke Porter empowers its plant managers to operate based on regional demand. "The authority to act is quite regionalized," DeBoer says. "That allows
us to be more responsive." Because of
its regional leadership, the company
can talk with customers in their language and know their local customs.

Midwest

burke porter remains
responsive to customers'
needs by operating based on
regional demand.

But that decentralization also runs
the risk of a region becoming insulated
from the rest of the company. DeBoer
says the key to avoiding that danger is to
develop relationships between the corporate office and local managers so that
there is no hesitation to work collaboratively. "That becomes a lot more complicated as our sites, office and product
lines expand," he says.
Burke Porter facilitates those relationships through the use of meeting
software such as WebEx, regular travel
and late-night phone calls. Even though
he is based in Grand Rapids, DeBoer
says he has gotten to know the people
in Burke Porter's foreign factories on a
personal level.

Everbright Future
The sales to China Everbright last year
opened a path for Burke Porter that was
not possible under family ownership.
China Everbright acts as a non-managing financial entity. When it was family
owned, DeBoer says there was sometimes a caution to invest in the market,
even when the market demanded that
investment. But now China Everbright

is providing the resources for Burke
Porter to accelerate its growth. "It has
liberated us to react more quickly to
market needs across borders."
With financial backing from China
Everbright, Burke Porter was able to
make three acquisitions last year. Its
expanded lineup now has the company
going through a rebranding transition
to become the Burke Porter Group. Internally, DeBoer explains that the company's customer-oriented culture has
been unfazed by the ownership change.
While he got a new boss, employees
throughout Burke Porter saw it as simply a bigger family.
The renewed push for expansion has
DeBoer thinking about the next evolution of the operation. Burke Porter
plans to retain its technology base, but
may expand its business in the automotive sector by working with more OEM
and Tier I customers.
DeBoer notes that the company is
also considering other industries that
need intelligent machinery, but isn't
ready to reveal those plans. "We are
migrating to a more aggressive growth
mentality," he says. mt
MARCH/APRIL 2016 manufacturing-today.com

73


http://www.manufacturing-today.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016

Contents
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 1
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 2
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Contents
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 4
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 5
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 6
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 7
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 8
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 9
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 10
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 11
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 12
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 13
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 14
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 15
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 16
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 17
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 18
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 19
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 20
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 21
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 22
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 23
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 24
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 25
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 26
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 27
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 28
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 29
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 30
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 31
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 32
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 33
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 34
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 35
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 36
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 37
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 38
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 39
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 40
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 41
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 42
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 43
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 44
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 45
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 46
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 47
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 48
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 49
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 50
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 51
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 52
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 53
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 54
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 55
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 56
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 57
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 58
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 59
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 60
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 61
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 62
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 63
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 64
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 65
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 66
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 67
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 68
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 69
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 70
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 71
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 72
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 73
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 74
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 75
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 76
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 77
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 78
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 79
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 80
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 81
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 82
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 83
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 84
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 85
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 86
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 87
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 88
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 89
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 90
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 91
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 92
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 93
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 94
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 95
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 96
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 97
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 98
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 99
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 100
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 101
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 102
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 103
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 104
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 105
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 106
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 107
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 108
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 109
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 110
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 111
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 112
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 113
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 114
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 115
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 116
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 117
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 118
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 119
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 120
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 121
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 122
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 123
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 124
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 125
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 126
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 127
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 128
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Cover3
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mt_vol18_1
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mt_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mt_201709
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mt_201709_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mt_201708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mt_201707
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mt_20170506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mt_20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mt_20170102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mt_20161112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mt_20160910v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mt_20160910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/mt_20160708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_20160506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_20160304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_20160102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_20151112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_20150910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_20150708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_20150506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_20150304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_20150102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_20141112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_20140910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_20140708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_20140506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_20140304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_20140102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_2013fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_2013summer_vol2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_2013summer_vol1
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_2013spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_2012winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_2012fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_2012summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_2012spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_2011winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/mt_2011fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/mt_2011summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/mt_2011springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/mt_2011spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/mt_2011winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/mt_2010fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/mt_2010summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/mt_2010spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/schofield/mt_2010winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/schofield/mt_2009fall
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com