02/04/2013 11:31 am ET Updated Apr 06, 2013

Company Thrives on Empowering Employees

As a small business that started in 1959, Humtown Products has seen the rise and fall of employment over different economic climates. Struggling through the rough manufacturing climates after 2009, Humtown was pleased to accept the offer to participate in the 2011 SBA Emerging 200 (e200)* class offered at Youngstown State University. This curriculum would prove to be very helpful in educating a person in all areas of business. The key focus areas were marketing, financials, and strategic growth planning. Once a person had gained these powerful tools, it helped to not only work IN your business, but to work ON your business.

Humtown was very eager to use a new incentive plan they had installed to gear up for the worst recession since the Great Depression. Mark Lamoncha, CEO, had a vision of empowering his workforce to do the work of two to three hours in one. This vision was met with reality and Humtown has accomplished sales goals that used to take 140-plus employees with an empowered workforce of merely 29. These workers are provided with real-time data that shows them instant feedback of their efforts. This allows staff to innovate manufacturing methods and processes on the production floor so engineering can continuously improve.

The tools and vision of the Strategic Growth Action Plan created through the e200 curriculum allowed for a clear and concise road map for the organization to follow once the means of production were in place. Management was now able to see where the company itself was heading from the window, as opposed to the rear view mirror. Communications have continued to improve because the vision of the company is apparent to the team and everyone is working toward a common goal.

"The greatest power on earth is human potential," Mark Lamoncha said. "It has been enslaved and exploited, but never truly empowered." Humtown has only begin to scratch the surface of the possibilities, but knows that success lies in drilling the most valuable asset of any company -- the employee.

*Please note: Interise is the national instructional provider for the SBA e200 Initiative.

-- Brandon Lamoncha
Sales Manager
Humtown Products
Columbiana, OH