MLS Systems logo

Achieving DFARS/NIST Compliance

This CIFT success story was originally published by NIST.

Founded in Findlay, Ohio in 1979, MLS Systems is a manufacturer and systems integrator of custom designed and built equipment for medium to high volume production facilities. As a custom capital equipment supplier, the company provides single source responsibility for equipment ranging from small single station machines to multi-station production lines.

MLS Systems needed to expand their customer base to DOD suppliers to continue in the automotive arena. To accomplish this, MLS Systems needed an assessment and documentation steps necessary to implement NIST 800-171 in accordance with DFARS 252.204-7008. MLS Systems and CIFT, part of the Ohio MEP and the MEP National Network™, had an ongoing relationship, so MLS reached out to CIFT for assistance with this effort.

“The MEP program is a critical factor to the success of manufacturing in Ohio. The Northwest Ohio MEP has been very helpful to MLS, by working with us on a number of initiatives, including cyber security and lean manufacturing. It is a much needed resource that assists Northwest Ohio manufacturers with meeting the needs of our customers.” — Chad Bouillon, President

In executing this project, coordinated by CIFT Ohio MEP, MLS gained a significant advantage in its ability to prevent and react to internal and external security threats. The upgrading of essential outdated and unsupported equipment increased productivity and security when integrated with the various assets onsite. Any unnecessary holes and gaps within the physical network were eliminated to ensure the integrity and consistency of the network. The IT infrastructure was streamlined and simplified to create a more efficient data traffic flow, which helped to increase productivity throughout the facility.

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Leaf and Seed Cafe logo

Testing the Market Before Taking the Leap

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The Leaf and Seed Café, a made-from-scratch vegan meal service that focuses on creating vegan meals that are reminiscent of childhood favorites, first started out in 2017 with just the idea of providing vegan meals for special events.

In order to grow the business into their vision, The Leaf and Seed Café knew they needed additional resources. They identified a need for additional space, a general kitchen that held licenses to make meals and guidance on licenses to apply for through local health departments. The Leaf and Seed Café contacted CIFT to kick-start their business.

CIFT helped The Leaf and Seed Café begin their journey of providing locally sourced organic products by setting them up with resources from the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK). The NOCK enabled The Leaf and Seed Café to grow their business with different tools for success.

“CIFT enabled me to start my business without the investment of purchasing equipment. It allowed me to test the market before taking the leap.”

The NOCK and CIFT worked with The Leaf and Seed Café to get them all the licenses and credentials needed to establish their business. Resources were provided for insurance, containers and food safety. The NOCK also gave The Leaf and Seed Café access to an array of kitchen appliances like commercial convection ovens, grill tops and ample refrigerated and freezer storage, which saved The Leaf and Seed Café over $85,000 in unnecessary investments.

The Leaf and Seed Café has since then created two new jobs and retained over $3,000 in sales. The cost savings equaled over $24,000, while investments increased over $250,000.

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