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5.2 Million

The number of Americans employed by majority-owned U.S. affiliates of foreign companies in 2010.

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Renewable energy is one of the nation’s fastest growing business sectors, and MBDA has helped Sacred Power Corporation expand its reach, stimulate the local economy, and create jobs for a diverse population including Native-American workers.

Renewable energy is one of the nation’s fastest growing business sectors, and MBDA has helped Sacred Power Corporation expand its reach, stimulate the local economy, and create jobs for a diverse population including Native-American workers.

“MBDA has always assisted us. They’ve helped with marketing the proposals that we bidded on, finding funding and bonding since we are half manufacturing and construction. MBDA has helped us all along our timeline of business development,” said Sacred Power CEO David Melton.

Melton describes his work as more than just operating the company, but one that is changing lives while improving the environment. As a Lugana Tribal member, he brings electricity to isolated homes and facilities on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico and across the nation in rural-remote areas, using wind turbines and photovoltaic modules.

As an emerging clean energy technology company, Sacred Power is experienced in all facets of renewable energy development including: telecommunications, power generation, home electrification, village electrification, and community water.

Sacred Power has extensive experience in designing and installing solar-powered water pumping systems, solar hot water systems, solar hot air systems, and wind turbines.

Its major customer base is federal, state and tribal governments. Major customers include: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service, U.S. Department of Energy, Tribal Energy Program, U.S. Department of Defense, Army’s Rapid Deployment Forces, Center for Army Analysis, Army Research Base, U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Law Enforcement Services, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, State of New Mexico’s Energy Office, National Guard Bureau, Park’s Division, and multiple tribes throughout the nation.

Sacred Power Corporation is an 8(a) certified, small disadvantaged, HUB Zone Certified and Native American-owned firm headquartered in Albuquerque, NM.

Melton has extensive experience in his field. He learned his craft from the tribal-owned, defense contract manufacturing company – Laguna Industries, Inc, where he worked for 10 years in roles including – budget analyst, program and marketing manager, and contracts manager. In 1997, he created his own company, Diversified Systems Manufacturing, to assist the tribes with their renewable energy development opportunties. In 2001, a partnership was agreed upon between Diversified Systems and Luz Energy Systems to create Sacred Power Corporation.

Sacred Power has received numerous awards. Melton was selected by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke to serve on the Secretary’s Manufacturing Council, with the task of strengthening manufacturing activity as well as to advise the Secretary.

At the core of Sacred Power is a respect for nature. According to Melton, the company’s philosophy is to use “the strengths of the Father to protect the gifts of the Mother.”

“The strength of the sun and sky is used to protect mother earth, which gives us life,” Melton said. “We have to respect it.”

Next steps for Sacred Power include a move to become a module manufacturer, which includes buying the 6-inch solar cell, encapsulating them under glass. Melton said he plans to make 80,000 of them a year.

In addition, Sacred Power is heading to NASCAR!

Melton, who is a major fan, hopes to bring the idea of solar panels to NASCAR, advertise, network with corporate CEOs, and use the high-profile opportunity to encourage Native American children.

“We will be the first Native owner at NASCAR. The driver will be a Cherokee member. We are targeting a November truck race in Phoenix. We want to create more role models for our people. We want to create hope, and let young people know that there are opportunities in solar businesses, and careers in science and technology. We also educate young people by bringing the race car to schools.”

Beyond his love for racing, Melton also describes the NASCAR opportunity as fertile ground for business opportunities in the Southeast, which he says lags behind in renewable energy. “NASCAR has a green and diversity program. We want to put solar on their tracks and buildings. It’s a way to introduce it to the fans.”

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NIST MEP

Montana Instruments is a Bozeman, Montana firm that manufactures state-of-the-art optical and cryogenic research equipment. The Cryostation product breaks performance barriers that allows new research and also makes low temperature research simpler and less time-consuming. In less than two years from the company’s start, it evolved from an R&D (research and development) project to a company commercializing with seven employees. It now has 10 employees and projections of $5 million in sales.

Montana Instruments is a Bozeman, Montana firm that manufactures state-of-the-art optical and cryogenic research equipment. The Cryostation product breaks performance barriers that allows new research and also makes low temperature research simpler and less time-consuming. The system operates at temperatures approaching absolute zero where all nano-scale motion stops. The Cryostation’s minimal vibration enables researchers to more accurately measure results and draw more precise conclusions. Such research has the potential to lead to nano-size semiconductors of totally new materials created in a lab, with entirely new applications. Its capabilities and features make it attractive to a wider audience, expanding the market of cold-research.

In less than two years from the company’s start, it evolved from an R&D (research and development) project to a company commercializing with seven employees. It now has 10 employees and projections of $5 million in sales.

In the early stages, Montana Instruments' founder spent months interviewing researchers around the world about how they use their equipment to determine what they wanted and what they needed. He wanted to gain knowledge about how they use cryogenic systems and what could make one better. In a few years, the company had progressed to actively marketing its product and preparing for a steady production rate to not only keep up with demand but also to increase sales. For a technology product, a focus on the customer is critical not only during the design phase but also during the marketing phase. New perspective was needed to see the product’s value through customers’ eyes, by identifying why different features are valuable to them. To reach its niche market effectively the company needed a strategic marketing plan, a clear customer message and support pieces to attract buyers.

The firm sought expertise from the B2B Marketing Program, a collaboration of Montana Manufacturing
Extension Center(MMEC), an MSU College of Engineering outreach center and NIST MEP affiliate, and the Montana Department of Commerce (DOC). The B2B marketing specialist worked with the company’s Business Development Officer, who had previously been a technology company owner, to bring customer perspectives to marketing and instruction on sales strategy. After defining the product value for customers, the pair collaborated in writing a selling script for cold calling; segmenting potential customers by specialty; identifying a target market; and characterizing the best customer. The Montana Instruments tag line “Cold Science Made Simple,” is an outcome of B2B marketing meetings. MMEC/DOC B2B taught strategies for trade show setup, promotional ideas, how to engage new customers, and to keep the message simple and clear. The creative ideas for trade show exhibitions have helped attract traffic to the Montana Instruments exhibit booth, visually demonstrating the differences between the Cryostation and competitor products in attention-getting ways.

The growth project was delivered in tandem with an MMEC engineering project that provided Lean Manufacturing guidance, procedures to achieve repeatability, and plug and play metrics to reduce rework. This project enabled the company to meet growth head on by planning and managing production efficiently and delivering products on time even as sales increase. With a marketing strategy and messaging in place and improved production
and management tools, Montana Instruments is poised for growth.

Results: Grew sales to $5M in 3 years; added 3 employees; created a strategic marketing plan and branding campaign; increased company's online presence.

MMEC’s program demonstrated approaches that really work for a small company on a limited budget. They helped simplify the message, communicate value and made it concise. https://cybercemetery.unt.edu/archive/oilspill/20121019054109/http://www.nist.gov/mep

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