Going the Extra Fifteen Hundred Miles To Exceed Customer Expectations: NMHG


Business Challenges

NACCO Materials Handling Group (NMHG) is recognized globally for its comprehensive line of lift trucks and aftermarket parts. They have provided industry leading products and service to a broad customer base for almost a century.

Even a large company with substantial resources and massive infrastructure sometimes needs help from an expert. ControlTek had proven over the years to be more than just a provider of EMS expertise. It is one of NMHG's most loyal and trusted business partners.

When their Main Interface Board (MIB) supplier abruptly and unexpectedly went out of business, NMHG turned to ControlTek. The MIB was a crucial component controlling lift truck hydraulics and inventory on hand was dwindling fast. If it could not be replenished, shipments would be compromised soon.

With crucial data needed for resuming production of the MIB seemingly lost, an orderly transition to a new vendor was simply not possible. NMHG needed more. It needed an expert willing to go above and beyond.


ControlTek initiated a rapid response, traveling fifteen hundred miles on a moment’s notice to acquire the defunct supplier’s excess inventory and production templates.

From there, ControlTek leveraged its engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain expertise to resume MIB production before NMHG missed a shipment.

The Art of Reverse Engineering

Even after acquiring the remnants of the previous supplier’s production materials, a successful production run required reverse engineering to ensure functionality and quality. Schematics were recaptured and test fixtures built. Throughout the process, ControlTek maintained close communication with NMHG to confirm the production strategy met requirements.

“Remarkably, ControlTek had a never-seen-before assembly in production and delivered to NACCO Materials Handling Group just-in-time. ControlTek performed above and beyond our expectations for any supplier,” said DeToye.

Making Time For Improvement

ControlTek found opportunities for improvement on the original product. For example, poor solder quality and an overdriven transistor were causing board swap outs in the original product.

Supply Chain Management Expertise Makes Improvement Cost Effective

The ControlTek purchasing team located new suppliers for MIB components, which reduced the cost of the production. A newly designed extrusion reduced cost drivers and higher volume buys further lowered costs through bulk discounting.

The Virtual Inventory Insurance Policy

ControlTek maintains a long-term supply to ensure materials are always available for NMHG. ControlTek also undertook direct shipment to lift truck production facilities.  This solidified the long-term commitment between the two business partners, giving NMHG peace of mind now and into the future.


What started as a potential disaster ended up with NMHG realizing a higher quality, lower cost Main Interface Board.

ControlTek delivered both a short and long term solution, drawing on expertise in design, test, build, and materials management.  NMHG now relies on ControlTek and doesn’t spend its resources producing the hydraulic controller for their lift trucks.


ControlTek CaseStudy NACCO MHG