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Manufacturing and Outdoor Products Support Hub

Utah State University outdoor manufacturing and production services consists of two departments, the Utah Manufacturing Extension Service and Outdoor Product and Design and Development. The two organizations work together with Utah manufacturers and the outdoor industry to help companies with training and certification, improving profitability, increasing innovation and preserving our resources.

Our History

The Utah Manufacturing Extension Service (UMES) at Utah State University was founded in 1996. Our focus is to help Utah’s businesses succeed. USU provides a broad range of hands-on business, technical and manufacturing optimization services that is delivered by experienced, boots on the ground professionals. We have developed a comprehensive network of public and private partners to help Utah manufacturers build cultures to support and sustain continuous improvement.

The UMES stands out from others in the field because of our hands-on approach. We help manufacturing businesses by actually becoming an extension of their enterprises and are with them for every step of their journey to excellence.

UMES is committed to building strong communities through sustainable and innovative manufacturing. We are at the forefront of an economic transformation pushing our state forward.  Services focus on improving the bottom line through operational excellence concepts like continuous improvement methodologies and lean systems. This contributes to the entire company through new product development, strategic planning, improved logistics, and expanded markets.


Our Mission: Help Utah’s companies to improve their productivity and growth.

Our Key Principles

  • Do what is best for each individual client.
  • Quickly identify and leverage improvement opportunities, shortening the “time-to-value” of projects, delivering the most bottom-line savings and/or top-line growth in the shortest time possible.
  • Strategically coach clients, providing training and tools to work independently instead of becoming consultant dependent.

Our Values

  • Do what is right with honesty and integrity.
  • Successfully finish what we start by staying on schedule and exceeding expectations.
  • Work together in an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Show respect and care from the board room to the shop floor.


How We Can Help You

Our Methodology


We are proactive in our outreach to manufacturers across the state.


We analyze the current condition utilizing a variety of assessment tools.


We define a customized action plan for the improvement areas.


We get to work and provide performance driven service.


We maintain engaged coaching and support.


We are focused on performance growth and job creation.

Our Services

Manufacturing Assessments and Benchmarks

We use a variety of formal assessment tools to evaluate a firm’s strengths and weaknesses, including financial analysis and performance benchmarking.

Manufacturing Consulting and Transformation

We are a proven leader in providing consulting and transformation services to assist each enterprise achieve improved performance and maximum results. We assist companies with achieving operational excellence and innovation and growth strategies.

  • Continuous Improvement and Lean Systems
  • Quality Management Systems
  • Innovation and Growth Strategies

Rapid Prototyping

We translate concepts into 3D objects utilizing resources such as our sewing lab, 3D printers, laser cutters, lathes and CNC mill, and more.

Technology Training

We offer training courses and workshops on all the latest software packages and tools.

Continuing Education

We offer certifications and training around sustainability and the business of the outdoor industry.

Supply Chain Logistics

We assist companies to have highly visible and collaborative supply chains that are in sync with the organization’s strategy. These efforts help companies improve the total cost of ownership and on-time delivery.


We have designed Sustainability and Energy Efficiency (SEE) services to help companies improve processes and develop energy management practices through workshops, on-site training, awareness events, implementation, and consulting services.

Workforce Development and Training

We have created workforce development and training programs to address the manufacturing skills gap in the areas of manufacturing, quality, supply chain and leadership.

Concept Generation

We research and develop new product concepts utilizing tools whether sketches or digitally designed in the Adobe products, Solidworks, etc.

Factory Ready Designs

We translate concepts into factory tech packs and drawings ready for production and manufacture.

Project Examples


OPDD Test Projects at Black Diamond

The Outdoor Product Design and Development (OPDD) team are not only capable of translating concepts and ideas, they also know how to produce tangible prototypes and finished products. OPDD students put their belay device designs to the test at Black Diamond where the devices where pulled to measure their strength. Working with a team of quality engineers from Black Diamond, students understand the importance of testing, product safety certification and standards. Every belay device met safety standards for the test. These students have a firm knowledge of design which gives them incredible opportunities to interact with companies in the industry, learn day-to-day operations, and use their skills to create better products for the future.


Not a tent. Not a hammock. It's a TAMMOCK

This project began with a problem. Traditional hammocks are limited to where you can use them. This is the problem OPDD participants set out to solve after many frustrating, and treeless, camping adventures in the amazing deserts of southern Utah. The goal was to design a portable solution that would allow outdoor adventurists to use their hammocks anywhere in the world, whether it be a desert, beach, music festival, hotel balcony, bedroom, or their very own backyard. This gave the team the idea of putting a protective tent around a relaxing hammock. And so, the Tammock was born. You can now take your hammock adventure anywhere.

Locking Balet

Lock and Load: Assisted Locking Belay Device

Clayton Skousen took his knowledge of CAD, and recognizing a hole in the market for climbing belay devices with personality and a pop of color, designed a product that is truly different from anything else on the market. Skousen began designing the product in 3D and then created multiple prototypes utilizing 3D printers and casting techniques.

Waders Cover Prototypes

OPDD Prototype of Women’s Fishing Waders

This project was a senior studio directed design concept piece of an outdoor product manufacturer's line. This project involved designing a product and taking it from concept to final prototype.

Natalie Fishing in Waders


Utah State University’s Utah Manufacturing Extension Service and the Outdoor Products Design and Development program have combined to create the Manufacturing and Outdoor Products support hub. The two programs also became founding members of the Utah-MEP. Utah-MEP is a vital economic development organization chartered specifically to help Utah manufacturers, industry, and rural Utah businesses. Utah-MEP's primary focus is to Help Utah’s Manufacturers Grow and Thrive. The Utah-MEP serves as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center for Utah, providing services and outreach to all 29 counties. It focuses on improving the bottom line through concepts like process improvement and operational efficiencies, supply chain optimization, and quality systems and certifications. It also focuses on helping companies grow through new technologies, workforce development, strategic planning, and expanded markets.

View Utah MEP Website
Utah MEP

Contact Us

Stephen Reed

Stephen Reed – Manufacturing Extension Specialist


Chase Anderson

Chase Anderson – Program Coordinator