Malco applies the right tools to improve product development and more.

An MOC Success Story on Innovation Management System
Malco's Conformable Sanders, available in 5-inch and 8-inch lengths, are the first reusable sanding blocks capable of holding a convex, concave or s-curve shape due to an internal aluminum memory bar that's easily set and re-set.
May 8, 2018


Malco Products sought to improve product development of tools and equipment the company produces for trade professionals in the U.S., Canada and Europe. To ignite such change, the company began an ongoing collaboration with University of Wisconsin-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center (MOC) that continues to significantly enhance product and market development as well as other aspects of their business.


UW-Stout MOC introduced their Innovation Management System (IMS), a reliable scientific approach for innovating new products, markets, business models and services to Malco Products in 2014-2015. Malco implemented the IMS system to enhance the company's product development with new innovation tools.

Since then, collaboration with UW-Stout MOC has led Malco to keep thinking differently about their business practices, inspiring them to nearly double the number of product ideas they generate—now 144 new ideas annually. Several incremental, substantial and breakthrough ideas continue to be proposed, including the best-selling MSHC Hex Driver which has enabled the company to recover sales lost elsewhere.

In the wake of significant growth, Malco Products found themselves running short of manufacturing capacity in 2016.
Malco Products' DeWitt, Nebraska, manufacturing facility will begin production in fall 2018 as the result of company innovation that's prompting positive change.


Citing 15 percent year-over-year growth, Malco Products Director of Sales and Marketing Eric Peterson called 2017 "our best year ever" and said he expects growth to continue. Due to increased production, Malco has purchased a facility and anticipates launching a new Eagle Grip product which will be manufactured in the U.S.

Malco Products confirms substantial outcomes from its work with UW-Stout MOC and the application of Innovation Management System:

  1. $3.45M in new product sales and recovered sales
  2. $4.2M invested in new products, plant and equipment
  3. $250K in saved development costs
  4. 20 positions retained or created
  5. Revitalized, innovative culture utilizing cross-functional teams


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