Slayer Espresso, Seattle
Did the world need another maker of coffee machines? Jason Prefontaine thought so when he started Slayer Espresso 11 years ago. The company’s machines come with a patented system for extracting the maximum amount of flavor from expensive, high-quality beans, with three different lines for distinct commercial, retailing, and home and office markets. The company has grown to 55 employees and its machines can be found in more than 60 countries. It has added a second assembly line to keep up with demand. But with that kind of growth comes a need to act like a more sophisticated business.
“As a recognized global brand, we were forced to review almost every aspect of the company and improve our overall manufacturing processes,” Prefontaine says. “Our successes over the years have been great but it has also exposed areas in need of immediate growth and development.” That’s meant designing the machine to eliminate components prone to failure and revamping production processes to remove inconsistencies and problems. The result is the ability to build, assemble, bench test and ship quality machines at a much faster pace.