RWD Technologies Inc. said yesterday that it was awarded a five-year contract by Ford Motor Co. that will bring the Columbia company $50 million to $90 million during the life of the agreement.
RWD will implement "lean manufacturing" processes at four Ford plants in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. The company helps manufacturers find ways of reducing waste and increasing efficiency. RWD is receiving a base amount for the work and will get a percentage of any money Ford saves through the processes.
"RWD had a tough year last year, and this is definitely good news," said William M. Bambarger Jr., the company's vice president and chief financial officer.
The company plans to hire 15 to 20 people for the contract, but they will be working at the Ford plants, not in Columbia.
After record sales in the first quarter of 1999, the company's sales declined as companies spent much of their information-technology budgets on preparing for potential Y2K problems and not on the system-support services sold by RWD.
RWD had net income of $5.1 million last year, a 61 percent decrease from 1998. Revenue in 1999 was $124 million, up 8.5 percent.
Shares of RWD, which trade on the Nasdaq, closed up 25 cents yesterday at $8.75.