Since the close of Price Tool’s first year under new management, the industrial CNC Machining and Metal Fabrication business has been flourishing. The year was marked with achievements. These included: expanding into industrial market segments of aerospace and marine, up to a 50% reduction in lead times, double-digit sales growth, and a 25% increase in shop and administrative staff.
How could this happen in just twelve months?
Key to achieving this success started with several months spent meeting and speaking with the current staff and existing customers. We got to know each other and to understand the greatest areas of opportunity for improvement. It also provided the perfect backdrop to learn how Pride Tool could better serve the needs of each.
Next was to understand the business’s physical assets, including inventory and equipment. This began by establishing, formalizing, and performing a physical inventory process. It served to not only develop important benchmarks for the newly acquired business but to also establish a clear path to reduce obsolete inventories. During the process, our staff decluttered and better-organized inventory, WIP, and customer stock. We thoroughly cleaned plant areas that were previously a challenge to access. These efforts not only provided much-needed current inventory space and additional space for growth; we also created a safer work environment by clearing the way for safety equipment installations.
Utilizing the information provided by the staff and our customers, Pride Tool researched best-in-class technology updates to upgrade and improve the entire plant’s IT infrastructure. This started with the backbone IT server systems, including the email systems. “Upgrading all the systems to the latest versions was a bit of a challenge, but well worth the effort,” stated Scott Schwarz, Pride Tool’s new owner and president. “We stated from day one, that improving the efficiencies throughout the plant was the top priority during the first two quarters, and I am proud to state that we accomplish that within the first quarter,” he continued.
With the foundational improvements completed, our focus changed to initiating capital investments to serve our customers through the fourth quarter better. These investments included capital equipment purchases of CNC Machining Equipment, a Cincinnati Laser Cutter, a Fiber Laser Cutter, and upgrades to provide our staff with the latest in technology These not only enhance the precision quality of each stations output but also increases manufacturing capacity.
A 4-axis dual pallet milling machine was added, as Pride Tool’s first equipment investment. We purchased a new OKUMA MBH5000 II dual pallet 4-axis horizontal mill that significantly increased milling capacity. MasterCam 3D programming was also purchased and installed for all mills and lathes. This was coupled with the purchase of a new 120-ton Press Brake and additional technology upgrades.
Our purchase of a new CLI Laser Cutting Center with Plasma Cutting capacity is our newest investment. Each equipment upgrade and purchase positions Pride Tool to offer top-quality products to customers increases capacity, as well as expands Pride Tool’s ability to service more industrial segments.
Industry Events and Connections
One of the highlights this year for Scott was attending industry events such as the Gosigerfest biennial gathering of manufacturing and CNC decision-makers, users, and vendors held in Dayton, Ohio. “Attending events such as the Gosigerfest was a great opportunity to learn the latest trends and cutting-edge technologies available in the industry”, mentioned Scott. “During the event, I’ve met a lot of great people and potential partners. It was my first Gosigerfest event, and I was greatly impressed. I’m looking forward to attending each event,” Scott stated.
As a part of Scott’s vision, we trained and certified our staff in Lean Six Sigma methodologies. This included the entire staff, production teams, and administrative staff. “This was the perfect venue for driving home the importance of improving business processes through the reduction of defects and errors, minimizing variation, and increasing quality and efficiency,” stated Scott. “This mindset is important in fulfilling our customer promise for our products to meet customer requirements, EVERY time.”
There were many challenges during the year, but Pride Tool overcame them and is positioned for greater growth over the next 12 months. Follow our Linkedin page to keep up to date with Pride Tool information and news. We look forward to growing together with our industry partners, our community, and especially our customers. Please feel free to contact us for all your metal fabrication needs.