RUSSIA — During 2016 Superior Aluminum Products celebrated 60 years in business with 12 months of celebration and innovation. In 2017, the manufacturer of aluminum railings, columns, and fence focused on maintaining this momentum by implementing further process improvement initiatives and developing key new programs. Following his second year at the helm, company president
“We were very pleased to add new customers and increase efficiencies across the board last year using Continuous Improvement tools,” said Doug Borchers.
His report continues:
While the Lean Manufacturing improvements in year one focused mainly on shop operations, year two brought some of that focus also to the office environment. By streamlining processes, limiting disruptions, and implementing technology, the team was able to cut lead times for quotations and drawings, and improve customer communications drastically without adding additional labor to do so. While pleased with the current progress, I know there is still plenty of work to be done.
The key when discussing continuous improvement is that you are never ‘finished.’ As the name implies, continuous improvement efforts are ongoing in order become better. It’s a journey, not a project, and a journey we’ll be on indefinitely.
One major initiative undertaken in 2017 directly as a result of customer concerns to eliminate damage issues associated with third party freight carriers, and for them to receive product on a timelier basis, was the initiation of Superior company truck delivery routes to destinations multiple days away. The immense success of these trips has led to the Superior team making route planning a part of their weekly routine in 2018, in addition to the purchase of an additional delivery truck.
In 2017 Superior also grew its network of distribution partners across the country who have become master stocking locations, ready to distribute Superior’s products to local lumber yards and “do it yourself” home centers. Each new partnership with a master distributor creates immense potential for growth, thanks to the numerous established relationships that these master distributors maintain.
The dedication and creativity of every member of the Superior team paid off in a big way in 2017, as the year culminated with the company being nominated as a finalist for the Dayton Business Journal’s “Manufacturing Business of the Year” award in a ceremony at The Schuster Center in Dayton.
Superior was especially proud to have grown their United Way employee contributions by 20 percent in 2017 over the previous year, demonstrating a workforce that cares about others in the community where they live.
Focus for 2018 will remain on Continuous Improvement initiatives to increase productivity and efficiency, while continuing to help a loyal customer base capitalize on any opportunity that may arise. Due to a strong economic outlook and construction growth projected in Superior’s key markets, the team firmly believes 2018 will be another strong year for the company.
While we are proud of what we have accomplished and the positive momentum we created in 2017, our team is committed to working even harder this year to ensure success in 2018 and beyond.