Friday, August 28, 2009

TMA Safety Award


Recently Laystrom received our Certificate of Registration for ISO 9001:2008 - we thank all the employees who help us acheive this distinction and maintain the high level of customer service this demands.

Friday, May 29, 2009

News about GM and the manufacturing supplier base

Two of our respected colleagues in industry, Virgil DeLay of Diemasters Manufacturing and Bruce Baker of the Tooling and Manufacturing Association, were recently asked to vocalise a supplier's view on the ongoing GM situation. Please click on the attached link to read a CBS report and view the attached video.

Like Diemasters, it is our diversity that helps us remain strong in the recent economy. We fully support Virgil's call to his customer: "Communicate, communicate, communicate to your supply base. We're all in this together."

This seemingly simple call to action is fundamental in allowing a supply base to react to fluctuations in demand and to make the necessary adjustments for success. As a business - setting aside any political implications or societal responsibilities - it will do GM and Chrylser no good to restructure themselves for long term viability if they do not involve their business partners - the supply base - in their plans and do not talk to that base. This is true of any business at any scale.

When we began to make our decisions about transferring work to our Chicago facility from Elk Grove, many of our earliest questions and concerns were about the impact, long term and short, on both our customers and our suppliers. Once we validated that the impact would be overwhelmingly positive, the following procedures and steps became much more justifiable and logical.

"Communicate, communicate, communicate" - it's a simple message but it can make a big difference!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Here's what's next!

In an earlier post I proposed the question: What's next?

My answer was to point out that the fundamental elements of what has made Laystrom a successful business for over 50 years do not change just because the stock market is up this week or down the next. Strategic planning, strength through diversify, and strong customer service remain valid foundations for growth and prosperity.

With this in mind I can say that change is not only good, it is important. What is most important is what changes are made and how they are made. The core principles do not change, but many peripheral elements must, by necessity, shift and reset over time. What is most important is to manage change and maintain focus on customer needs and expectations.

As we relocate our Elk Grove operation and reshape our Chicago facility, we are actually improving our on time delivery! We are managing the diverse and complex needs of over 100 customers in 20+ different markets and managing our own strategic initiatives too!

Up next will be an online auction to clear out some space and enable us to improve product flow, implement efficiency directives and put ourselves in a position of strength as the economy around us recovers and expands.


Click here for good deals!

Latest news: we are selling some of our assets so we can merge into one building and gain efficiency and strength through product flow and targeted application of resources.

Last year, when we increased our laser cutting capacity and opened up space in our Chicago plant, we realised just how much more capacity we could have if we focused more on our product flow and floor plan. After doing the appropriate analysis and planning, we have decided to shift all operations from our Elk Grove facility to our Chicago facility.

Click on this link to see the eqiupment and accessories we have going to auction. We are excited to lay out the next phase of our growth plan and move some equipment out so we can move more equipment in!


Monday, April 20, 2009

What's next?

In 2008 Laystrom focused on growth, development of new markets, and new equipment required to satisfy strategic planning, strength through diversity and strong customer service.

And this year's themes?

Strategic planning, strength through diversify, and strong customer service! These still remain the core elements upon which we run our business. The world around us may be suggesting specific tactical decisions and areas of focus, but the fundamental strengths that our customers rely on remain the same.

We have been around for a long time, we have seen a lot of up and downs, and we have stayed true to the belief that we can and will succeed in meeting our customers expectations. The foundations of our business are solid and our relationships with our customers and suppliers remain strong.

With these factors in mind, we are always in position to focus on long term strategic planning. Coming soon, I will have an update here that will lay out some of the plan for us to maintain our high level of customer service and our diversity.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2008 Letter to customers and friends

Just before Christmas, Bob and I personally signed and sent this letter to many of our customers and friends, along with our annual calendar. If you didn't receive either, let me know and I'll remedy that!

Dear Customers and Friends,

Like many of you, we have found this to be an interesting year. As we wind the clock forward to 2009, we all have questions that need to be answered, and a vision of the future to be understood.

Has the sky fallen?
Our answer is No. Some of our customers are up, and some are not – none have filed for bankruptcy, and we don’t expect any will. We remain positive about the long-term direction of manufacturing and, for our part, we will continue to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations as we have for 58 years.

Concerned about costs?
Twice this past year a major customer of ours was faced with escalating costs and asked us to join them in the pursuit of cost containment. We readily agreed, and through a co-operative design process we reduced our customers’ costs by 20% for upwards of $60,000 in annualized savings. How can we help you control costs?

What are you planning for the 2009?
Earlier this year we purchased a Flexible 4000W Laser Manufacturing System. This system delivers speed, agility and lights-out 24/7 automation. It is another significant and strategic investment that keeps us firmly at the forefront of metal processing capability. We are planning our future and, while we do not expect it to be easy, it is a bright future. Come see for yourself!

We are a diverse organization, not beholden to the Big 3 and we do not need a bailout!
With you, our customers and friends, we are working our way towards a stronger, more resilient manufacturing industry. At the core of our relationships is a belief in collaborative effort and partnership. It is in the melding of our strengths with yours that we both grow stronger and help each other remain at the competitive edge of industry.

For questions about our new laser, our plans for the future, and for more on how Laystrom can help you meet your goals, call me at 773.852.3863, or email me at

Lets make it a prosperous 2009 together!