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!