The Art of Being Nimble
Fifty years ago, Alexandria Industries began as a custom manufacturer of precision aluminum extruded components. Over the last five decades, as our customer needs have changed and grown, we slowly added other manufacturing services, including custom metal fabrication and machining services. By incorporating these complementary services into our core capability, we can better control each manufacturing process, while offering our customers a single source for their component manufacturing needs.
Our process control includes maintaining a continuous-improvement mindset every step of the way. Whether we are setting up to make a single part, or a family of parts, or accommodating both low and high-volume production needs, we are continuously building process efficiencies into our manufacturing services. Our process efficiency improvements include adding secondary processes, such as deburring or packaging, directly in a manufacturing cell. It is through these insights and actions that we are becoming a smarter, more nimble manufacturer.
Aligning Pieces and Parts
To meet the ever-growing needs of our customers, our strategies are now focused on aligning our business systems, manufacturing services, processes and procedures across all of our Alexandria Industries’ locations.
These efforts include implementing a single customer relationship management system, duplicating equipment across locations, training employees alike, and integrating the principles of quick response manufacturing company-wide. By replicating our processes, services, customer experiences, and maintaining consistent best practices at all of our facilities, we lower the overall risk for our customers.
Over the last few years, we have expanded our footprint, and upgraded or added new equipment to add greater efficiencies in the flow of our manufacturing processes. This included redesigning our manufacturing centers – CNC mills, robotics and automation equipment – allowing one skilled employee to run multiple CNC work centers. The changes to our facilities, and duplication of our equipment, tools and processes, allow us to accommodate higher-volume orders and better adjust to capacity challenges, while lowering the risk of our customers.
We will not stop pushing to be better. We are constantly looking at new opportunities to ensure our manufacturing processes and equipment are state of the art. Our manufacturing experts stay on top of the latest technology and industry best practices to consider for new additions to our manufacturing capabilities.
Moreover, the solid, reliable relationships we have built with our suppliers – of new equipment, raw materials and die tools – provide the ancillary support our company needs. When we call our suppliers to discuss new equipment needs, or to order materials or tooling, they are eager to accommodate our needs.
Why Stop There?
Our sales and manufacturing representatives bring the latest horizontal and vertical industry expertise that is hard to find elsewhere. They help ensure our customers that we have right experience for their manufacturing needs. Their knowledge areas cover a broad range of manufacturing technologies, as well as deep experience in vertical markets.
We also take manufacturing best practices, such as lean and just in time to a new level. Employing the principles of Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM), allows us to work on real-time demands. Through our corporate-wide focus on QRM strategies, we continue to look at reducing lead times throughout our organization. QRM also gives us the ability to capitalize on customer demand variability. Our continuous efforts to achieve our goals of improving quality, reducing cost, and eliminating non-value-added waste, sets Alexandria Industries apart from our competitors.
Added to this, our training initiatives focus on employee development and mastery in three key areas:
- Technical – manufacturing development, robotics, and continuous improvement tools
- Business – business acumen, financial literacy, project management, media relations
- Relational – servant leadership, leadership essentials, leadership academy and leadership MBA
Our dedicated training team takes responsibility for developing or sourcing the right educational programs and training resources offered throughout all of our manufacturing facilities.
Being nimble in manufacturing means we need to be able to adjust to a constant innovation mindset, while anticipating the needs of our customers. It also means building strong relationships with our customers and maintaining regular and open communication. With the combination of our fully linked and integrated manufacturing services, stabilized capacities, industry expertise, skilled employees, and strong relationships, we assure our customers that we understand their business, and are flexible enough to meet their production needs.
If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about our services, capabilities or training services, give us a call today.