al components. With the buyout, that business was moved to another facility,
giving IMS about 50 percent more plant space—for a total of 150,000 square
feet. ;is allowed at least one major change thus far: relocating the plant’s shipping department. ;e freed space allowed the shop to locate the shipping department just steps away from final assembly. Now parts flow linearly, from the
cutting department to bending, welding, powder coating, final assembly, and
packaging (see Figure 2).
Most significant, according to sources, is that this additional space gives the
company, which now employs 75, room to grow. “Within three to five years,
we plan to grow by about 50 percent from where we are now,” Dockrey said.
A Growth Plan
“For the first six months [after the buyout], we didn’t really go out and pursue
additional business, because we needed to make sure we built a solid foundation here,” Dockrey said. “Now we’ve begun that e;ort in earnest, and it looks
like we’ll have some major new customers soon, with work starting in the first
quarter of 2014.
“From the start we’ve had capacity available for bringing on new customers
and new business,” Dockrey continued. “We’re still primarily an appliance sup-
plier, but we are going outside of that into other commercial areas.”
Driving the sales e;ort in part is data derived from the ERP system. For in-
stance, managers can log on to the web-based system and sort sales trends
by product number and track the up-and-down cycles of those orders. ;is is
helping the company focus its sales e;orts on businesses that would be com-
plementary to its current product mix.
It’s impossible to balance a line perfectly in any contract metal fabrication
shop, and IMS is no exception. It can’t control when customers pull the trigger
for an order. But sorting and analyzing the sales data can at least help direct the
sales e;orts toward that ideal state of consistent demand—when work from
one customer slows, others pick up the slack.
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Components are powder-coated at IMS. Now an independent entity, the company has
the space to change shop layout for greater e;ciency. Now parts flow linearly, from the
cutting department to bending, welding, powder coating, final assembly, and packaging.
Although the sign out front has changed, the people at IMS haven’t.
Today IMS maintains all of the supplier and customer relationships it had
under the corporate umbrella. Part numbers didn’t change either, which eased
the transition for everyone in the supply chain. Aside from additional plant
floor space and new data management systems, the new entity isn’t all that
di;erent from the old (see Figure 3).
“;e name and the ownership changed. And we have a new sign out front,”
Dockrey said, “but the people, and their expertise, are all still here.”
Senior Editor Tim Heston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images courtesy of Casey Piscitelli.
Integrated Metal Solutions LLC, 2840 Nebo Road, Madisonville, KY 42431,
Epicor Software Corp., 4120 Dublin Blvd., Dublin, CA 94568, 925-361-9900,