ing; ODM Tool and Manufacturing
for the heavy gauge stampings; Vin-dee Industries for the tube bending;
Reliable Plating Corp. and Gatto Industrial Platers for the metal plating;
and Micron Metal Finishing for the
Everyone is in on the ground floor
to discuss details and prevent problems. For instance, say the machine
is designed for outdoor use in cold
weather, with frequent exposure to
the snowmelt salt on northern highways. That would be a detail affecting paint, which would be where Micron’s experts would come into play.
Finally, the network reduces lead-times because each network company keeps tabs on each other’s
production schedule, communicates
regularly, and coordinates production. Say Chirchirillo’s metal fabrication operation has a job to be powder-coated white before a Friday ship
date. He knows that the coater will
do a color change to white on Tuesday, then back to another color on
Thursday. So the companies coordinate to ensure that the part arrives to
the coater by Tuesday afternoon, to
avoid an unnecessary color change.
All this happens on the front end, before the work order hits the floor. This
effectively makes both operations
more efficient and, ultimately, lowers
A Cultural Change
In the marketing sense, the network
shifts the focus away from the partic-
ular processes a company offers and
toward customer demand. “A prod-
uct could be stamped, fabricated,
machined, or cast,” Chirchirillo said.
“If our focus is always on what’s in the
best interest of the customer, it really
opens the door to a lot more business
From a cultural perspective, the
network concept fundamentally
shifts the core goals of a company.
Network companies remain privately
held, independent, family-run enterprises—an important and probably
perennial part of metal manufacturing. But going to market as a collaborative group, and communicating
regularly to gain operational efficiencies to shorten lead-times, changes
their competitive position. It’s one
that network company owners feel is
more sustainable over the long term,
one that can be passed down to future generations.
And that, Chirchirillo said, really
is the crux of it all. “I’ve got three
of my children and my son-in-law in
the business. And nearly every one
of the companies in the network is a
family-owned business that has been
around for generations.”
Perhaps the reason many owners
didn’t raise their hand at FABTECH—
even during 2007—was that some
felt that a manufacturing business
may not be sustainable over the long
term. With the network business
model, Chirchirillo hopes to change
Senior Editor Tim Heston can be
reached at timh@the fabricator.
Photo provided by Chirch Global®
Manufacturing, 320 Cary Point
Drive, Cary, IL 60013, 815-385-5600.
For more on the Chirch Global
Manufacturing Network, visit www.
Nearly every one
of the companies in
the network is
business that has
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