Manufacturing Today - Spring 2010 - (Page 130)

BTD Manufacturing Inc. / HQ: Detroit Lakes, Minn. / Sales: $100 million / Employees: 450 / Services: Custom metal fabrication / Jared Lotzer, regional sales manager: “From our standpoint it’s a build-to-order world now.” reduce lead-time in half,” Lotzer explains. “Our promise to each other inside BTD and to our customer is to reduce our lead-time for newly awarded part to production ready by 40 percent, and we will achieve this.” During production, workers do not wait for one process to finish before beginning the next step. “When the product is half done, we begin working on its other needs for finishing,” he says. “We can perform the whole capability and have a full tool room, stamping shop, fabrication, tubing department and welding shop working united. We don’t have to send a product out and bring it back; thus reducing our lead-time.” He adds there has been change in behavior and communication styles at the company. “We’re starting the process of getting the whole organization in sync,” Lotzer says. “From our standpoint, speed is more important than ever with accuracy in delivery a must; it’s a build-to-order world now.” A Long Reach btd manufacturing is cutting its lead-time by 40 percent while increasing its production capabilities. Building to Last btd manufacturing inc. expands its capabilities and market reach to remain at the top. by luke gillespie The ability to adapt and evolve is necessary for survival. With 30 years in the metal fabrication industry, BTD Manufacturing Inc. has clearly learned how to make adjustments — whether through manufacturing processes or company acquisitions — to maintain its place in the market. BTD noticed the recession was causing many companies to scale back on inventory, which caused BTD to refine its production process. Regional Sales Manager Jared Lotzer 130 SPRING 2010 explains that prior to the recession, BTD was able to take more time in production as companies placed orders based on forecasts. However, customers are now making orders based on demand, and asking BTD to supply them quicker. BTD recognized this and made the needed adjustments to retain its clients and stay successful, Lotzer says. “We worked with an outside consultant group on refining process so we can streamline production and Lotzer points out that BTD’s owner, Fergus Falls, Minn.-based Otter Tail Corp., also helps to set it apart from competitors. The parent company generates more than $1.2 billion in revenues with subsidiaries in electric utility, health services, food ingredient processing, plastics, construction and transportation. Through Otter Tail, BTD has a solid financial backing, which Lotzer explains is important today. “A lot of customers are backing away from suppliers who are mom-and-pop organizations and don’t have the cash flow,” he says. “While many organizations run up against capacity restraints, we invest in technology and continue to grow with our customers. I like to think we have unlimited capacity.” Over the past year, BTD has worked with many of its clients to consoli-

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - Spring 2010

Manufacturing Today - Spring 2010
Global Strategies
Cost Concerns
Growth Opportunities
Continuous Improvement
Business Value
Juanita’s Foods
Les Plats du Chef
Gardner Denver
Smeal Fire Apparatus Co.
Club Car Inc.
Parkson Corp.
MKS Instruments Inc.
Amity Technology
Co-Operative Industries
Corbi Plastics
Elyria/Hodge Foundries Co.
Inteplast Group Ltd.
Willbanks Metals
Zotos International Inc.
Akron Foundry Co.
Alo North America
Bosal International
First American Plastic Molding Enterprise
MAC Equipment
Mayville Engineering Co. Inc.
Kurtz Bros. Inc.
Aesco Electronics
Code 3 Inc.
Columbia Marking Tools
Euro-Rite Cabinets
Fampec Technology LLC
Faubion Associates Inc.
Ginsey Industries Inc.
Imagineering Finishing Technologies
Imperial Woodworks Inc.
Innovative Lighting
Liburdi Dimetrics
MTC Transformers
Plastiques GPR
S.A. Robotics
Sunrise Windows
Positran Manufacturing Inc.
Manufacturing Tomorrow

Manufacturing Today - Spring 2010