Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 105

Hopkins Manufacturing Co.

sure the success of new items. "We strive to make sure
a significant portion of our annual revenue comes from
products introduced in the last three years," Moore adds.
Customers' desire for fresh products and store exclusives drive Hopkins' need to constantly refresh and refine
its product lineup. "We like to bring innovation so the retailers have new and exciting products," Moore explains.
When developing new items, Hopkins taps into market
surveys and identifies performance gaps in its existing
products to figure out how to make the next generation
better. Hopkins credits its ability to innovate to the fact
that it manufacturers its own products instead of delegating production to outside companies. Because it is a
manufacturer, Hopkins is more responsive to its customers and can crank up production on seasonal items.
Facilities are designed for efficiency by specializing
on one segment of the company's business. "Each of our
plants tends to be concentrated on one or more process
technologies," Moore says.

Midwest

created a culture where improvement can be implemented across all facilities. "Any idea that would happen in one
location is quickly documented and organized so it can be
rolled out to other locations and become best practices,"
O'Leary says.
Hopkins' adherence to innovation in all aspects of its
operations is allowing it to stay on top amidst the consolidation in the automotive aftermarket industry. In several respects, consolidation has worked to the company's
advantage, Moore says. In 2015, Hopkins acquired Bell
Automotive Products and used its status in the market
to introduce Bell items to a stable of new customers. The
company's acquisition strategy also allows it to cement
its relationship with OEMs and other manufacturers who
want to consolidate their supplier base.
Acquisitions are likely to remain an important part of
Hopkins' strategy. "We have grown organically and continue to add to our head count," O'Leary says. "In turn, it
makes us think about how to logically add to our organic
growth through other ways where appropriate." mt

Exceeding Expectations
Every task Hopkins undertakes is done with the company's mantra of "exceeding customer expectations" in
mind. Kraft regularly speaks to the hourly workers about
how that philosophy can fit into their daily activities. "We
strive for very short lead times so we're able to respond to
[customers] quickly," Moore says.
On-time delivery is a major part of how Hopkins exceeds expectations. The company is often able to turn
orders around within a few days and even has a commitment to one customer to provide same day shipping. To
accomplish that goal, Hopkins relies on its six distribution centers, three of which are attached to manufacturing plants. "We hold very substantial inventory in order
to support this very seasonal business," Moore explains.
To ensure those quick turnarounds, Hopkins needs every employee working at peak efficiency, which is why the
company takes safety seriously. Hopkins' culture of innovation extends to its safety procedures. At the Oklahoma
plant, the employees use a program called Help Desk to
log safety concerns and incidents. Management is then required to follow up on those incidents to close the reports.
Moore says Help Desk empowers employees to speak up
when they see a potential safety violation. "When employees raise topics they see them being acted on and solved,"
he says. Because of the success in Oklahoma, Hopkins is
now replicating Help Desk at its other facilities.
Help Desk is a prime example of how Moore's guidance
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 manufacturing-today.com

105


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016

Contents
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 1
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 2
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Contents
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 4
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 5
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 6
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 7
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 8
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Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 101
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Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 103
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 104
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 105
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 106
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 107
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 108
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Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 110
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 111
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Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 135
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Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 137
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Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 168
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover3
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover4
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