Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - 34

Midwest

Milton Industries

believe e-commerce is increasing at a faster rate than
some in the traditional space understand," Carlson says.
"It's destabilizing for many. But, if you're open to the
new realities, learn, grow your knowledge, adjust and
accelerate into new opportunities, it can be great. This is
what we're doing at the 'new' Milton. Our new website is
just the beginning of changes we're making in our online,
go-to-market initiatives. These new dynamics affect demand, how you go about your sales and operations planning, warehousing and logistics."

Supply Chain Collaboration
Additionally, the company is working diligently to maintain an effective supply chain, which is made up of many
small Chicago companies. "We have to work collaboratively with our vendors and stay in sync with them,"
Carlson says.
For example, the company's machine screw partners
are privately held, small businesses that have worked
with Milton Industries for many years. "In some ways,

they know us better than we know ourselves," Carlson
says. "It's important to properly align our parts production effectively with the vendor base where they have
particular equipment configurations."
He adds that interaction with supply chain partners
occurs "weekly and sometimes daily depending on the
volume and velocity of turns required."
"Interestingly, each vendor has a particular rhythm
and behavioral set," Carlson notes. "Our younger buyer
planners are sensitive to the these dynamics and come to
appreciate them rather than get frustrated. They work toward enhanced teamwork to meet our customers' increasingly high expectations while driving for greater turns that
result in hitting our aggressive working capital targets."

Core Values
Perhaps no development is more important to Milton
Industries' future than the growth of its core values,
Carlson says. Employees are told to follow the phrase "if
I were the customer" in everything they do. The company also places a strong emphasis on team concepts. "We
really do like to create a team environment," Carlson
says. He adds that the company uses on-the-job learning
opportunities when they present themselves, such as
when a mistake is made or a better way to perform a task
is identified.
Employees are open to the feedback. "The sooner you
put an issue on the table, the sooner it gets solved," he
says. Company and department performance also is discussed during daily meetings that include a review of key
performance indicators, he says. The meetings offer opportunities to reflect on the previous day and plan for the
upcoming day and beyond, he says.
"We truly have a great team made up of teammates
and cross-functional work groups that are working to
drive real change within our business," Carlson says.
"You cannot imagine just how much change has occurred
from three years ago and how it continues today. When
you have great people who work together, communicate
openly, are willing to put it on the table and work through
tough issues, while still pulling with and for each other,
you can achieve great things." mt
Wells Fargo has been serving the insurance needs of consumers, wealth clients,

small businesses, middle market and corporate clients since 1903. Wells Fargo Insurance employs approximately 5,400 team members across the United States and writes
or places approximately $11 billion of risk premiums annually in property, casualty,
benefits, international, personal lines, and life products and also includes the nation's
leading crop insurance provider, Rural Community Insurance Services (RCIS).

34

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Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2016 - Cover2
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