The Continuing Evolution
of Industrial Source
Focused on Value for their Customers.
Project: Industrial Source
Oregon's largest independent welding-equipment and gas supplier, Industrial Source, headquartered in Eugene, OR, is on a mission to be "a relationship-based company delivering exceptional customer service and value." According to their risk and distribution manager, Steve Baker, that mission is paying big dividends. It all started with their new fill plant and analytical lab at its location in Portland, OR.
"Even during the recession we started taking a hard look at preparing for future growth," Baker said. "We had just acquired the new property in Portland and quickly laid out a course for bringing more production of pure gases and certified mixes in-house. The goal was to evolve from primarily a reseller to a manufacturer and filler, to remove a lot of cost out of the supply chain."
Their plans included palletization and automation, so they visited other distributors to benchmark their fill operations. "After talking with several suppliers, Weldcoa rose to the top of the list - they have been doing this for a long time and have ironed out all of the bugs that still challenge other suppliers," said Baker. "We ordered their specialty gas blend cell, a traversing linear manifold fill island and Weldcoa pallets and pallet trucks." Lab manager Pam Albert, a 23-year industry veteran, noted how easy the software is to use. "I can enter a new mix into the system in seconds. The system is a very valuable resource for us and ensures customer satisfaction."
Fill Island Increases Productivity
The new automated plant fills industrial-grade and USP oxygen on one side, and gas mixes on the other.
"We just hauled cylinders everywhere," described Baker. "With the new fill plant in place, we immediately became a player in what we knew would be our largest market for gases. The new island shrunk delivery times from 3-4 days to 1-2 days, and we're even making same-day deliveries in some cases."
"In fact," Baker continued, "we've grown so much that we're already looking at adding another traversing unit."
Technology is a Catalyst for Growth
Towne notes that simply avoiding further customer concerns easily justifies the investment. "You're just one mistake away from potentially losing an account. Since installing the automated valve package we've had no issues at all."
Weldcoa's technology has become such a huge catalyst for growth at Industrial Source that additional investments have followed. For example, upon commissioning of the new fill plant and lab, the firm became a PurityPlus producer. They are also embarking on becoming ISO registered, and recently hired a new sales person.
"Our clients don't need us to tell them how to run their business," stated Maynard "Bud" Klotz, Vice President, Weldcoa. "What they want from us are equipment and training options that enable them to quickly meet their goals. We have a deep bench of industry professionals who filled cylinders, delivered cylinders, and who actually worked with the equipment we design. That is a huge distinction between us and would be competitors. Companies like Industrial Source recognize our value because ourresults are not only immediate, but also long term."