SUPERIOR & KEY-LINK NEWSLETTER

Key-Link’s Continuous Improvements

Key-Link’s railing continues to grow in popularity, and with that growth comes the need for increased capacity, flow, and reliable deliveries from our vendors. Here are some of the steps that Key-Link is taking to keep our manufacturing on track and our customers’ shelves full of stock.

 

More Swiss Machines

 

These machines are essential to creating the metal fittings in our cable railing systems. We have purchased 3 additional machines and are bringing them online to increase our capacity to make these crucial parts. Additionally, we have started a second shift in the Swiss machine shop. That means that our new and existing machines will be running even more hours to meet customer demand.

 

Completed Phase 2 of our Plant Reorganization

 

Phase 2 of the Key-Link plant reorganization was all about improving material flow through the building and increasing efficiency. With this phase complete, our section packing cell has been able to pack record numbers of parts in a day. Phase 3 will begin at the end of 2021 and continue to improve our flow efficiencies.

 

Regular Meetings and Updates with Vendors

 

By now everyone has heard about supply chain challenges and shortages across all industries. Our industry is no different! But we have been regularly meeting with and updating our vendors so they know what (and how much) material we need. They have given us commitments to supply these raw materials so that we can produce our products.

 

New Finished Goods Warehouse

 

Key-Link now has a 10,000 square foot warehouse on property to hold finished goods. In the past, customers might have received products with packaging that had been exposed to moisture, but now all finished products have a covered and enclosed place to wait for shipment.

 

In addition to all of this, we have completed our new office space and training room, hired a fulfillment manager who brings 20 years of experience to his role, and experienced a record month for production in September 2021.

 

We are confident that these improvements (and more to come) will continue to keep Key-Link strong and ready to serve our customers in 2022 and beyond.

Internal Training to Bring Results

In late September, Bob Dressler came on board at Superior and Key-Link to head up the internal training department.

 

His goal: to build the company’s culture around valuing people.

 

What does that look like in practice? Dressler says it means developing relationships across the company and working with managers and team leads in the plants to build standard processes, making sure that teams are cross trained, and defining skill matrixes for different jobs. Superior and Key-Link associates will have the tools they need to do their jobs from onboarding through to skill development and possible promotions.

 

For customers, that means a better, more efficient company.

 

“Good standard processes and cross-training give an organization flexibility,” Dressler said. “For us, that means a more efficient plant with less downtime and improved quality control.”

 

In the current world of supply chain delays in shortages, plants that can adjust on the fly and move people to where they’re needed most is important, too.

 

“No matter the economic situation, companies can’t be slow to make changes,” said Dressler. “My job is to help develop the processes that make Superior and Key-Link a growing, flexible company that’s also a great place to work.”

Key-Link at IBS

From February 8-10, 2022, we will be at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando featuring a booth full of Key-Link railing! We’re excited to show off some new products and talk about Key-Link to a wider audience. We’d love to see you at our booth if you will be at the show—just stop by booth S1416!

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