Medina Plating Earns No. 1 Top Shops Status

Medina Plating’s operational performance earned it the distinction of being the No. 1 shop in the Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey conducted in late 2016.


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Shawn Ritchie minces no words when you ask about his shop, Medina Plating just south of Cleveland, Ohio.

“We are not a cheap shop,” says Ritchie, who owns the company along with Tait Krejci, grandson of Medina Plating’s founder. “I say that meaning quality is not cheap.”

Quality is something that Medina Plating extolls in almost every facet of its operation, which specializes in rack zinc, zinc iron and zinc nickel alloy plating in its 160,000-square-foot facility.

Medina Plating’s operational performance earned it the distinction of being the No. 1 shop in the Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey conducted in late 2016.

Its first-pass quality yield registered at just over 99 percent; and the company doesn’t shy away from looking closely at its parts, averaging about 240 hours per week in part inspections. Its on-time delivery rate checked in at close to 100 percent of what it promised, with a two-day order lead time.

With customer retention at 98 percent from 2016, Medina Plating appears to be doing enough great work for its customers that price isn’t an issue.

“We took over this company in 2001 with seven employees and we now have over 130,” says Ritchie. “We knew we had to grow our customers and our business, but we had to do it in a way that quality remained the main reason why people kept coming back to us.”

Ritchie and Krejci focused on quality, investing millions in new equipment and technology to help them meet the demanding needs of specifications that include BMW, Case, Cummins, Chrysler, Delphi, Ford, Honda, General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and Volvo.

“Every man and woman who works here believes we are doing the right thing, but that is because from day one we have said quality is what we are going to do, and we’re not going to change no matter what,” Ritchie says.

In 2016, Medina Plating spent roughly 23 percent of its gross income on adding new equipment and expanding capabilities. Aside from normal upgrades and replacement of existing equipment and fixtures, the company also expanded its other non-plating facilities, adding 60,000 square feet, a fully automated powder coating and electrocoating system that employs the latest pretreatment technology, programmable logistic computer system controls, an onsite laboratory, and highly experienced, full-time coating specialists.

“We’re not a huge shop compared to others with our three buildings, but we know we have to add where needed and improve what we can,” Ritchie says. “We are in the process of expanding again and should have more space open by the spring, but we know if we want to keep competing, this is what it takes.”

A former military contractor, Ritchie says he has built his company by following a few basic rules when hiring and training staff; one of those rules is he rarely hires people who have already worked in the coating industry.

“I look for those who have had some prior military experience, because often those are the people who know how to follow orders well and know missions,” he says.

“I don’t shy away from talking about the people we have hired, because quite frankly a lot of these guys and girls need a second chance, and they know they have it with us if they follow what we tell them,” Ritchie says. “And from that standpoint, we promote heavily from within. We try to show them we do care about them. We are all in this together.”

Statistically, Medina Plating finished near the top on many of the scoring matrices, including their utilization capacity at roughly 93 percent. That and the first-pass quality ratings have propelled the shop to rare air in the plating industry for operational efficiencies.

Ritchie credits suppliers such as Atotech, Eaton Fabricating and the Mitchell-Bate Co. with the success of the shop.

Atotech supplied the shop with its Protedur Plus for alkaline ZnFe, Reflectalloy ZNA for alkaline ZnNi, Zinni 210 for acid ZnNi, and Ecolozinc 40/40 for alkaline Zn, among others.

“We can spend all the money in the world on new equipment and technology, but it does come down to having great people working for you who understand what they have to do to make this a good company for customers,” Ritchie says. “And these guys and girls have done it. I reward them for what they do for us, but I think they like working here and like the industry.”

Medina Plating | 330-725-4155 | medinaplating.com

For a full list of this year's Top Shops, click here

 

 


Originally published in the April 2017 issue. 

 

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