Nobert Plating Co. Knows Service Is Key To Success

Chicago plant uses software to track all orders so that a night shift can hit the floor running.
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Nobert Plating Co. know that each of the employees at the shop in Chicago sees the business from a different and important vantage point, which is why it is even more important to get feedback from them that eventually yields results in better servicing customers.

For example, the facility uses “Visual Shop” software that has allowed them to track all orders in-house and then have orders in their system before parts arrive so that a night shift can hit the floor running.

That means when a rush order comes through the door, the paperwork is waiting for the job and not the job sitting around waiting for the paperwork.

“Communication initiatives such as putting together a “discovery team” of employees to find ways to improve our business model through business mapping has helped us in attacking the low hanging fruit from that map, or list,” said Diann Sickles, president of the company and granddaughter of the company founder.

The result is evident, and Nobert produced some of the best finishing practices of all the shops listed in the Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey.

Order lead time is down to five days, and less than one percent of the work is scrap or rework.

“We have the shifts available to meet our customer demands,” said Rob Sickles, Nobert’s vice president. “Many times we will receive an order at 3 to 5 p.m. and a customer may pick it up at 10 p.m. or the next morning at 5:00 a.m. The shop software is critical to this goal.”

With a customer retention rate of about 90 percent, they are definitely doing something right. Quality Manager Jamie Sickles ‑ Diann’s daughter and Rob’s sister‑ said everyone at Nobert knows the true path to success.

“Service, service and service,” she said. “Price and quality need to be there, but our key to retention has been the ability to service customers in most any situation to meet their demands.”

Jamie Sickles said the company will service a customer demand made on a Saturday morning, but not gouge them, and then hope it is paid forward.

Recently, a customer had a part to be finished for a nuclear plant that was partially down waiting for a re-furbished part. This customer e-mailed Nobert the situation on a Saturday morning about 8 a.m., and the plant manager responded and was able to have personal available to finish the part upon arrival at 8 p.m. that night.

“It shipped at 11 p.m. that same day,” Rob Sickles said. “Dedication to meeting customer demand is what we do.”

The shop has about 100 customers, but only 15 percent represent the major bulk of their work. Diann Sickles said that staff communication regarding their customer needs is extremely important when they are dealing many different customers.

“Our staff is in constant customer communication via e-mail and cell phone,” she said. “Therefore our customers can make contact at any time and get answers regarding lead times and anything else right away.”



Nobert Plating Co.

340 North Ashland Avenue

Chicago, IL 60607