Top Shops: Good Practices Start at the Top for A&A Global Industries.
Good coating applications start at the top. At A&A Global Industries in Hunt Valley, Maryland, no one sets a better example than Lawrence Saad, manager of its Powder Coating division.
With more than 30 years of powder coating experience, Saad is a seasoned veteran who has earned the respect of customers and others in the industry. He is an active consultant for brands such as Mercedes, Subaru, Chrysler, GM, BMW and Sylvania.
A member of the Society of Manufacturers Engineers, Saad parlayed his experience into developing a team at A&A that is hard to match. It’s one reason the shop was chosen as the top Practices and Performances example in the Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey for the liquid and powder coating segment.
“Our company philosophy and our slogan is ‘With an excellent team, we provide excellent quality, excellent turnaround at an affordable price,’” Saad says. “Our focus has always been on our customers and their individual needs. Our customers are special to us, and we treat them that way.”
Those best practices are performed in a 126,000-square-foot facility that features a 575-lineal-foot powder coating line; a batch operation for coating individual orders; and a process that Saad says produces an environmentally friendly, uniform, durable, high-quality and attractive finish for customers.
“Our people are well-trained and caring, and know what the expectations of our customers are,” he says. “Coming from the Midwest and working with the automotive side of powder coating for a number of years, I was able to bring the urgency and technical side that was lacking in our company to make it what I feel is one of the best in the country.”
A&A is an ISO:2008-registered shop that serves the manufacturing, industrial and commercial sectors. Its numbers are outstanding: In the past year, the shop says it was 100 percent true in its on-time delivery promises, with a lead time of roughly three days. Its first-pass quality rating also was just over 98 percent, meaning it had proper procedures in place to prevent bad coatings from slipping out the door.
“Rejects are costly and can cause missed customer delivery,” Saad says.
A&A has about 60 active customers and has done well in satisfying those manufacturers’ needs, as evidenced by the fact that the shop retained 100 percent of its customers since the past benchmarking survey.
Saad says it is not just those employees on the finishing line who have created the success that A&A has enjoyed. It starts at the top with sales and management, and includes everyone from the line workers to those who ship and deliver the company’s products to happy customers.
A&A has several continuous improvement programs in place and conducts customer surveys in order to improve on its service. That is one of the reasons the shop scored a 100 percent on its on-time delivery rate last year.
“We have an attitude of gratitude,” he says. “We believe attitude is 95 percent of that success, and it has to be right to be successful. Everyone must do their part in training others; it is not just a management responsibility.”
A&A Global Industries
Hunt Valley, Maryland
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The Products Finishing Top Shops for 2016 in alphabetical order, including both electroplating and liquid and powder coatings.
The Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey for the liquid and powder coating segment yielded interesting statistics about how coating shops run their business, as well as some best practices that many others should emulate.