Looking Back on 2016

Looking Back on 2016

The new year is well underway, and Smith Foundry is looking forward to our many plans for the next few years.  But it's worth a moment to look back on the year that has gone by.  To celebrate our accomplishments, examine our shortcomings, and to express our gratitude to our many excellent customers and to our employees, who make us everything we are.

In 2016, Jim Pint, an industry veteran who sold for Smith Foundry; Mike Ford, who worked and led on our production floor; and Peggy Faiola, who managed our office, all retired after more than twenty years each at Smith Foundry.  Their service is vastly appreciated, and the spaces they've left in our operation not easy to fill.  For everything they've done for us, we are grateful.

In 2016, Nathan CW Smith joined our team.  He assumed a role as our Director of Business Development and has made great contributions to our company and on behalf of our customers.  We are excited for all that Nathan has brought, and we expect will continue to bring, in the future.

2016 was a strong year for Smith Foundry in a challenging environment.  An unfortunate number of our industry peers around the country shut down their furnaces and moulding machines and shuttered their doors.  The political landscape was uncertain.  Key industry segments, like Agriculture, Mining, and Oil & Gas, were down.  Nevertheless, Smith Foundry added to its customer base.  We renegotiated our contract with Teamsters Local 970, ensuring three more years of a mutually beneficial and collaborative relationship.  And perhaps most importantly, we continued to improve our Quality.

We worked diligently with our friends at Enterprise Minnesota to get ready for the new ISO 9001:2015, which we expect to adopt in January fully.

For the fifth year running, we have reduced both our internal and external scrap rates.  We completed 2016 with an external First Time Right rate of 99.36%, a 190 bps improvement over 2015.  We finished with an On Time Delivery of 95%, a 50 bps improvement over 2015.  In our jobbing environment, where we're producing as many as 30 different parts in a single day, and expediting as many as a dozen different orders each week, we're proud indeed of these accomplishments.  We continue to close in on 100%. 

As we look forward, we are excited about our plans.  We will be investing in our facility, to support our goals of being a modern, efficient, clean operation.  We will be investing in our people because they are the ones who make all the difference.  And we will be investing in our customers because it's for them that we exist in the first place.

2017 is going to be a good year.


Neil Ahlstrom



Follow us on LinkedIn to get future updates and other helpful information.