Growing Pains

Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 in UEA Blog

As a company strives for growth, there are a couple of common goals.  Increase the sales to existing customers and/or add new customers.  When these goals are being met, unless you are starting with a drastically oversized facility, the result is a need for expansion.  United Equipment Accessories is no stranger to this phenomenon.  In the past, there has been near continuous expansion by adding onto the original “Main Plant” several times and then the addition of the “North Plant”.  The initial move to the North Plant utilized only a small portion of the building.  Speculation was that we had several years of growth space available.  We have now reached the point that there is no more floor space available for new equipment or employee work stations.

It would seem, to many, with funds being available, that it would be a simple matter to just hire a contractor and stretch the building out to the desired dimensions. Then you add in whatever new equipment is need and run with it.  If it could only be that simple!

Part of what gives United Equipment the ability to meet the needs of our customers is that over the many years of growth and expansions, careful planning has taken place to ensure that the positioning and arrangement of people and equipment best suits the process for effective production to occur.

This type of planning is currently in effect, with much more to consider now that we have the hydraulic swivel product line to arrange as well.  It is nearly impossible to just add an area of any useable size and only consider that specific area in planning.  The fact is that any change almost anywhere in the facility will have an effect on other areas.  To reach any sense of optimization the facility must be evaluated as a whole, not just an expansion.  How can we use the new overall floor space to our utmost advantage to continue to supply our customers with the least disruption during the transition?  That will be the main focus the next several months as this project moves forward.

Various teams are currently meeting to study different aspects of the expansion to plan out all the important details in advance of breaking ground. This is definitely using personnel resources that can at times already be stretched thin, but this is the price of progress. Anyone that has been around United Equipment for very long knows that everything is temporary, except for the desire to provide for the needs of the customer.

Kent Davis

Senior Engineer