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The Elgen

1

Gazette

Monday | August 1, 2011

The Elgen Gazette

Vol. 1 - Issue 1

Contents Inventory | UL Products | Improvements in Packaging | The Corner | Zoltan’s Zoo | Elgen’s Place MONTHLY SPECIALS - LABELS

We Can See The Light... Closter, NJ

EXPIRES SEPTEMBER 15TH

7%

MONTHLY SPECIALS - FOIL/FSK TAPE

EXPIRES SEPTEMBER 15TH

5%

MONTHLY SPECIALS - UL PRINTED TAPES

EXPIRES SEPTEMBER 15TH

3%

“The Corner” Service, Freight & Production

by John Cunha pg. 2

Racks, Bins & Barcodes

I

t has been almost a year since we took on the most demanding project to date at Elgen: Inventory. It seems like a very long time ago we began sticking barcodes and item numbers on the warehouse racks -- rebuilding our pallet program, reorganizing for better order flow, hiring cycle counters, adding computers and scanners. The list goes on and on.

It seems easy to take for granted the countless hours spent by our IT and warehouse teams. Looking back, some of the battles were classic, raucous and, ultimately, fun. It’s a good thing producers from MTV were not walking around or Elgen would have had its own reality show. So, where are we? What’s next? (Continue to Page 2)

“Zoltan’s Zoo” Tech Update

by Zoltan Orban pg. 3

Enter To Win An iPAD Click Link Below www.elgenmfg.com/customersurvey

“Elgen’s Place”

Thoughts, Markets & Products by Matthew Alberti pg. 3


The Elgen Gazette

2

Business Section

The Corner John Cunha Plant Manager

by

“Teamwork”

J

uly was a month to remember. Why? We had a significant increase in demand of our manufactured products, such as HETOs, Press-Ons, Access Doors and Flange. I’m not sure there’s an explanation for the increased order flow, but I can say I have never been prouder of my team. Production worked overtime to keep the shelves stocked as orders flooded through our printers. Order pickers moved through the warehouse like an ant colony on freshly dropped fruit. Our truck drivers’ patience was incredible as dock times were hard to come by. I’m amazed and extremely gratified by how we all came together. From the sales force to the maintenance crew -- our employees make my job easy. In the end, we all become prosperous -- from the customer to every employee at Elgen. We are in this together. “Teamwork! The only way we know how.”

See the Light... (Continued from Page 1) We can certainly “See The Light.” Simply put, inventory is complete. At any time, a customer service rep can access our system and check what is in stock. Zoltan, our inventory manager, runs reports every evening and morning to double-check the previous and current day’s orders. John, our plant manager, oversees the entire workflow starting at inbound and ending with a service call to our customers. We have been operating at 97.4% accuracy for well over a month.

Job very well done, but... We are not finished, and nor do we want to be. As the inbound and inventory processes are solved, we still have one final step to go: Outbound! Beginning in September, order pickers will be using handheld barcode scanners as aids to pull orders. This technology will ensure Elgen meets our desired goal: 99%+ accuracy inbound and outbound. Most companies win awards for running at a 96% inventory accuracy level. Elgen will run at 99.9% by January 1st. That is a promise to our most important assets: Our customers. by

Matthew Alberti

UL Listed Products New & Future

W

ith the emergence of more foreign products in our marketplace, having the appropriate certifications and testing standards is a necessity. It is Elgen’s philosophy to continue to invest in testing and standards compliance to keep buildings safe, and to protect our domestic economy. The products below are now all UL listed. Aluminum Foil Tape UL Listing Number: R26834 Foil Scrim Kraft Tape UL Listing Number: R26834 Water-based Duct Sealer UL Listing Number: MH48426 We are all in this together. Closed-cell Gasket UL Listing Number: John Cunha by Matthew Alberti 440 Butyl Gasket UL Listing Number: Neoprene Fabric UL Listing Number:


3

Zoltan’s Zoo The Tech Update by

I

Improvements

In Packaging!

Zoltan Orban IT Manager

t is well-known that the world of technology is fast-paced. By the time a concentration is mastered, it’s old news. At Elgen, our technology is no different. We are constantly updating to keep up. Just this month alone, I updated well over 25 computers, installed automatic backups on our computer-driven machines, and upgraded half of our handheld barcode devices so they can read 2D. Our sales reps do not know it yet, but we are developing a one-of-a-kind sales data software package that will run on iPads and other tablets. It will give them a wealth of sales data with a flick of the finger. Sales expectations will go up! :)

Elgen’s Place

The Elgen Gazette

by

Matthew Alberti

W

e will never stop improving our packaging. We listen to our customers’ feedback and we make the changes. Just recently it was brought to my attention that our snap-lock pipe and vane were taking a beating in our trucks. I knew that we had a orbital stretch wrapper on order and I was hoping we could stall until then. We could not. Something had to be done immediately. John, our plant manager, came up with a “strut wall” for our vane. At first, I felt the wall was too laborintensive to create, but after working with production, the cost made sense. Elgen’s strut wall was born. Our vane is now as secure as any product we ship. The complaints have stopped.

Thoughts, Markets & Products

by

After the vane idea was implemented, we turned our attention to our snap-lock pipe. Pipe is a slightly different animal due to its awkward shape before it is snapped together. During the past two years we tried numerous packaging options, but had not found any we liked. Finally, we discovered fiber cradles. Something so simple; cradles are most commonly found in packaging film. Not only do cradles protect the product but they keep our pipe organized and easy to stack. Most importantly, our customers can easily remove individual pieces without the threat of the pipe crushing their fingers.

Matthew Alberti

It has been a crazy two years for vendors and purchasers. I have been buying products and raw materials for more than seven years, and I have never seen increases such as occurred in the past 24 months. Resin, which shadows gas, is up 20% in the past year. Steel peaked at 33% higher in March of 2011 than January of 2009. Because of these insane market conditions, I get asked two questions more than any other. The first is a combo question that is directly asked about Elgen, and the second prompts some general discussion. 1. How can Elgen possibly be doing as well as they are? I don’t see how you guys can survive by not raising prices as frequently as your competitors. I know this seems like a made-up question used as a sales tool, but I take pride in saying that it is not. There is an answer. There are two ways to fight off a bad economy: Diversifying and buying better. We started our diversification about two and a half years ago. It worked. We were able to offset any loss of business with new product sales. Second, I like to think our team of purchasers is second to none. Our purchasing department uses a wide range of creative tools in working with our vendors. Our relationships have become so strong, through honesty and integrity, that our vendors listen when we propose our strategic buying plans. It enables us to delay increases, buy better, and improve service from our vendors. In the end, everyone is happy: Elgen, our vendors, and ultimately our customers. 2. What’s next for Elgen? I think everyone at Elgen agrees that just because we are starting to see some success, we cannot stop here. We have far to go. We want to continue to improve quality, find ways to lower prices, and continue to develop market share through our relationships.


The Elgen Gazette