SPARTAN HEAT EXCHANGERS INC.
On June 10, Rick Coyne, materials manager at Spartan Heat Exchangers Inc. (Spartan), in Springfield, Missouri, received a call from Max Brisco, vice president of manufacturing: “What can materials department do to facilitate Spartan’s new business strategy? I’ll need your plan in next week.” SPARTAN HEAT EXCHANGERS
Spartan was a leading designer and manufacturer of specialized industrial heat transfer equipment. Its customers operated in a number of industries such as steel, aluminium smelting, hydroelectricity generation, pulp and paper, refining, and petrochemical. The company’s primary products included transformer coolers, motor and generator coolers, air-cooled heat exchangers, and transformer oil coolers. Spartan’s combination of fin-tube and time-proven heat exchanger designs had gained wide recognition bot in North America and internationally. Sales revenues were $25 million and Spartan operated in a 125,000-square-foot plant. Spartan was owned by Krimmer Industries, a large privately held corporation with more than 10,000 employees worldwide, head-quartered in Denver. Rick Coyne summarized the business strategy of Spartan during the past ten years: “We were willing to do anything for every customer with respect to their heat transfer requirements. We were willing to do trial and error on the shop floor and provide a customer with his or her own unique heat transfer products.” He added, “Our design and manufacturing people derived greatest satisfaction making new and customized heat transfer products. Designing and research capabilities gave us the edge in developing and manufacturing any kind of heat transfer product required by the customer. Ten years ago, we were one of the very few companies in our industry offering customized services in design and manufacturing and this strategy made business sense, as the customers were willing to pay a premium for customized products.” MANUFACTURING PROCESS
The customized nature of...
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