SPEEDING UP IN A SLOWING DOWN ECONOMY
“IMPLEMENTING NEWER TECHNOLOGY
IS A PROVEN METHOD TO WORK SMARTER AND BE MORE EFFICIENT IN
DAY TO DAY OPERATIONS”
As for most companies in the truck body industry, 2020 has been an unusual year for Scelzi Enterprises. Maintaining product and customer service excellence during months of uncertainty has been challenging at times, especially when the supply chains of chassis cabs and other needed materials suffered temporary slowdowns. Rather than focus on the negatives, Scelzi spent much of 2020 preparing for a rebound to “normal” business activity and operations. Now in Fall 2020 Scelzi has returned to a full production schedule as a faster, stronger, and smarter company than they have ever been.
Implementing newer technology is a proven method to work smarter and be more efficient in day to day operations. At Scelzi Enterprises, infrastructure, tooling, and communications have all been upgraded during the virus-driven slowdown, and technology has been a big part of these solutions.
SOLAR POWER &
A conversion to utilize more solar power at all Scelzi locations is part of these efforts. A single Production building at the main Fresno Production facility is a perfect example. The building houses several Amada laser-cutting machines used for the tightest-tolerance precision truck body parts. The newest models are more automated than even the one purchased just a year ago, and also more energy efficient. But to increase efficiency and energy reduction in the entire building, solar panels have been added to the roof along one complete side of the building. “We are just taking advantage of the Fresno heat”, laughs co-owner Gary Scelzi, “although the California wildfires this year have cut into the savings a little bit. Air quality has been very bad here in late Summer, and our friend the sun has been hidden some days behind a blanket of smoke — but all our solar projects are long-term investments, anyway.”
New brake presses have also been added to Scelzi’s arsenal. The largest is a Cincinnati ProForm 750 that is 24 feet long and has 750 tons of press brake capacity. This can bend thicker steel in a single move while still maintaining the strength and integrity of the bent part. It is the largest brake press Scelzi has ever owned and has accelerated production of many sub-assemblies. “Sometimes you look at a new piece of equipment and think, we would not use that enough to make it a smart investment”, says owner Mike Scelzi. “But for an innovative company with double-digit growth, when you look ahead at the next 3-5 year projected growth then suddenly you realize the economies of scale are in your favor, and those purchases become easier to make. I can’t say how many times we wished we had invested more quickly in newer machinery – but it happens more often than not.”
WORKING SMARTER WITH BETTER HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE
Scelzi’s custom-coded enterprise-level computer system has also increased functionality and efficiency in all phases of their operations. After spending the past 15 years using a shop-focused software system that didn’t “talk” much to non-production operations, their new system went into full operation in 2019 and the results have been dramatic. The new system integrates many processes from quote-to-delivery, decreasing errors in communication and dramatically improving efficiency. And since it is custom code it will continue to be adjusted and improved to match improving processes as times goes on.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
No one is able to turn back the clock so their business operates the same as it did in early 2020, but Scelzi Enterprises is making an effort to use the slow-down to their advantage. The wise application of newer technologies is one of the keys towards attaining that goal.
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