At Fox Valley Metal Tech, employees are the key to the Green Bay fabricator’s success.
“Our outstanding employees help us stand apart,” said president John West. “We’re a job shop so we’re selling our services and our employees’ skill sets. Customers see the quality parts we produce and they come back to us. We even sometimes redo parts another company has made.”
Fox Valley Metal Tech custom fabricates parts in steel, stainless steel and aluminum that go into a variety of products, including those valued by the defense industry like the littoral combat vessels made by Marinette Marine.
“Our employees really take pride in their workmanship. We also have a rigorous inspection system to make sure everything we make is of the highest quality,” West said. “It’s a continuous improvement environment.”
Technology plays an integral role at the company, which was founded in 1989 by a trio of metal fabricators. The shop uses a $2 million automated laser system that cuts parts more efficiently, and utilizes an updated press break area that helps reduce waste, West said.
Managers hold “fast break” meetings with six employees at a time to exchange ideas and address concerns. These meetings have led to changes that boost production, such as displaying scheduling reports in real time on computer screens in the inspection and shipping department, he added.
Since it’s a job shop, West said the work constantly changes, but employees thrive in the environment. “It really keeps them engaged in what they are doing,” he said.