“Rahco is a very proactive company that embraces continuous improvement opportunities, and we position ourselves to capitalize on what others view as challenges,” says Dennis Askew, Rahco Rubber’s Business Development Manager.
Established in 1967, the nearly 50 year-old provider of custom rubber components is continuing to grow, expand and improve. Beginning with only 5,000 square feet, four people and seven presses, this family owned and operated manufacturer has always had an ongoing commitment to growth. Half a century later, Rahco now operates out of a 60,000 square foot facility that features office, manufacturing, laboratories, and shipping and receiving areas.
The company has grown from a small, four man operation to employing nearly 100 workers, but the family centered culture hasn’t changed. While a recent survey revealed that over 80 percent of manufacturing executives see employee retention as a top challenge for their company, Rahco Rubber’s leadership doesn’t share that obstacle.
Roughly half of its hourly personnel and almost all of the salaried personnel have been with the company for over 15 years. “More than 30 percent of our employees have been with us for at least 20 years,” reports Askew.
How does Rahco manage to retain talented employees for a decade or more? “In a word – respect,” Askew notes. “It is a Rahco family culture that extends from the ownership and embraces all of our people. Everyone is treated with respect. Our open-door philosophy facilitates and encourages the free flow of ideas here at Rahco.”
Best known for its customer focus, Askew reports that Rahco works with its business partners’ goals at the forefront of all their projects.
Several OEMs have been business partners with Rahco for over 35 years as a result of this customer-focused mindset. “We are always working to exceed our partners’ expectations and go that extra mile when they need us the most. We work as an extension of our customer’s staff,” according to Askew. “Customers truly appreciate our ability to react and respond. Our capabilities and agility allow us to deliver support when it is needed the most.”
The ability to respond has become exceedingly important as the company’s customer base and portfolio continues to grow. In the past 12 months, Rahco has been awarded multiple pieces of new business from both current customers and new accounts – equating to an 11 percent increase in sales.
“Our customer and product portfolio is diversified. We currently support VAVE (Value-Added Value Engineering) efforts and new product designs in appliance, water distribution and plumbing, rail, food service, defense, automotive, off-road and agricultural industries.”
To support their customer focus and continued growth, Rahco Rubber has invested in training, equipment and technology. In 2016, Rahco purchased four new high-tonnage vacuum presses for low-waste, flashless molding, two new, latest model 500 ton REP injection presses, a state-of-the-art optical comparator, a new ERP system, mold maintenance equipment and even a website reconstruction. Everything combined, Rahco has invested over $1 million into its facility and operations over the past 12 months.
“We have a high degree of aptitude in state-of-the-art precision molding systems such as insert, low waste, flashless, valve gate and liquid silicone injection.”
Continuing to Deliver
Managing growth effectively as to not under-deliver can be a challenge to any manufacturing company – and Rahco is no exception. The family company is actively working to maintain the quality its customers expect, and doing so effectively according to the Rahco team. “I would put our quality scorecard against anyone’s in the industry.”
“As we continue to grow, incremental personnel and resources are being added to guarantee satisfaction. Rahco’s QC department works in conjunction with production and program teams to ensure quality standards while meeting deadlines.”
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