Category Archives: Small Business

“Hey Siri” Who Do I Call When I Have a Labor Shortage and Am Struggling to Keep Up With the Flow of Work? ANSWER: Albina Co., Inc. Can Help Service Your Needs!

Our industry is faced with a labor shortage right now and we know that many shops are struggling to keep up with the flow of work. In this case, don’t ask “Siri” for help, ask us! Albina Co., Inc. is fortunate to have a strong union labor force behind us with workers that are available to meet your IMMEDIATE NEEDS. If you have a rush project that you need to get done-WE CAN HELP! If you have spillover work you need assistance getting to your customer- WE CAN HELP! Why hire temporary workers that you need to train? Why not team up with Albina Co., Inc.? We can be an extension of your shop. Let us partner with you on such projects as:

Small Parts Bending

Handrails

Bike Racks

Supplemental Fabrication
(cutting, trimming, coping, end finishing, drilling, small part welding, etc.)

WE CAN WORK TO YOUR BUDGET NEEDS….you tell us where our price needs to be to meet your budget requirements and we will figure out a way to get it done at that price.
IF LEAD-TIME IS A CONCERN, HAVE NO FEAR….you tell us when you need it and we will allocate the crew required to meet your needs.

Supplemental Steel Fabrication

Supplemental Steel Fabrication

Supplemental Steel Fabrication

Meet Brian and Jaime Smith-March Madness…Size Doesn’t Matter, Big or Small!

We are basketball junkies in our family and we love watching March Madness! We love it because all scenarios are represented: big history-rich dominating schools vs. small underdog first timers, big boisterous coaches vs. the silent tactical types, and big 7-footers vs. small point guards. This last scenario is true in our family as I stand at 6’6″ and Jaime almost a foot shorter. You can see below why Jaime, who actually played D1 college basketball, implemented a “no shot blocking rule” when we first started dating!!

Meet Brian and Jaime Smith

We think that this big vs. small comparison carries over so well into our business because we have the capability to bend steel for many different scenarios as well: big high-profile structural steel projects vs. small precision parts for manufacturing and industrial applications, large projects with mass quantities of bends vs. small one-piece bends for a one-time job and we are also a small, family owned business, yet we are the premier bending expert in the entire nation. No matter the job, big or small, we would love the opportunity to be Your Bending Expert.

DOWNLOAD OUR SPECIAL OFFER! FREE WHITE PAPER ON STEEL BENDING!

Click thru to the brochures section of our website or on the image below to be directed to our website and download your FREE White Paper titled “EXPER(imen)T: Why You Should Use a Bending Expert vs. Buying Your Own Equipment. If you are a manufacturer or even a structural fabricator looking to purchase your own bending equipment, this is an offer you don’t want to miss!

whitepaper_useabendingexpert

We Get It, You’re Busy!-That is Why We Value Your Time (Video Conferencing At It’s Best!)

As 2017 winds down, we would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you. We hope to have the pleasure of doing business with you for many years to come. As we reflect on the many relationships we built upon this past year, the very interesting and high-profile projects we have been a part of, as well as the challenges and obstacles we faced along the way, we are thankful that we had such a great customer base to share those experiences with. We are looking forward to a new year that will certainly bring its own set of adventures, but we are ready!

WE GET IT…YOU ARE BUSY! THAT IS WHY WE VALUE YOUR TIME. It seems anymore that there isn’t just a “busy time of year”, every day, throughout the entire year is busy! We get that you are being pulled in many different directions with work, family, fun activities, etc. That is why we want you to know that WE VALUE YOUR TIME and boy do we have a gift for you this holiday season!

The visionary concept of “videotelephony” was first popularized in the late 1870’s in both the United States and Europe. The first systems were developed by AT&T Corporation, first researched in the 1950’s, and failed mostly due to the poor picture quality and the lack of efficient video compression techniques.

Today’s video conferencing systems are no longer just for webinars. Albina has invested in a system that makes video conferencing as simple as one click in an email. Even if you do not have a camera on your end, our video call allows you to see our smiling face, while we both can talk like a telephone call. But it can go much further than that!

We can share our screen with you to review drawings
We can link you to our shop cameras so that you can see your job in progress
We can teach you how to use the calculations application inside our website
We are still learning how this can bring even more value AND respect your time.

Click on this YouTube Video to see a brief example of what we are now able to accomplish (and at the same time, receive my holiday well wishes via video!)

Never tried a video call? Drop us a line and we would be happy to show you.

Meet Brian and Jaime Smith- There is Always Something for Which to Be Thankful

We live in a very uncertain world right now, but we try to remind ourselves every day that “There is Always Something for Which to Be Thankful.” We can only control what goes on in our own little circles of life and it is more important now, more than ever before, to take the time to say “Thank You” to the people who have made an impact or impression on either our personal or professional lives. We are thankful….

For our Loyal Customers: We truly appreciate your business, and we’re grateful for the trust you’ve placed in us. We are looking forward to another strong year and continuing our joint efforts to add the functionality, beauty, and drama of curved steel to the building and manufacturing worlds!

For our Outstanding Vendors: We are thankful that we have such a strong vendor base to meet, and often times exceed, all of our daily business needs. We value the relationships we have spent years building and hope that 2018 brings continued new projects and growth.

For our New Customers: “Thank You” for giving us a shot to be your steel bender of choice! We hope that your experience was a positive one and that we can continue to service your steel bending needs at the highest level. We are thankful for you giving us the opportunity to show you what we can do for you.

For our Employees: Our employees are part of the Albina family and so many of us have been around for decades battling through the many ups and downs of our economy. We have a very strong team in place right now and we are ready to meet the challenges ahead whatever they may be. We are thankful and grateful for their dedication to the Albina family and the time and efforts they spend servicing our many wonderful customers.

We hope to have the pleasure of doing business with you for many years to come. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you.

Meet Brian and Jaime Smith- There is Always Something for Which to Be Thankful

We are Thankful for the Opportunity to participate in the Consano Organization- A non-profit crowdfunding
platform for medical research. We got involved in the organization when my father, Bill ,was diagnosed with a
desmoplastic melanoma, that lead to his eventual passing in 2011. Albina is grateful to the Consano
Organization for all of their wonderful work!

Meet Brian and Jaime Smith- “Be Part of the Experience (Part 1 of 2)”

Picture this…the first night of our family trip to New York City. We were sitting in a packed Carmine’s Italian Restaurant in the heart of Manhattan, enjoying the house red wine, the roar of the subway below us shaking our table every 2 minutes. All the great Italian meals you could think of and Jaime can’t have any of them as she tries to avoid gluten! She thinks about it for a minute and says “I am going to have some spaghetti and meatballs! I WANT TO BE PART OF THE EXPERIENCE!” And it was worth it for her to take that chance and do something out of her normal comfort zone, because it was an experience that we will never forget.

During dinner, we talked about this saying “I WANT TO BE PART OF THE EXPERIENCE” and realized that at Albina Co., Inc., WE PROVIDE AN EXPERIENCE FOR OUR CUSTOMERS. We are a full-service steel bending establishment and have every detail covered from the time we take your initial call to the time your bent material arrives on your door step. This is the EXPERIENCE you get when you work with us:

We reply to every RFQ (request for quote) received letting the customer know that we have the RFQ. If not already defined, we will ask when the bid is required. This will allow us to schedule our work flow to meet our customers needs.

Formal quotes are always prepared with great detail describing what the customer can expect from Albina if we are given an order. We never want the customer left to guess what they are going to receive from us.

Confirmations are always sent to the customer for their final review and records. Once a purchase order is issued to Albina your order is promptly entered so we can schedule your job and procure material timely.

Every order is reviewed by 3 levels of management (Scheduling, processing and QC). During review the details on a PO are confirmed to what has been entered on an Albina work order.

We ensure a promised due date is met by employing a full time scheduling manager. This scheduling manager assigns your project to a machine and to Albina workers. This is done very early in the flow of a project.

A project manager is assigned to every job that we process. The project manager will act as the point of contact for the customer regarding a project in process.

Proactive Communications. Project managers review the schedule daily and identify if a project is going to be completed after the promised due date. In the unlikely event a project is delayed for whatever reason, the customer is promptly notified.

All jobs are checked by QC upon completion and before they are turned in for shipping.

Savings via optimized shipping. The shipping manager schedules all of the daily trucks and ensures that projects are scheduled for trucks on or before the promised due date. Albina is frequently shipping all over the United States and Canada. The high volume of trucks allows our shipping manager to combine smaller orders onto a single truck saving our customers money.

Electronic tracking. After shipment, our shipping manager will email tracking information to our customer and emails MTR’s (if required) to our customer.

A follow up. Our job is not complete until you have your product and are completely satisfied. We view our customers as partners, and want open communications long after this order is concluded.

Next month in Part 2, we will share some of the ways we are investing to give you the ultimate ALBINA EXPERIENCE.

Brian and Jaime Smith- "Be Part of the Experience"

We recently took a family vacation to New York City, Gettysburg and Washington DC. We like to cover a lot of ground on vacations and take in as many sights as possible because we want “To Be Part of the Experience.” We walked almost 90 miles on this vacation to ensure that we saw everything! This particular day we started in Brooklyn, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, through Tribeca in search of Taylor Swift (Of course! We have a 14 year old daughter!), through Soho and the East Village, ate pizza at the famous Bleeker Street Pizza, and ended in Times Square! What a day!

“It Is Not a Question of Whether I Can Afford to Use Albina Co. for My Steel Bending Needs, It Is Can I Afford Not To?”

I would like to share a recent email that I received from a customer in response to my recent blog post titled “If You Are Persistent, You May Get It. If You Are Consistent, You Will Keep It.”

“Good morning. First I’d like to thank you for your recent support. I know a company’s attitude comes from the top. You have a great group of “how can we make it work” people.
It’s unfortunate that there is so much road between our office and yours. I’d be glad to share a glass of wine with you. The point of your news letter is well taken.
The only things I’d add is that your steel bending estimators are always available to help and frankly guide fabricators as to the best wall thickness, etc, to meet the challenges and provide the best curved steel finished product. This gives us the opportunity to include the cost of forming and shipping in the bid at the start. The other thing is pretty simple. It’s not a question of can I afford Albina Co., it’s can I afford not to?”

Meet Brian and Jaime Smith of Albina Co., Inc.-“If You Are Persistent, You May Get It. If You Are Consistent, You Will Keep It.”

STEADY & STABLE
I can’t tell you how many times I have had a customer tell me that they are going to have to pull business from us because they found a lower price supplier, that they are new to the steel industry and want to give someone else a try, that another supplier promised them a better delivery schedule or better quality. Whatever the reason, I always justify my price and schedule to the customer and then I tell them “We appreciate your business and our relationship, and we will be here for you when you need us.” The key word here is “when”, not “if.” I never have to justify the quality of our products or service, as both speak for themselves, and I can say with certainty that is not why we ever loose an account. A few weeks will go by, and guess what? I get a phone call that the new supplier can’t meet the delivery schedule, or that the product fails in comparison to what we were providing them, or they are going to go over budget for having to repurchase material and incur additional labor costs. And my response again is “We are here for you. What do you need?” Anyone can be persistent and promise you a better price, product or schedule to get your business, but can they be consistent and keep your business? Albina Co., is consistent, steady and stable. We have an extremely loyal customer base, and in the rare occasion that someone leaves, we almost undoubtedly always see them return.

Brian and Jaime Smith

Brian and Jaime love to explore the many amazing restaurants in the Greater Portland Metro area. They are foodies and love a good brunch or happy hour menu! This picture was taken at one of their favorite restaurants “Meriwether’s.” If you are in town, give us a call! We would love to introduce you to all the wonderful eats in PDX.

Meet Brian and Jaime Smith of Albina Co., Inc.-“Is Your Business Honorable? Do You Take Pride in the Service and Product That You Provide?”

Albina’s number one goal is to provide customers with competitively priced steel bending services resulting in quality products, on time. We honor our commitment to this goal by continuously fulfilling our obligations and meeting our customers needs.

We have a very high regard and respect for our customers, vendors and employees and we hold many of them in very high esteem as if they were a part of our own family. We are proud of the many partnerships and relationships that we have built over the years. The reason we have such longstanding relationships in the steel bending industry, is not only because we have been around for nearly 80 years, but because of the pride that we take in the quality of our work and the service that we provide on each and every job. We feel satisfied only when the commitments we have made to our partners are fulfilled. Pride is not only reflected by our team putting our hearts and souls into your end product, but can also be seen in our many efforts to improve our working environment and the community around us.

a) Albina Co., Inc. donates to many local and national Charitable Organizations including CONSANO, Meals on Wheels PDX, The Hunger Drive, Assistance League of Greater Portland, Sherwood Education Foundation, Local Sports Teams, etc.

b) We purchase steel from service centers in the USA. Our bent steel products are “Made In The USA” out of our facility in Oregon.

c) We have taken many steps to reduce our carbon footprint by reducing our power usage. In the last 12 months we have undergone significant capital expense to “do our part” by installing a 134.4 kW solar array and we replaced every interior and exterior lighting fixture / bulb with LED replacements.

d) Recent Upgrades to our phone systems and internal camera systems to increase our ability to communicate, track and share real time data seamlessly within our shop and externally with customers and vendors.

e) We have made huge efforts over the last few years to bring in new equipment, service/update older equipment, and we have actually designed and built our very own, one-of-a-kind, CNC induction bending process.

It is small companies like ours that will make American great again because we run an honorable business and we take pride in our work. We are all learning, that in this very difficult and scary time in our world, that it is the little things that matter and it is the intangibles that help determine who, what, when, where and why you should do business with someone.

Brian and Jaime Smith- Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July! We like to spend America’s Birthday with family and friends. We have spent many 4th of July weekends at the beautiful Oregon Coast, in the Central Oregon high desert, or just hanging around the neighborhood having BBQ’s and enjoying the amazing Oregon summers. We wish you all a happy and safe 4th of July!

“New-Shoring” Trend Boosts US Manufacturing Market

Unlike “reshoring” — which implies bringing jobs back to the United States that had previously left — many small businesses are “new-shoring” their products, which means starting from scratch right here in the States. Rich Thomas wrote an article titled “Why ‘New-Shoring’ Is the New School of Manufacturing for Small Business”. He claims it may cost a little more, but by locally prototyping and building the first few batches of your product close to you, you’ll be able to see and fix potential issues and confidently get your item to mass market.