Built to Last: Customized Manufacturing Calls for Best-in-Class Partnerships
For Walinga, Inc. – a U.S. and Canada-based company providing bulk feed transportation equipment – customized solutions for its customers means everything. Known for “Building any body for anybody,” the Walinga team understands each of its customers has a unique set of characteristics demanding unique transfer solutions. With a global presence, Walinga’s mission is to build to each customer’s unique specifications at a fair price and without compromise.
To build custom configured, intelligent equipment, Walinga needed a partner that could deliver manufacturing solutions just as versatile and efficient as its own. Their partner of choice for nearly a decade: ALM Positioners – the industry-leading provider of large-scale welding, fabrication and inspection positioners, guaranteed to increase manufacturing productivity, safety and ergonomics.
For Niels Heerema, Walinga’s Department Manager of Manufacturing and Industrial Engineers, the value of the partnership goes far beyond the best-in-class positioners.
“When choosing a partner, the value beyond the product is critical. We need to know whether or not we’re able to build a relationship and if they (the partner) are able to provide the support we need day in and day out,” said Heerema. “ALM has shown us time and time again they’re that partner.”
Arriving at solutions together
Over the years, ALM Positioners and Walinga have worked together on several projects to find innovative solutions that benefit both companies.
“We’ve definitely developed a collaborative relationship with ALM,” Heerema said. “We’ll present a scenario to their team, and they’ll work to integrate a custom solution with what we’ve developed so we can arrive at solutions together. We see great benefits in the ability to toss ideas back and forth and build on each other’s strengths.”
As a company that prioritizes building lasting relationships with its customers in a similar fashion to ALM Positioners, trust and support is just part of the business for Walinga.
“We see all business as a partnership,” Heerema said. “This is what we try to establish with our customers. It just makes sense that we’d prioritize this with our partners as well.”
Our gain is their gain
Gary Pavlick, ALM’s Northeast Regional Manager, has worked hand-in-hand with Heerema and the Walinga team since the partnership began.
In his role, Pavlick serves as the primary contact for multiple customers – some with very standard needs and some that demand highly customizable solutions to increase productivity, safety and ergonomics.
“When I look back over my career, the projects that require problem solving and collaboration from both our team and the customer’s team are the most rewarding,” Pavlick said. “Once we get a concept to a certain level, I’ll bring in my team and Niels brings in his, then together, we land in a better place. Great resources and a deep bench on both sides – that’s what makes the partnership with Walinga so successful.”
Recently, Walinga and ALM worked together on a project with a multitude of constraints. While Walinga originally preferred a very custom solution, open communication between the two teams made it clear that a more standard, cost-effective option was actually more beneficial.
“I’m not doing my job unless I’m trying to look out for our partners’ best interest,” Pavlick said. “Walinga puts their trust in us and that trust allows us to have an honest conversation, even when it’s one of those hard ones. That’s what allows us to collaborate so well.”
The Walinga team looks forward to collaborating for years to come with ALM.
“ALM views our gain as their gain, and vice versa,” Heerema said. “We put much emphasis on improving the manufacturing environment and ALM plays an important role in that. They’re constantly adding value.”