Selecting a Chain Manufacturing Partner: Core Values Matter

July 14, 2021

Most successful business relationships have one thing in common: both partners have core values that align. And when business relationships go wrong, it’s usually a misalignment of core values that underlies every issue.

There’s a lot at stake when selecting a chain manufacturing partner. No matter how you interact with chain—an OEM using it in your end product, a distributor offering it as part of your product line, or an end-user—your business relies on it to perform according to your expectations. Your reputation and the safety of your customers and team members depend on the integrity of your chain manufacturing partner. 

This is why it’s so critical to ensure that your chain manufacturing partner acts ethically and takes pride in their work, and that their core values align with yours. Here are the characteristics to look for in a chain partner:

Innovation

A partner who values innovation will bring you access to the latest advancements in chain and motion control solutions. At Laclede Chain, we couple the drive for innovation with a deep understanding of how chain can be used to solve problems…and the metallurgy behind how it all works. 

Another one of the ways we support customers through innovation is by developing our own chain processing equipment that helps deliver faster turnaround times. For example, we created our in-house powder coating division to perform the secondary processing necessary right in our facility, lessening transportation costs and shortening lead times. Whenever a custom request comes up for a special process, we often can find a way to get it done. We also often work with customers to develop prototypes of new fittings configurations using 3D printing technology. This allows us to quickly determine whether a new design is viable for production without a large upfront investment required of our customers. 

Innovation is just as applicable when it comes to making doing business with your chain partner easier. For example, we use the mixed reality technology of the Hololens to allow your customers to witness their chain being tested firsthand, all from the comfort of their office. We are also continuously working to capture more and more data throughout the chain-making process with our proprietary system, Chainspection, so we can verify precision and strength every step of the way.

Loyalty

When selecting a partner, you want to choose one who is going to remain steadfast in their dedication to working in your best interest. In chain manufacturing, that means we constantly pursue innovation to bring you the very best products so you can deliver to your customers. When we’re working on tough challenges together, loyalty means that we won’t give up until we create a solution. In other words, we’ll never leave you hanging with pain points you’ve brought to us unresolved. 

Loyalty also affects how we operate at Laclede Chain because we also work in the best interest of our teammates every day. We strive to provide an environment where people feel heard and valued, which encourages tenure among our team members. The tenure of our team ultimately delivers better expertise and solutions for you.

Continuous Improvement Mindset

When you’re innovating new products, you have to accept that not everything that you try will work. Prototyping, testing, and interaction are all natural parts of the development process when you’re creating something new. In fact, we usually learn more from what doesn’t work than we take away from creating something that does. 

We apply this continuous improvement approach to our entire business. We are constantly striving to gain a true understanding of our customers’ needs, and with every insight we gain, we make adjustments to better serve their needs. This could mean creating custom packaging, adjusting shipment schedules, or refining certain aspects of the chain-making process. We’re also always listening to what the market is telling us about challenges waiting to be solved—for example, a few years ago we were hearing over and over again that visibility was a big issue for overhead lifting applications. And that’s how our Hi-Viz line was born. Finally, our team works with an entrepreneurial spirit, utilizing 2 Second Lean principles to fix the things that bug them in our operation in order to better serve our customers.

Proactive Reliability

Innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, loyalty, and a continuous improvement mindset blend to create what we call proactive reliability. Proactive reliability means that you can depend on Laclede Chain to remain a step ahead. This can refer to new methods for industries such as commercial fishing, new safety standards in construction, and many other situations. A proactive chain manufacturing partner will also be consistently pushing the boundaries to deliver higher and higher quality products. 

Finally, proactivity is key when it comes to providing excellent service. Having a team that anticipates your needs means you won’t have to worry about your chain so you can focus on other things in your business.

Do These Core Values Align With Yours?

If innovation, loyalty, continuous improvement, and proactive reliability are critical aspects of your business, and you’re looking for a chain manufacturing partner to support you, then Laclede Chain can help. We’re well versed in helping our customers solve tough problems, and we feature a diverse line of products that are suited for a variety of different industrial applications. Connect with your Laclede Chain rep today to get started, or request a quote online