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Case Study: Oerlikon

Swiss-owned Oerlikon and its 13,700+ employees at 170 locations in more than 35 countries expect a lot from suppliers like New Electric precisely because their own customers demand so much from them.

Oerlikon needs New Electric, a one-stop shop electrical contractor, because Oerlikon’s competitors will win the business if their coated automotive, aerospace and industrial components and products don’t meet their exacting specifications and 48-hour turnarounds times at least 80% of the time.

As Oerlikon, a firm with a long-standing presence in Asia and a strong foundation in Europe, has expanded in the U.S. and Canada, that growth has seen the forward-looking firm grow from four to 17 plants in the U.S. in just 22 years.

Since 2010, Oerlikon has been relying on New Electric because New Electric recognizes the consequences if Oerlikon doesn’t meet customers’ expectations. New Electric’s four U.S. branches (80 employees) and seven Canadian locations (190 employees) combined with its 45 years in the industry ensure it has the resources, experience and expertise needed to keep all of Oerlikon’s North American facilities up and running.

In the beginning, New Electric focused on electrical repair, scheduled maintenance and troubleshooting services. As Oerlikon committed to building and opening new plants beyond 2013, the company turned to New Electric to wire and power everything from production equipment to security, information technology, HVAC, ventilation, and lighting.

Most recently, New Electric’s work with a range of international of multinational customers and its familiarity with 110, 120, 203, 208, 400 and 480-volt equipment was put to good use setting up Oerlikon’s new plants in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Ontario. While Oerlikon designs and builds some machines in-house, it also relies on equipment that’s manufactured in the U.S. and throughout Europe.  New Electric seamlessly managed those installations, while that equipment had been a major problem for every preceding electrical contractor. New Electric even had to carefully and safely suspend three, 3,000 lb. transformers from the ceiling.

Unlike the many contractors whose service levels typically drop 50% within a year of winning Oerlikon’s business, New Electric consistently improves on its superior service. Their repair crews typically arrive onsite within two hours of receiving repair requests and they are on-call 24/7.

Year after year, New Electric simply listens, observes and asks the right questions rather than relying on detailed service parameters and service level agreements. They know what Oerlikon needs and when without being told because they pay attention. As a result, Oerlikon’s uptime has increased immensely while costs have dropped.

In addition, production technology manager Brian Schlebo has 25 fewer things to worry about and his stress levels have plummeted tenfold.

As Schlebo tells it, New Electric has really earned his trust and loyalty as Oerlikon’s one-stop electrical shop.