The Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association has named two Alabama companies as encore winners of the 2019 Supplier of the Year awards and a third company as the winner in the Service Provider of the Year category.
WKW Erbsloeh North America Inc., of Pell City, won in the Large Manufacturer category for firms with 200 or more employees, and Shoals Extrusion LLC, in Florence, won in the Small Manufacturing category. Both were the 2018 winners in the same categories.
Hodges Warehouse + Logistics, in Montgomery, was named the Service Provider of the Year.
ZF Chassis Systems Tuscaloosa Inc. was a Large Manufacturer finalist and Ballman Metals, in Florence, was a finalist in the Small Manufacturer category. Finalists in the Service Provider category were Air Hydro Power and NAOS On-Site Staffing.
“The AAMA Supplier of the Year Award winners exemplify the elite in manufacturing innovation, commitment to excellence, dedication to employees and community investment,” AAMA President Ron Davis said, adding that the awards recognize hard work and dedication of the employees, promote excellence in Alabama’s automotive industry and recognize winners for their outstanding achievements and increase public awareness of Alabama’s automotive manufacturing and service providers.
The 2019 AAMA Supplier of the Year Award winner in the Large Manufacturer category, WKW Erbsloeh, has been in business for more than a decade. Its more than 650 employees make and support production of aluminum trim and functional parts for the automotive industry. WKW also manufactures roof railing systems.
In addition to taking care of the technical side of its business and expanding its customer base, WKW supports its community and employees. WKW partners with Jefferson State Community College to support an apprenticeship program, implements an off-site training school, supports robotics training and offers tuition reimbursement for employees who advance their education.
More than 100 WKW employees participated in an internal leadership class, as well as training seminars at Jefferson State and other programs. WKW employees support local charities, including Toys for Tots, and sponsors a supply drive for two local schools.
Shoals Extrusion is a relatively new business that extrudes mill-finish alloy aluminum. The Shoals Extrusion team practices safety initiatives and creates quality products for its valued customers. Team members and the company also participate in community activities.
Shoals Extrusion has been in business for only four years. It began with two extrusion presses, producing parts for the niche market, and now has expanded to employ more than 50 men and women. Shoals Extrusion focuses on high-quality aluminum extrusions on time and at a competitive price, produced in a safe team-based manufacturing atmosphere.
Shoals Extrusion uses leadership development and an internal employee cross-training program. Its employees each week fill Shoals Packs with healthy snacks and deliver them to local elementary schools for children to take home on weekends, ensuring they have nutrition even when not in school.
Shoals Extrusion emphasizes a quality product, internal employee initiatives to improve performance and customer relationships, and service to the community.
Hodges Warehouse + Logistics is a family-owned company that has been in business since 1960. It’s a third-party logistics provider, a commercial real estate broker, industrial developer and transportation expert utilizing trucks, warehouse space and services.
Hodges is a 24/7 customer service provider that emphasizes safety in its warehouse and transportation divisions, utilizing training, communication, encouragement, on-road transportation monitoring, and daily warehouse safety meetings. Its employees are trained and receive refresher training on company and industry safety policies and procedures.
Employees also are trained in supervisory leadership and OSHA compliance and its diverse employee base has access to higher education, including college and paid-for college courses, conferences and workshops. Hodges also supports community arts, business and military organizations. Hodges believes its diverse employee base is good for employees, their community, and clients.
Hodges is proud of its 99 percent on-time delivery rate but is intensifying its research and innovation abilities to route deliveries to its auto supply chain in the most efficient manner.
AAMA awards were presented May 1 at the Alabama Manufacturer of the Year Awards luncheon in Montgomery, sponsored by the Business Council of Alabama and Alabama Technology Network.
Dana Beyerle and Bob Farley are freelance contributors to Business Alabama.