March 11, 2010
Delta Metals, a Savannah manufacturer of commercial and industrial sheet metal products was established in 1959 and is southeast Georgia’s largest sheet metal and roofing contractor. Delta Metals operates three divisions: sheet metal fabrication, roofing and industrial maintenance.
When managers were thinking of ways to modernize their business and increase productivity, they had a pretty good idea of what would work. But since their idea involved purchasing half a million dollars worth of equipment, they needed to be certain it would work. To assist, they called on experts from Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2).
EI2 provided Delta Metals with market research to substantiate a need for the product beyond Delta’s then-existing market area. They also confirmed that the new process would result in substantial cost savings through an increase in productivity.
The management team took Georgia Tech’s report to its board of directors meeting, along with a marketing survey that identified potential new customers. According to Ben Wells, president, the Georgia Tech team verified the predicted cost savings and return on investment, prompting the board to approve the project.
Wells estimates the company has already realized savings from the investment and has increased productivity. Not only have the automation processes improved, but there is also a better flow of materials throughout the plant. The number of employees increased from 68 to 93.
“Sometimes when you’re that close to a project, you can be myopic. Georgia Tech provides a valuable resource to businesses wanting to expand or change product lines. Now we are much better positioned to be competitive on future projects,” said Scott Rasplicka, vice president.