Home Month and Year July 2023 The Evolution of Allied Metal Ltd

The Evolution of Allied Metal Ltd

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Photos by Riverwood Photography

With nothing but a manual brake, single-hit punch, air shear and a commitment to produce quality metal products, Ed Ireland started Allied Metal Ltd in 1968. Since then, the company has attracted a team of perfectionists with a shared vision to operate a company that redefines the standards of quality and service in manufacturing. Over the past 55 years, they have worked together to grow Allied into the industry-leading business it is today.

For 20 years, Ireland built a reputation for quality and service for the company before selling it to Dave Meyer Sr in 1988. Meyer Sr launched a period of growth and modernization that included doubling the size of the facility and buying Allied’s first CNC punch press – an incredible piece of technology for the time – to propel Allied forward. His son, Dave Meyer Jr, took over the operation in 2000 with partner Brian Jones and continued to upgrade equipment to keep up with the ever-changing industry.

Allied soon welcomed new president, Bernard Deschner, whose vast sheet metal manufacturing experience helped grow the company even more. The facility doubled to 6,000 square feet, and doubled again in 2010 to 12,000 square feet, as the company continued to grow and modernize the shop. It was at that time Deschner’s long-time protégé, Glen Brooks, came on as General Manager of Allied Metal Ltd.

“When I started working with Bernie over 20 years ago he owned the largest sheet metal manufacturing company in Western Canada. He showed me design, estimating and the ins and outs of the business, so when he decided to retire in 2018, Dave Meyer brought me on as a partner and that’s when I fundamentally started making changes,” says Glen Brooks, president of Allied Metal Ltd.

What started as a small operation in a 1,500-square-foot facility in 1968 has ultimately all but outgrown its current 25,000-square-foot space as it expanded the welding department, added a crane, introduced an in-shop powder coating system and brought on more of the latest manufacturing equipment including full CNC punch presses, a CNC laser and brake presses. At the same time, the company was awarded UL50E certification which expanded its offerings to include CSA-certified electrical enclosures. This certification allowed Allied to offer a larger degree of component customization to create the best tailor-made solutions and the company grew exponentially.

“Through 2021 and 2022, we saw almost unsustainable growth. All of a sudden the flood gates in Alberta opened and we went gangbusters,” he says.

Allied enjoyed 188 per cent growth during that time; the team was faced with the challenge of attracting additional staff to accommodate surging demand while still maintaining the high service and quality levels that spurred the growth in the first place. Allied continued to provide superior products to its long-time customers while bringing new ones into the fold during one of the most challenging economic times for Alberta businesses.

“All at once, everyone was coming to us and we were watching other companies that used to be competitors slowly closing their doors. We’re so thankful for our customers for supporting us the way they did. We were right to focus on quality,” says Selina Kirton, business administration manager for Allied Metal Ltd.

What they are doing right is applying 55 years of expertise and experience to a wide variety of projects for Allied’s client base. Over the past decade, Allied has diversified the business significantly and while it continues to value and serve its oil and gas clients, the company has also branched into electrical components like high voltage switch gears and custom lighting consoles, building recovery tanks for restoration trucks and producing micro-canning solutions and framework for brewing systems.

The company covers the gamut of precision sheet metal fabrication services including laser cutting and shearing, CNC punching, forming or bending metal and welding pieces together for assembly. Allied also expanded to include in-house powder coating so it can offer the add-on service of an attractive and protective finish for customers’ projects. On top of that, it also has trusted external finishing vendors that allow the company to offer clients full turn-key solutions.

Allied prides itself on building strong relationships with suppliers and clients so the team can provide incredible products and unparalleled service. The company gives the same level of personal attention whether they are supporting their large clients with operations in Chile, Texas and Mexico or they are helping grow a small company located just down the street. As Allied grows its international presence, the team ensures it always takes care of its clients at home.

“Our vision statement is we want to be globally recognized as a company that changed the quality and service standards for manufacturing. That’s what we focus on,” he says.

Providing quality that they can be proud of is a pillar of the company, and Allied is one of the few sheet metal fabricators to qualify for ISO9001 certification to reinforce this focus. This designation shows clients how seriously the company takes quality standards and Brooks and his team strive to be the gold-star standard of quality in manufacturing.
The team knows that products are only as good as the staff making them. Allied invests heavily in in-house training in order to maintain high quality levels across the organization, all the while working toward getting the precision sheet metal trade certified at a technical school to grow the industry in the future. The company promotes from within whenever possible, pays above-average salaries with generous overtime policies, and is thinking outside the box to increase employee engagement while promoting even more of a work-life balance.

“We try to show our people how much we value them and what they do for us, because without them nothing gets made,” he says.

The company is also looking at upgrading equipment and moving toward integrating more automation into its processes. Precision sheet metal work takes a toll on the body and automating will transition staff to positions of material handling and front-office support while the equipment does the heavy lifting.

As technology advances the industry, Allied has kept pace by exploring the latest equipment to see how it can add value for clients. The team has also looked online to stimulate growth, and the corporate rebrand in 2020 introduced a new powerful website that is driving traffic to Allied Metal Ltd and accounting for about 20 per cent of its new work. Brooks has also introduced a customer resource management tool that has resulted in significant business for the company.

“We want to really stay on the forefront of technology and customer service. The CRM we brought in was fantastic and has definitely taken us a step farther in the right direction,” he says.

That direction will lead Allied Metal Ltd to establish itself as the go-to precision sheet metal fabricators in the region, growing the business as it supports customers as they grow theirs. Even after 55 years in business, the management team continues to innovate and evolve the company with an eye to the future as it strives to becomes North America’s industry leader in precision sheet metal fabrication.

12-666 Goddard Ave NE
Calgary, AB, T2K5X3
(403) 291-3511
www.alliedmetal.ca

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