As we at Equipment Development Company- EDCO celebrate our 60th anniversary in 2019, we look back at each decade that created this longevity and set the foundation for where we are today and where we want to be going forward.
Continuous improvement (The 2000s)
After the turn of the century, the society continued to evolve, which forced EDCO and other manufacturing companies to adapt to the changing times.
In the 2000s, a large faction of the American manufacturing industry faced difficult times, especially during the Recession of 2008, commonly referred to as “The Great Recession.” Even before the late 2000s, economists warned that the United States could be facing the “gutting, hollowing out and closing down of American manufacturing forever” (Benson’s Economic & Market Trends, Feb. 27, 2004).
Some American manufacturers indeed faced that reality and closed their operations or relocated them to international destinations. At EDCO, we stayed the course, stayed home, and reflected on how to react and adapt to the American manufacturing industry that we deemed to be changing, not failing.
In 2007, EDCO turned to the concept of lean manufacturing to improve our processes and add value to the customers. In our 85,000 square foot manufacturing facility, we wanted to eliminate wastes in movement and processes to ensure that we were running at an optimal production rate, which would help shorten lead times on customer orders.
In addition to shortening lead times, we began making training videos in the 2000s as a visual aid to operation and maintenance procedures for our machines. These training videos were originally sent out on DVDs with each machine, but have since been adapted to quick response codes and Youtube links to make the videos accessible while on the job site.
Leo Swan, one of our co-founders, was named to the American Rental Association (ARA) Hall of Fame in 2006 after EDCO’s continued devotion to serving the rental industry. Swan’s recognition came 47 years after he exhibited the revolutionary dual-disc grinder at the third-ever ARA convention in Kansas City, Missouri.
EDCO added and redesigned several machines in its expanding product line during the 2000s decade. Among the additions came in 2000 with a floor-stripper, which later turned into an 8” Tile Shark, to allow customers to strip away floor coverings. Core drill rigs were added in 2007 to give customers the opportunity to core out concrete for applications including installation and plumbing.