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Longtime Tulsa company Slim Haney Machining to celebrate milestone
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Slim Haney: Business site to mark its 10th year

Longtime Tulsa company Slim Haney Machining to celebrate milestone

Major changes propel Tulsa company

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Customers of Slim Haney Machining Inc. not only get the special attention that comes from working with a small business, they also benefit from the best practices associated with bigger companies, sales manager Colin Jones said.

“That’s one thing about us — we’re a smaller company and we can still treat customers one on one. They still get the attention of a smaller place,” Jones said. “But we carry out like a large corporation.”

Located on a 3.1-acre lot at 56th Street and North Mingo Road, Slim Haney Machining Inc. takes 12-foot bars and makes them into small components for products in a variety of different industries.

Products include pieces for electrical, defense and automotive uses, but Jones said currently the most frequent endgame for the parts is in air conditioning units — he estimates 60 percent to 70 percent of air conditioning units across the United States contain components made by the company.

“Whether it’s residential, commercial or industrial, they’re going to have a Slim Haney part in it,” Jones said.

In early August the automatic bar machining business that was started in 1962 by founder W.B. “Slim” Haney will host a ribbon-cutting celebrating 10 years of operations in its current facility as well as its expectation of hitting a milestone $10 million in sales this year.

“The combination of 10 years in this building and breaking $10 million in sales is big for us,” Jones said.

During the past five years Slim Haney has undergone extensive changes driven by the process to obtain the elite ISO 9001 certification that the company earned in 2011.

Slim Haney Machining President Newton D. Box II said that pursuing the certification was a decision that stemmed from working with other manufacturers that already had the certification. They knew that going through the steps to get the certification would make Slim Haney a better company and a better supplier to customers.

“I can’t say enough about ISO. It’s made us a better company,” Box said. “But I really thank our customers for helping drive us toward that because that was the ultimate for them to bless us with some of their knowledge and experience going through it. They made us a better supplier.”

Other changes at the company include instituting a Japanese workplace organization system called 5S (for the steps of the methodology that it promotes — sort, set in order, shine, standardize and sustain), as well as Vice President and General Manager Dennis Brock’s step to start a Gemba board. Gemba, another Japanese term, is a key principle in lean manufacturing that helps a company track progress toward goals and allocate resources.

During the past few years, the company has also made physical improvements to its 20,000-square-foot climate-controlled building, has invested extensively in new equipment and has altered operation processes in ways that have enabled the workforce of approximately 55 employees to be more engaged.

“We are a team, and it’s like a fine-tuned engine out there,” Box said. “It just runs, and it’s only getting better.”

Box said values at Slim Haney are very important — “God’s first, our families, then our work and then fun” — and that they treat employees the way they would want to be treated, offering extensive benefits.

Box purchased the company in 2004 after the founder’s son, Gene Haney, approached him, thinking it would be a good fit.

Box said he had first become friends with Gene and Slim Haney in 1980 through his work at a metal company, but he kept up with the family even after leaving that job. The process to purchase Slim Haney wasn’t the smoothest — for example SBA small business loans were suspended while they were in the midst of the deal — but Box said that was later resolved and he was financed through an SBA loan from the Bank of Oklahoma.

“Everything worked out in the end,” Box said. “It was just those tests of faith — it really was — but it did happen. So that’s why I’m so sure that God was in charge and orchestrated the whole thing from 1980 to the day it happened. That’s what his plan was for me, to own this company.

Casey Smith 918-732-8106

casey.smith@tulsaworld.com

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