March 3, 2006 –
The hurricanes that slammed into the Gulf Coast did an enormous amount of damage to homes and businesses in the area. Many were without power for weeks after the storms passed. Applied Industrial Technologies was called upon to help a customer in hurricane-ravaged Lake Charles, Louisiana with critical parts needed to restart a plant operation.
At about 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 29, 2005, Paul Hoogenboom, vice president-operations and chief information officer of RPM International, requested help from Applied® for an emergency need to replace electric motors. Carboline, one of RPM’s manufacturing companies in Lake Charles, suffered major electrical damage during Hurricane Rita and was shut down. Carboline relies on this manufacturing location to supply coatings and fireproof materials for its customers and distribution centers around the country.
Paul had been contacted by Carboline to help locate a source for the damaged motors because the company’s regular suppliers could not respond due to the hurricane. Paul knew of Applied® and their capabilities because he was instrumental in establishing a Strategic Account agreement with another one of RPM’s companies, Tremco, located in Beachwood, Ohio. Since Applied® had contingency plans in place to service the Lake Charles area, the only thing needed was the motor specifications to begin a search for the parts.
At 1 p.m., Paul faxed over a list of the 10 motors required (8 USEM, 2 Baldor) with instructions to do whatever it took to get the motors to Lake Charles ASAP. Applied® stepped up to the challenge and immediately referenced the www.Applied.com Web site to identify the motors required, which turned out to be chemical and hazardous duty motors. All the motors were promptly located, but in diverse locations of the country including Fort Smith, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee. The order was placed and delivery was arranged through an express freight expediter.
Working on site at the plant in Lake Charles, Bruce Hammersla, Carboline’s director of operations, coordinated delivery with the local sheriff’s department due to the curfew in place and security at the plant. The motors were picked up at both Ft. Smith and Memphis by 6 p.m. and delivered to the plant by 5 a.m. Friday morning, less than 24 hours after the initial call.
Soon after, there was a need for four additional motors. RPM called at noon on Friday with the request. Several of the motors were special orders and weren’t immediately available. Via conference call, Applied® located an alternative motor in Dallas, which turned out to be a more efficient motor. Using the same delivery methods as before, the motors were delivered before sunrise on Saturday morning.
The Carboline facility was back up and running in less than one week, thanks in part to the help and fast response from Applied Industrial Technologies and the cooperation of its suppliers. The amazing success of this project depended on several factors, not the least of which was having detailed and accurate information from Carboline. Their team at the plant was dedicated to getting the plant up and running, even if that required working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and eating and sleeping on site.
In addition to the Carboline team, a diverse group of companies pulled together to put a valued customer back in business. The motor suppliers were knowledgeable, responsive, and aggressive in providing alternative solutions. Applied®
and theirability to work with these suppliers to find and access information instantly saved valuable time. The transporting agent also understood and responded to the need for urgency, as did the government agencies that cooperated with plant officials to facilitate quick delivery. When a customer needs special attention, the responsiveness and teamwork of Applied Industrial Technologies can deliver.