Much has happened at GenTex since my last blog. We have experienced a recession, triggered by the collapse of the sub-prime lending rates in the United States, the effects of which have been felt across the globe. In addition to the recession, we have also experienced a major drop in the price of natural gas and oil (which many experts agree is directly connected to the recession I mentioned above).
Like many companies, GenTex has experienced a slow down, due to the drop in the price of oil and gas, coupled with the effects of political policy changes and the volatility of our currency, as it continually fluctuates with the US Dollar. Fortunately, prior to the slow down, GenTex had started our "Lean Journey", and this recession has motivated us to speed up this process.
For those of you not familiar with the term 'Lean Manufacturing', it is described as:
'A systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste (non value added activities) through continuous improvement by flowing the product at the pull of the customer in pursuit of perfection.'
For GenTex, Lean Manufacturing means the standardization of equipment. GenTex is now building most of our equipment in modules, which allows us to manufacture and assemble our equipment more quickly, leading to shorter delivery time for our customers. Building in modules has also allowed us more flexibility, giving our customers the option to purchases either part of a hot oil or pressure unit, or the entire unit. GenTex no longer has to sell the full package, which is incredibly beneficial for customers who would rather use a cab and chassis from their own country. North American trucks are very well built and competitively priced, however if the parts for that particular truck are not available in our customer's country, then the truck is of no use to them.
Lean Manufacturing in Practice
Recently, GenTex has sent modules in a sea can to our agent-partner in Poland. Our agent-partner then mounted and assembled these modules on a European chassis, using drawings and technical support provided by GenTex. GenTex has also provided similar services to another customer in Argentina.
New Product: Heater
GenTex is now working towards developing another heater. We have hired an engineering firm to assist us in the design of this heater, and we are pleased to be working with a university professor with a PhD in Combustion, who's insights have been invaluable. This heater, once completed, will be a 20, 000, 000 Btu output heater, mainly utilized for heating extremely large volumes of water. Some fracs today require heating millions of litres of water, and this task can take days to complete. With a larger heater, like the one GenTex has been developing, this same task could be done more quickly, with less heating units.
On behalf of all the staff at GenTex, Happy New Year!