BUFFALO, N.Y. — In 1998, Hebeler Corporation, a custom metal fabricator, had the unpleasant distinction of having made it onto the “10 worst vendors” list of one of its clients, GE Energy.
This year, the company with manufacturing plants in Tonawanda and Canada received the GE Supplier Excellence Award in Compliance.
The dramatic turnaround had a lot to do with the University at Buffalo and its Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE), according to Kenneth Snyder, president of Hebeler.
“If UB hadn’t been there, I don’t know how we would have done it,” said Snyder.
The company tapped into UB and TCIE through a lean manufacturing program, which focused on eliminating waste in procedures throughout the company. When purchasing the company in 2001, Snyder and John Coleman, his partner and CEO, were so impressed by the results that they restructured the management team. Its core business was built around TCIE’s Six Sigma Black Belt Student Certification Program.