Exceeding Expectations

A & R Metal Industries
Written by Ryan Cartner

A & R Metal Industries is a multifaceted metal processing and steel fabricating company located in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Being minutes from the Vancouver International Airport and the port of Vancouver, A & R’s 90 000 square foot manufacturing facility is desirably located near one of North America’s largest transportation hubs.
Founded in 1969, A & R Metal Industries has grown steadily to become a leader in the metal processing and steel fabrication industry. As a result of this long and successful history, the company was purchased in December 2014 by Equicapita, a private equity firm which provides A & R Metal Industries with the capital support to further expand its current services and grow into new industries.

“A&R has a long-dated history of consistent profitability and cash flows, strong customer and supplier relationships and, perhaps most importantly, is led by a highly experienced and capable management team. These factors represent cornerstones of our investment strategy,” says Greg Tooth, co-founder of Equicapita. Approaching its 50th anniversary next year, A & R Metal is poised for explosive growth and is committed to maintaining its reputation for impeccable quality and service in the years to come.

A & R Metal Industries believes that the secret to its success lies in a culture that is one hundred percent people-focussed. “I have always believed that people were, are, and always will be our biggest asset,” says Sudhir Lamba, A&R’s General Manager. “We have a very encouraging environment; we work as a team and promote a healthy culture.” Indeed, the company’s long-standing success can be directly linked to its people and the amount of energy, time, and resources the company invests in those people. A & R is proud to have a very high retention rate, and its workforce is motivated towards excellence in the job they do for a company that has earned their trust. A&R’s core values are accountability, customer-care and excellence.

Although A & R Metal Industries has the support and investment of its new owners, the company’s signature foundational strength lies in its quality products and impeccable service to everyone the team deals with: vendors, suppliers, clients, and customers. Due to the firm’s strategic location along the West Coast of Canada, A & R is able to source the best raw materials of the highest quality from all across the globe. Sourcing materials in this way has the additional benefit of being able to compete on price in the marketplace. A & R puts these materials to use in its products which include various tubing products, muffler guards, fuel tank straps, clamps and bands, steps, screens, safety handles and all sorts of polished decorative parts, used in various industries including heavy trucking, tube processing/safety, commercial finishings, architecture, agriculture, and automotive.

A & R is proud to be able to say that its powder-paint lines are certified by key clients, providing increased security in knowing that any and all projects undertaken in those facilities will be completed to the exact specifications of the customers. A & R places a lot of focus and emphasis on training its technicians in-house, and on always increasing the team’s breadth and depth of knowledge as it pertains to its ever-evolving industry.

A & R’s commitment to quality control is evident throughout every aspect of the business. The firm is currently ISO 9001 and ISO/TS 16949 certified, while also actively pursuing additional accreditations.

ISO 9001 is granted when a company demonstrates an ability to consistently meet customer and regulatory requirements and TS 16949 is granted when a company develops a quality management system that meets certain criteria. A & R meets these requirements by continuously providing products that not only pass, but exceed customer expectations with quality products and timely deliveries. These aspects of A & R’s business are only possible as a result of a sophisticated quality management system that includes the use of the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP), which is a standardized process in the automotive industry that helps manufacturers and suppliers communicate and approve production designs before, during and after manufacture. Its purpose is to ensure that the procedures used during manufacture of automotive parts will result in consistent production rates. A & R stays innovative and ahead of the competition by working hard to keep all of its certifications active and providing a superior quality management system that results in products that are reliable, affordable, and provide a competitive edge to customers.

An in-house Quality Assurance/Control team has allowed A & R to continuously innovate by being early embracers of new technology and advanced machinery, and adopting collaborative, streamlined advanced manufacturing methodologies such as Six Sigma. Six Sigma is a methodology applied to manufacturing processes to reduce waste and variability. It is a disciplined, data-driven approach for minimizing defects in manufacturing processes and is a measure of quality that strives for near perfection, resulting in increased efficiency and consistency in product output. Employees regularly undergo training on best practice techniques that decrease human error such as advanced computing methods in machine operations and the use of Standard Operating Procedures.

A & R has recently upgraded its welding processes and other operations, providing a safer work environment for its employees and increasing the efficiency of the overall manufacturing process. A & R’s services are expansive and comprehensive; its steel machining fabrication offerings include CNC machining, laser cutting, robotic welding, punch presses, sheet rolling, and in-house tool and die, as well as the ability to work with individual clients’ design teams to ensure that the client receives exactly what they are looking for. A & R’s agility in being able to provide this personalized, unique experience to clients is paramount to its high client-retention rate and the influx of new customers from across the globe. A & R’s clients hail from Canada, the United States, Australia, Mexico, and Europe, and they are expanding rapidly.

The purchase of A & R Metal Industries in 2014 has brought about an exciting time for the company, and its status as a debt-free corporation has positioned it perfectly to expand and grow. A & R’s new capital plan includes updating its assets and a plan to move into previously unexplored industries, all while expanding its current customer base. “It’s kind of a two-pronged approach: excel and grow with our existing customers, and use that expertise and foundation to expand into new industries and customers,” says Lamba. “We have aggressive growth plans, a strong management team, and union employees who are very highly engaged, trained and motivated to accomplish those aggressive plans over the next few years.” A & R’s signature foundational strength has been defined by five decades of consistent and continuous growth, and the team is well poised to use that existing knowledge and strength to expand while keeping its core values in place: accountability, customer-care and excellence.

A & R understands the value of the relationships it holds with its employees, its customers, and its partners in industry. The company recognizes that its success is a direct result of these relationships and putting in the effort to maintain these relationships is a guiding principle for the way the firm does business. With such impressive growth, the general management team at A & R knows that its people are the key, and that it is those people that will drive the business forward in the future.

“You can’t take people for granted,” says Lamba. “I’ve always believed that the success of any organization is directly related to the quality of its people.”



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