Talladega Castings & Machine Co. (TMS GROUP)

Talladega Transitioning
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Talladega Transitioning
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Benjamin Franklin once said, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.” Such rationale would resonate with principals of an Alabama-based enterprise which began life as a small foundry and machine shop, but by constant focus on growing its operations and services, it has achieved distinction as a dynamic provider of quality engineered metal components, manufacturing services and source of industrial supplies. Yet, the company is now positioning for further growth and progress, and no doubt, the strategy here anticipates greater achievement and wider success.

Specialties Manufacturing Co., Inc and Talladega Castings & Machine Co., Inc (TMS Group), an innovative one-stop-shop for manufactured solutions involving quality metal casting, machining, fabrication and rebuild and assembly services  is preparing to reorganize in conjunction with a strategy to transition from great to greater. Principle Sam Yates says TMS is not only making adjustments in both the operational and sales development sides of the company, but also continues to develop senior management. “We’ve been investing in new machine tools, upgrading our facilities to increase our efficiency and capacity… and given our capabilities, we’re confident about the future,” says Yates. “Our strategy is relationship based vs project based, meaning we develop a new customer today that will hopefully be an existing customer three decades from now. With our captive sales force, experience inside service and engineering, our primary strategy is to continue to add value to our customer’s operations with our vertically integrated platform of capabilities.”

With respect for its inception more than seventy years ago, it appears there hasn’t been an era in which this Alabama enterprise wasn’t undergoing some remarkable form of evolution.  In the 1940s, it was known as Talladega Foundry and Machine Co. when it was acquired by A. M. Hocutt. After he formed a strategic partnership with a sales genius known as James Heacock, the company soon complemented its capabilities by becoming a leading provider of industrial supplies. Heacock went on to assume full ownership of the company and later directed further expansion of operations. Upon establishing a new foundry, Talladega Castings & Machine Co., Inc, he oversaw acquisition of a fabrication company which led to the development of Specialties Manufacturing Co., Inc. The Specialties Manufacturing division has since combined services of machining, fabrication and assembly within a three-bay plant that encompasses more than 125,000 square-feet of material resources which includes ten 15-ton bridge cranes.

Since the forming of TMS Wire and Cable Group in the 1980s, this division has become one of America’s fastest growing wire and cable service centers in the nation. This TMS facility can entirely rebuild or refurbish equipment, from annealers, accumulators and bunchers to spoolers, stranders, rewinders, etc. With help from its manufacturing divisions, TMS is able to manufacture replacement OEM parts whether it is gears and shafts or sheaves, pull blocks and much more.  On-site cost estimations, in-house or on-site rebuilds, plant evaluations, spare parts and machinery installations – all of this can be accommodated by TMS.

TMS Group is  an industry leading resource in manufacturing for every major market segment, both commercial including rail, mining, power generation, oil & gas, wire & cable, aluminum reduction, heavy equipment, and military TMS is an ISO-certified, vertically-integrated company that spares it customers from unnecessary expenditures of time, money and headache through its incorporation of casting, machining, fabrication, heat-treating, assembly and quality assurance testing, all under one roof. “We offer a full plate of products and services so our customer doesn’t have to shop multiples sources … nor experience difficulties if something goes wrong with a part … our ability to complete everything in house, and correct any issue should it occur, means the customer will always receive a completed part that complies with design specifications on-time and in faster time than someone else can provide,” says Yates.

To put the singularity of TMS in perspective, Yates explains that throughout North America, there are some 21,000 companies specializing in machining, but in terms of those that can pour up to 4,000 lb casting, and offer machining, and fabricating, there are only a little more than 20 companies in America capable of such performance, even less in terms of being a second-generation family owned enterprise. Yates is the son-in-law of James Heacock who has since retired from TMS, yet his values on growing long-term relationships and growing operations to offer greater service to those customer relationships continues to serve as the foundation for the business.

In terms of the future, Yates says the company has weathered the impacts that so many manufacturers felt in the recession, and is thankfully positioned for further growth. “We’re very optimistic about the next few years. We came out of the recession leaner, smarter and more efficient,” says Yates.  He says the reorganization will improve on the company’s ability to capitalize on opportunities in the market and expand its market penetration by partnering with OEMs that could uniquely benefit from the range of services, cost savings and convenience imparted by TMS.  As Yates says, “We feel reorganizing will help us transition to the next level and enhance our capability to control our destiny.”

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