September sees SSC Laser celebrate a huge milestone. We are celebrating our 20th birthday!
Back in September 2000, Steel Service Centre Ltd was founded. With just one laser and a portakabin, we set off on a journey to support british metal manufacturing. 20 years on and we are a multi-skilled Laser Cutting job shop, specialising in both flat laser, tube laser and press braking all under one roof at our 35,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Hixon, Stafford.
SSC Laser Cutting (as we are now known) began when CEO Austin Jarrett saw an opportunity of a potential high growth market. Austin had become aware of Laser Cutting with his other manufacturing business, Turfmech Machinery, a groundcare equipment manufacturer. During the 90's Turfmech had started to use laser cutting and really began to embrace all of the advantages and benefits laser cutting could bring. They changed designs to not only be more aesthetically pleasing, but they also incorporated tabs and slots to parts to ease assembly, help with repeatability, accuracy, efficiency and productivity, whilst reducing the chance of errors. It also allowed Turfmech to sell some of its older equipment, meaning the space gained from from Guillotines and the Punch and Notch plant could be utilised for other value added operations.
As much of large manufacturing was leaving the UK and moving to low-cost countries, aligned with Austin's deep knowledge and understanding of what Sub-Contract Laser Cutting gives a small volume UK Manufacturer such as Turfmech, this is when Austin decided that it would be a great time to create SSC Laser. It was his belief that small, innovative engineering companies, with high service levels and quick response requirements would need someone like SSC who would be quick and agile and give these niche product and service businesses exactly what they needed to compete. He saw that laser profiling would be the perfect service to busineses where quick prototyping is needed with no up-front tooling costs and design changes are simple and fast.
The main goal was for SSC to be able to serve customers and partner them, without them having to make the substantial investment in machinery and infrastructure that is required in buying a laser. We also had the goal of providing exceptional customer service. We knew from the outset that we didn't have a product to differentiate ourselves from the competitiona and so we focused wholheartedly on service levels. All we do is cut metal and fold it and what we provide to our customers shouldn't be any different to our competitions work. With this in mind, we needed to make sure we have always remained very focused on quoting quickly, giving quick lead times and then making sure we deliver on our promises. We do what we say we will do, when we say we will do it and we do this consistently. We also believe in right first time, but we have always been realists and know that issues arise from time to time. If they do, our number one focus is and always has been, to get this sorted quickly for the customer.
So much has changed since 2000 and technological advancements have meant that lasers have become faster and so a real challenge has been controling the flow of orders and material flow around the lasers and press brakes to prevent bottlenecks and keep us as productive as possible. We've made significant investments in MRP systems to put control into the business and not only give us the chance to process more orders but it gives customers the reassurance of traceability of materials too.
Over the past 20 years we have dealt with some amazing customers, suppliers and our staff and we couldn't be any prouder of the work we have done and would like to thank each and every one of you. We couldn't have done it without you! We are now looking forward to seeing what the next twenty brings.