Logan Industries has a well-established track record of taking in hydraulic machinery that has failed or is in disrepair, devising a solution and getting the unit back into service in short turnaround times. From monthly shut-downs to long-term asset management and planning, Logan has the in-house skill and expertise to handle any hydraulic repair. In part, this is largely due to the unparalleled ‘can do’ attitude of Logan’s Hadco division, which has become well known among customers in the steel industry and operates from a facility in Theodore, near Mobile, Alabama.
Whereas Logan’s Hempstead, Texas facility boasts a large engineering staff, focused on developing never-been-done-before patentable engineering solutions, Hadco is staffed by a dedicated team of 19 craftsmen who focus solely on executing ultra-rapid turnaround repairs on cylinders, pumps, motors and other hydraulic equipment, which makes up 90% of Hadco’s business.
The Hadco and Logan integration is an industry success story. “Bobby Hadley was the owner of Hadco prior to Logan’s acquisition of the company and today serves as Hadco’s General Manager,” said Dean Carey, Logan’s Technical Director, “and there’s no doubt that he has been instrumental in leading Hadco’s success to where they are today, having almost doubled their annual revenue.
“Each and every Hadco team member is exceptionally skilled, but every team has a leader, and if everybody’s doing great work, usually it’s because the leader is carving out that path to success for the rest of the team. Without Bobby’s unrelenting dedication and strong work ethic, not to mention his unshakeable set of morals and integrity, Hadco would not be what it is today,” Carey said. “He is passionate about the day-to-day work we do, and the Logan team is so grateful that he has continued to stay on as a General Manager since the acquisition. Logan is proud to have helped Hadco’s growth along the way and to be a part of them flourishing.”
Hadco’s customers operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and many do not keep a supply of spares. This means that the Hadco team needs to be ready to receive emergency repair requests at any time, day or night, and commit to turning it around immediately. A customer will often request that machinery is returned to them, repaired, by the next morning. In these instances, which occur once or twice a week, the Hadco team works through the night to deduce and execute what needs to be done, whether that be making a new piece, machining out a damaged piece, or cleaning, polishing, and honing. The team is skilled at both time and labor management. Some team members will rest for a few hours and then relieve other staff in a shift style, similar to a military-like operation that works around-the-clock, offering emergency service to customers experiencing unforeseen downtime.
An example of a truly collaborative effort between Logan’s Hempstead facility and Hadco was undertaken early in their history. A steel mill had machinery that required a major refurbishment, including a traveling hydraulic power unit that supported the rolls of steel as they came off the line and associated actuators and motors. The proposed refurbishment required the steel mill to be offline for around a week, which was a significant amount of downtime for the mill.
This refurbishment was one of the largest jobs that Hadco had ever undertaken, and they were required to enlist the support of the rest of the Logan team in Hempstead. The team worked 24 hours per day for 10 days on what turned out to be a very complex and demanding project. As a result of the grit and determination of the Hadco and Logan team, the mill was eventually brought back up and running with the machinery successfully refurbished and still in service today.
The importance of taking accountability
Dean Carey recalls how challenging the project was. “They had a coil transport machine that needed a refurbishment. For us, that’s a pretty simple job. The problem was, the work required a quick turnaround, and we only had seven days to do it, when we probably needed four weeks in an ideal world,” Carey said.
The Hadco team decided to pursue the project and attempted to pull technicians in, but they did not have enough staff to perform the job in seven days; therefore, the Logan team was brought in to support. Having never worked together or trained as “one” team, Carey said it was a “disaster in the making.” To make matters worse, a hurricane was forming off the coast and the ensuing flooding made simple things like picking up parts hazardous.
It took a few days, but the Hadco and Logan team persevered past some initial issues and ultimately began to work as a true team, holding each other accountable for their work. On top of losing time during those initial days, the team found substantial damage after taking apart and inspecting the machinery. Carey said, “There was a lot of rot under the surface veneer that we needed to address, and the more we took it apart, and the more we poked at it, the worse it got. So, the seven days turned into 14.” The Hadco and Logan team were forced to respond to anxious customers both via calls and in person, demanding a job status. The team continued to push through and repaired the machinery as fast as they could.
After rebuilding the cylinders and mechanical parts, re-welding the entire machine and re-sealing all of the valves, the mission was complete and the customer was back in operation. However, soon afterwards, the Hadco and Logan team was informed by the customer that the cylinders were leaking.
The cylinders passed the inspection, but because the team worked so quickly, the typical quality assurance and quality control checks were not performed, and the machinery ended up with frayed or threaded O-rings. Properly designed and installed O-rings typically either pass or fail pressure testing immediately. These were installed by passing them over screw threads and they frayed, which allowed them to maintain pressure during Logan’s test, but then leaked as the pressure seeped through the frayed portions. The team tested them correctly, but missed the longer cycle leaks on this occasion.
Logan asked the customer to send the machinery back to the facility. Carey explains, “This is our work. We’re going to stand behind it.” The customer could not easily send the machinery back because it was in operation, so they nursed it along until a quick break (planned shutdown) allowed the team to reseal the leak and make things right.
Although the repairs were made, the damage was already done to their relationship, and there was not a lot the team could do other than apologize, fix it for free and put it back into operation. Ultimately, the machine was returned to service, and it is reassembled and still running today.
Carey explained, “Everybody makes mistakes. I’m not worried about admitting mistakes, I’m more concerned about how we respond to them. In this case, the mistake was made because we were rushing. We took ownership of that, and took the opportunity to make it right.”
That is exactly how Hadco and Logan now operate together, as a team, believing in each other and standing behind their service and products together, making sure they hold each other accountable for work that is not up to the company’s high standards. After that particularly difficult project where there were people with differing personalities from different geographic locations, working together for the first time, Logan and Hadco learned the hard lessons and has worked like a true team since then. As a result of their hard work, honesty and communication, they now have the majority of this client’s hydraulic work. “I think it’s because we stood up and said yes, this is ours, we blew it, and we’ll fix it. And we did. We followed through on our promises,” said Carey.
Great minds think alike
Logan entered into Hadco’s story at a relatively late stage, and the financial and logistical support of a larger company has undoubtedly helped Hadco expand their building, inventory stock, and almost double their staff. However, Dean Carey is adamant that Bobby Hadley has been the key driver of their success over time. “When shopping around for a company to invest in, Logan looked for people that matched our own level of dedication to superior craftsmanship and all-round hustle, and we immediately recognized ourselves in Hadco,” said Carey. “Bobby Hadley built Hadco from nothing, very similar to how we started with Logan, and with hard work and skillful negotiation of bumps in the road along the way, turned the company into something amazing. We look forward to what the future holds for our continued growth together,” added Carey.
When Logan bought Hadco, the intention wasn’t to have two companies, one in Hempstead one in Mobile. The goal was to have one company, but with capabilities in two locations. “We quickly realized we needed a shop in Mobile. We also realized Bobby had high standards, integrity and character, and that resonated with us because our values were aligned,” said Carey.
Logan believes in treating its people as its most valuable asset, and those same values were apparent at Hadco. “People are important. We tell the truth. We do what we say. Sometimes it takes a while, because of the things we can’t control, but we’ve always done what we said and that impressed Bobby. Conversely, Bobby does the same and, in the end, that’s what tipped his decision to sell his company to Logan. If he says he’s going to do something, you can pretty much take that to the bank. And that’s the way we work too,” said Carey.
“Buying his business and working with him has succeeded, because of the two leadership teams. And I think when companies fail to integrate, it is usually because of the clash of the leadership teams. You can call it ‘culture,’ but it really boils down to personal character. Skills can be taught, capabilities can be expanded, equipment can be purchased, but character doesn’t change. Character is what we look for, and that starts with the management team. It’s the leadership team that’s going to get the integration accomplished. The rest of the company will follow.”
In terms of recruitment, Logan believes that if you can find somebody with integrity and willingness to work, you can train the rest. “I want people who step up to a challenge. Those are the people that are worth recruiting. It’s quite rewarding. We do some pretty cool stuff. It’s interesting work. We play hard when we’re off, but we work hard when we’re here. We like people who tell the truth and do what they say, just like us,” said Carey.
Bobby’s perspective on the integration between Logan and Hadco is pretty simple too. “The way I see it, the Logan team have never lied to me and they have always done what they said they would do. This is how I run my shop and my guys, and I expect it of others. Every time I have needed anything, Logan comes through – maybe not by tomorrow, or as soon as I want it, but they always come through. The integration between our two companies has been a journey of discovery for both sides. The thing that has kept us together and striving for the same goals is the honesty, the free and easy communication, and shared our values about what’s important –which is taking care of our customers.”
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