Quality of our products and processes along with an added emphasis on continuous improvement are the way of life here at Birk. Among co-workers the term “quality” is all encompassing and means delivering a degree of excellence at every step of the way. Key performance indicators play an integral part in ensuring our quality is not only acceptable but is also being constantly updated to reflect a higher gradation of superiority. Each department within Birk manufacturing is responsible for generating, tracking, maintaining and reporting departmental goals which are appropriately aligned with the overall organizational strategy of providing quality products on time at a great value.

During scheduled management reviews and quality audits the performance of each department is discussed and reviewed in great detail. If metrics show that the objective is not being met corrective action and opportunities for improvement are debated by all of management until a solid resolution is determined. When the goal is found to be easily achieved time in and time out a new goal is established that has a higher degree of excellence. Furthermore, when an issue arises that is detriment to our success the manager of the affected department will not wait until a periodic review or audit takes place and will take immediate action to resolve the issue and institute controls for future prevention.

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In 2006, when Birk opened up its news 18,000 square foot addition to its existing building, it was decided that Engineering would move its offices from the front of the building to the new extension.  We had chosen the middle office at the rear of the new building because it was one of the larger rooms and we needed to house between five to seven people.  We were approached as to how we wanted the room arranged with regards to placement of desks, filing cabinets and shelving units, and then were asked how many cubicle walls we would need in order to separate the room.  We said none.

When working with the Birk Engineering Department, you are assigned to an engineer who will oversee your application and design engineering needs in order to deliver your final product.  Even though you are assigned to a particular engineer and may have only direct contact with one of us, in essence you are working with the whole team.  We have an open office floor plan because we believe the only way to provide you with the optimal design for your end need is to have an open forum. In this way we can all share our ideas with each other.  We always have open discussions about current projects and encourage this practice so that everyone can share their ideas and bring in past design experiences in order to solve our easiest and most difficult applications.

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Most companies have the desire to grow their customer base and revenues, but how you go about this venture must be very different for each and every company. Our company’s story is a smaller version of the Bill Gates one, who started in a garage much like the owner Norman did. Every day was a challenge then, every order was celebrated and every bill was paid somehow.

Now Birk Manufacturing employs about 75 full time employees that work in a new 33,000 square foot high tech facility, have health benefits, a 401K plan and profit sharing. It may seem cliche to say, call here and you will always speak to a real person, and have direct access to the engineering department, but you will! We remember the owner’s commitment and sacrifice, and realize our existence depends on the approval of our customer; we have to earn your business by delivery quality, on time and cost effectively. Birk Manufacturing company remains humble and very well prepared to deliver now and in the future. We have managed to maintain the small company atmosphere and compete in a world market.

Howard Birk

Vice President

The 5 Rules of Birk convey basic principles we feel are fundamental to doing good business.  They are:

1 – Customer First

2 – Help Each Other

3 – Learn New Skills

4 – Communicate

5 – Have Fun

I will write about each one in successive blogs and it’s convenient the first one is about customer service, since that is what I enjoy doing every day.

BIRK RULE #1 – Customer First

We hear the phrase “the customer always comes first” in many different situations throughout our lives, but here at Birk, customer service is really about company culture, and our culture is one of the things we’re most proud of.  We feel customer service is everyone’s job and the commitment to not only meet the customer’s expectation, but to exceed it, is apparent throughout our company.

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