Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday #longread: the comeback of Marlin Steel

This story from Fast Company about a small wire basket manufacturing firm is pretty great:
The job that rescued Marlin Steel was small--20 baskets, a $500 order. Greenblatt was handling sales in 2003, so he took the call himself. "It was an engineer from Boeing," he says. "He didn't think I was in the bagel-basket business. He just needed custom wire baskets." The Boeing engineer, who had seen a Marlin ad in the Thomas Register, a pre-Internet manufacturing directory, wanted baskets to hold airplane parts and move them around the factory. He wanted them fast. And he wanted them made in a way Marlin wasn't used to--with astonishing precision. For bagel stores, says Greenblatt, "if the bagel didn't fall out between the wires, the quality was perfect." The Boeing engineer needed the basket's size to be within a sixty-fourth of an inch of his specifications. "I told him, 'I'll have to charge you $24 a basket,'" says Greenblatt. "He said, 'Yeah, yeah, whatever. No problem. When are you going to ship them?'"
What's kind of nice is that CJ favorite Megan McArdle covered this small firm in 2010; nice to see that they're doing all right now. (Also, read the article for some interaction between Marlin Steel and Pfizer/Zoetis manufacturing.)  

1 comment:

  1. Kash Alur - what an awesome name! I am envious!

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