March 28, 2024

Case Study: Helping A Major Food Service Equipment Dealer Overcome Production Delays


Johnson-Lancaster and Associates, a leading food service equipment dealer, faced a critical situation when several ongoing projects were found to be extremely behind schedule, leaving them in a time-sensitive bind.


Aero Manufacturing leveraged its expertise in custom stainless steel fabrication and offered competitive pricing to provide a solution that met Johnson-Lancaster's short timeline and budget constraints. Aero's willingness to expedite the projects and work closely with Johnson-Lancaster to coordinate multiple jobs simultaneously was instrumental in ensuring the successful completion of the projects.

Meet the Client

Johnson-Lancaster is a leading food service equipment dealer with a focus on contract work, such as large projects for hotels, hospitals, theme parks, and schools. They also work with large chains, providing design, procurement, and supply of commercial kitchen equipment. The company is known for being specialists in creating large-scale, custom-engineered assemblies.

A Deeper Dive

Rachel Gross, Director of Purchasing at Johnson-Lancaster, discusses how Aero Manufacturing consistently helps her overcome the many challenges that she faces on a day to day basis:

What does a typical day look like for you?

As the director of purchasing at Johnson-Lancaster, I oversee all the company's programs and partnerships, from managing vendor relationships and securing pricing to negotiating new deals. I'm deeply involved in the day-to-day operations, checking purchase orders to ensure we buy correctly and work with the right vendors for each project. I'm proud to be a key part of the Johnson-Lancaster team, it’s a great company to work for and I really enjoy my job – no two days are alike and I get to work with great people.

Can you describe the types of projects you typically collaborate with Aero Manufacturing on?

I work on a variety of projects with Aero. We have worked together on large-scale projects such as hospitals, restaurants, and universities. These projects often involve full fabrication packages, starting with creating the drawings, then building the equipment, and sometimes even moving all the way through to the installation. We have collaborated on smaller projects as well, and we also make use of the large inventory of standard items that they keep in stock. Overall, we’ve worked with Aero Manufacturing on a wide range of projects in the commercial kitchen equipment space over the years.

Can you share some more details about the challenge mentioned above?

Absolutely – we found ourselves in a precarious situation where we discovered that seven to eight of our projects that were being handled by a different fabricator were unfinished. In fact, they hadn’t even begun the manufacturing process. Aero was our first call – The projects required immediate attention, demanding extensive work within a compressed timeframe while adhering to a specific price point.

These were not small projects either, these were substantial fabrication packages, each with unique requirements and specifications. Some were for hospitals and universities, presenting a diverse range of challenges. Undeterred by the complexity and tight constraints, Aero took on the task.

They started off by meticulously reviewing the existing drawings. However, it soon became clear that they were insufficient to meet the revised timeline and budget requirements, so they had to start from scratch, redrafting the shop drawings to ensure accuracy and efficiency.

In the end, Aero’s team successfully addressed the challenges presented by each project, ensuring that the redesigned structures aligned with the functional and aesthetic requirements of the respective clients. We were able to finish all the projects in the short timeframe that we had and keep our clients happy. We really, really appreciated that Aero was able to step in at the last minute and bring the projects into reality.

How is it to work with Aero Manufacturing on a day-to-day basis?

Aero is great to work with. They really care about building genuine relationships, rather than just focusing on transactions. I’m able to have an open dialogue with them about what I need, and any time I call, they answer.

In your opinion, what sets Aero Manufacturing apart from other vendors?

For me, what really sets Aero apart is their commitment to customer service. They are willing to go above and beyond to help overcome any challenges that may arise, even sending their own installers to job sites if necessary. They won’t commit to something that they can’t successfully deliver, which makes me feel confident that I can rely on them if they sign on to a project. They provide competitive pricing and high-quality products, which has kept me coming back to them again and again.

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