Innovation in Central Louisiana: Hayes Companies and RoyOMartin Put Emphasis on People and Performance
Hayes Companies, Pineville
Handcrafted Solutions from the Hayes Companies
The Hayes Companies'
features 135 specialists in three divisions.
A national innovator in metals, The Hayes Companies transports customers far beyond the realm of cookie-cutter approaches to fabrication, machining, coating and crane services. From a manufacturing center in Pineville, Louisiana, Hayes creates solutions that continually push the boundaries of what’s possible.
The Hayes Companies began in 1954 as a small fabrication shop with four employees. Today, a 150,000-square-foot facility features 135 specialists in three divisions: Hayes Manufacturing, Hayes Crane Services and Hayes Industrial Services.
The company always adopts a mindset of going beyond what clients request and of investigating ways to improve the manufacturing process.
“We take a problem-solving approach,” says CEO Jimmy Hayes Jr. “I’ll ask, ‘What’s the toughest part of your manufacturing business? What gives you the most trouble?’ And from there, we find ways to address that.”
Hayes Manufacturing brings a problem-solving approach to all of its projects, from fabrication and machining to coating and cranes.
In one of the company’s biggest wins, Hayes solved a critical issue for a regional tank car manufacturer. In 2006, the company approached Hayes about producing a continuous plate to reinforce the bottom of each tank car. The existing plate was welded in two or three pieces, and the multiple welds threatened the tank car stability over time.
Hayes believed his company could produce the part as a single piece and for less. To accomplish the task, the Hayes team created a new machine to fabricate the part. Within a year, Hayes leaders had successfully designed and built the machine, and were fabricating the high-strength steel part exactly as the customer conceived it — a single, durable unit.
Accolades and Advancement
In 2015, the Frost & Sullivan Manufacturing Leadership Council awarded the company the Innovation Process Leadership Award for excellence in the manufacturing process. Today, making tank car parts constitutes 40 percent of Hayes Manufacturing’s business.
In 2013, the company announced a $3 million expansion at its Pineville facility to match the demands of large clients. Louisiana Economic Development’s Business Expansion and Retention Group (BERG) assisted Hayes via LED’s Economic Development Loan Program — a forgivable loan for recipients who meet performance targets.
Hayes also gained an innovative partner in the quest to get better: LED FastStart, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce program for nine consecutive years, which provided custom recruitment and training support.
Employee-Focused Expansion at RoyOMartin
ranks among Central Louisiana’s biggest economic drivers, in part because the
organization has prioritized talent development.
Land, timber and mineral resource company RoyOMartin ranks among Central Louisiana’s biggest economic drivers, in part because the 1,200-employee organization has prioritized talent development.
The 95-year-old company has a knack for developing talent in innovative ways. Based in Alexandria, Louisiana, RoyOMartin has crafted nationally recognized workforce development programs that attract, train and keep the right people on the job.
“A lot of people think that timber is our most valuable resource, or oil and gas, but those are just things that generate business,” says President and CEO Roy O. Martin III. “People have to run all those things. So we took that philosophy and said that we have to develop our people.”
RoyOMartin, manufacturer of oriented strand board, plywood and more, still says that people are its most valuable resource.
A force in the forest products world, RoyOMartin produces oriented strand board, plywood and solid wood products while managing more than 540,000 acres of Martin family-owned timberland.
In Louisiana, RoyOMartin has found optimum conditions to thrive. The state’s extensive transportation infrastructure — which includes six Class I railroads, river and sea ports, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and four interstate highways — helps the company get its products to market. Affordable energy, abundant natural resources and competitive state incentives have helped sustain the company’s success.
Innovative recruiting, training and team-building initiatives have also been keys to RoyOMartin’s success. For example:
- RoyOMartin University is an internal leadership development program designed to hone management skills.
- The company’s Pay for Knowledge and Skills program, or PKS, helps production and maintenance workers build their skills, perform better and advance within the company.
- The Certified4Success program offers paid training for future production team members in partnership with Central Louisiana Technical Community College.
- At the high school level, the WoodWorks program is an accredited, company-designed curriculum that teaches industry basics. It’s available to students in 16 Louisiana public schools.
“We have seen increases in production and quality, and decreases in turnover and safety incidents, largely due to PKS.” Martin says. “We’ve had great success with WoodWorks. Currently, 32 percent of our production team members at our Oakdale facility (an oriented strand board mill with 165 employees) came straight to work from high school through this program.”