ADV.1 Wheels President, Jordan Swerdloff
Where do I begin? The past 12 months have been the most challenging 12 months of not only ADV.1’s history but also my own as well as our staff’s. The reality is, we’ve grown far beyond the capabilities of any outside vendor to support while at the same time handling work from other clients. As a result of this being the case for over 3 years now, in order for us to continue to support the growing demand for our product, and continue to improve on our quality, lead times, product development, etc. we determined that it is absolutely necessary that we take all operations under 1 roof, from initial sale to finished product.
Since officially approving the plans to move forward roughly 1 year ago, we’ve fought our way to this point where we are finally able to begin seeing the results from all of the risk, long hours, and excessive stress we’ve all been going through in order to create a company that all of us, from our incredible staff, to our amazing key distribution outlets all over the world can depend on for years to come. We are finally at a point where we can confidently say we’re ready to begin the starting point of a new company, a company that has never existed before in this industry with the capabilities we have to engineer, produce and provide wheels made to order, with equal or better than OEM quality standards, in a never before heard of or seen lead time average of under 2 weeks. Full in house production implementation has begun March 1st, 2016.
PRODUCTION IMPROVEMENTS: We are currently in a position we have never been in before, with the ability to produce more wheels than our demand currently dictates. ADV.1 has always been subject to the production limitations and ultimately, the ability of outside vendors to keep up with our growing demand and steadily increasing volume. For the first time ever this is no longer the case. We can produce over 1000 wheels monthly with our current production staff, equipment and output capacity. This is slightly under a 100% increase from our best production months previous to this point. Additionally, growing beyond this point is as easy as adding additional equipment to keep up, which at this point is nothing more than a phone call and a few weeks lead time for delivery of additional lathes / mills to be added.
The engineering department at ADV1 has made some exciting developments in the past year. Our experience in finite element analysis in conjunction with TUV physical testing has allowed us to produce some radical, unique, badass designs that really make a car stand out while maintaining a robust, durable wheel that we’ve all come to expect. The technique we’ve learned has helped us tremendously in reducing leadtime in developing both our ADV1 designs as well as new private label designs.
Tom Van Ryn
As the Product Design Manager I’m tasked with coordinating all design and engineering efforts. That means I get to design a lot of things that are never produced, humor Jordan when he has a wild thought, and start a lot of conversations with, “…so I had this idea…”. I also have to keep in mind all of the ways the engineering team will tell me how we can’t do things, and then figure out ways to do them anyway.
For the last couple years our designs have been subject to full FEA (Finite Element Analysis) testing, allowing us to optimize style, strength, and stiffness. This experience and knowledge has allowed us to build stronger, lighter wheels, and we are applying this expertise to everything we develop.
For 2016 we will be streamlining our offerings, while continuing to push the design envelope. We have new forgings, new styles, and new features in development that will trickle down to other wheel companies in the coming months and years. We are developing new relationships with prominent dealers, suppliers, customers, and race teams. Here are a couple quick peeks into the future!
(include attached pictures or partial pictures only with Jordan’s approval, if necessary I can include some other pics)
LEAD TIME IMPROVEMENTS: etc all from the emails you guys sent over with input.
With all production steps now under 1 roof, managed and operated by our own staff without the dependancy of outside vendors we can confidently say that by 4/1/16, our lead times will dramatically decrease. ADD INPUT FROM MIKE / IAN’S EMAILS AND ANY OTHER INFO YOU FEEL RELEVANT.
Dear ADV.1 Customers,
ADV.1 Wheels is pleased to announce that 2015 was its biggest sales year ever. It is dealers like you that made it possible. Our most heartfelt thanks and appreciation.
In fact, a sales explosion in December surprised all of us and caught us flat-footed regarding forged blank inventory. That has caused some production delays while we play catch up with our forging vendor.
We beg your forbearance and understanding while we fix this.
We made many aggressive changes in 2015. We opened a complete manufacturing facility in Miami so we can, over time, take complete control of our lead times and product quality.
We set up a complete powder coat facility in Miami as well. It will allow us to drastically shorten delivery lead times and establish new industry standards for powder coat quality.
At the end of 2015, we implemented Netsuite at ADV.1. This is a complete ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system that keeps track of every aspect of our business from Lead management, Sales, Production control, engineering work flow and every minute step in the manufacturing process. It enables us to know where every Order is at every moment, while managing quality at every step, in Real Time.
In the coming months, we will open the ADV.1 Customer Portal in Netsuite, allowing you to log into the system 24 hours per day and create your own estimates, check the status of any order (down to which machine your wheels are on) and get copies of invoices, sales orders, statements, etc.
All these new things have also placed us under a some financial stress, but nothing we can’t handle. We’re building the world leader in customer wheels and you’re going to love being on our team in 2016.
In 2015 we brought machining in house and it drastically changed the way our company operates. In 2016 we are bringing the last pieces of the puzzle under one roof. The new finishing department was built with the highest quality equipment. With a state of the art powder booth and application gun that will allow us to create better, smoother finishes while being much quicker at doing so. Our convection-style oven circulates the air so every part is evenly heated. This will not only create a more uniform color, but will ensure that each part has fully cured powder in every area for solid durability. Our pre-treatment station will not only get every single part completely contamination free before powder coating, but the chemistry applied to the part will ensure any wheel finish will last through harsh environmental conditions.
We will be forecasting and scheduling each day from the moment the order is input so we can run every order as efficiently as possible. With the experience we have gained and the processes we have developed monitoring an outside vendor, we will be able to instantly apply that to our own work. The results will be seen immediately and the full control that we have never had before will allow us to reduce the lead times drastically. Most importantly, we will be able to give REAL ETA’s and stick to them.
Warranty and Repair orders will be much quicker then they are now as well. If you want a new finish we came out with, or just want to freshen up the finish you do have, no longer will it takes weeks to complete.
Our assembly process follows strict guidelines. From valve hole placement in relation to the ADV.1 logo on the wheel, to torque settings. Every torque wrench is calibrated daily and each fastener will be checked multiple times to ensure the correct torque has been applied. We have changed the way we finish fasteners so they will be much cleaner and have a smoother finish on the bolt head. Safety is our main priority when assembling wheels and we take many precautions to ensure our wheels will operate as intended.
Our Quality Control Department will be extremely strict on what will pass our standards. With everything being in house, if something is not up to our standards, it will be able to go back into production to be corrected with the utmost urgency. Every detail of each order will be checked, and signed off before it can be sent out. From correct PCD to a blemish-free wheel, all aspects will be checked and cross referenced to the order input. We will then place a signed QC PASSED sticker on each bead seat. Every client will be able to easily reference any and all of their QC data on our website by using their PO number.
Packaging is another area that we are working on improving on. We are in the works designing new packaging that will protect the wheels above and beyond the conditions they face in shipping. This, coupled with our new double walled boxes with our own design on them that we have already been rolling out, will provide security, protection and a better overall presentation to each and every client.
New finishes are always in development. We will now be able to really get into testing and developing new finishes and improving existing finishes, all while creating a streamlined color naming convention that will make it extremely easy to decipher what each finish is to reduce confusion in our lineup. Colors like Cognac and Espresso have already gotten a lot of popularity with our clients, but we have even more in store. We will be expanding our two-tone finishing ability of even more options to allow the exact finish set up every client wants. The finishes at SEMA 2015 were nice, people loved them, but what we have in store for SEMA 2016 will be game-changing.
Custom Misc. items that we offer are just another facet of our wheels that allow expanded customization of each set. Such as custom caps and specialty colored fasteners in powder will all be done in house now. No longer will an order need to wait on a set of caps. Our new method of fastener finishing allows us to do virtually any of our powder finishes on a fastener.