The Wal-Tek Way: Our Systems and People Philosophy

At Wal-Tek, our strongest asset is our team.

Guided by our Systems and People philosophy, we implement quality control systems that help our team members fulfill their potential and become true experts in sheet metal fabrication and CNC machining services

While systems such as our AS9100-compliant quality management system and strategic planning position our company for success, it’s the individuals on our team who get us across the finish line—every time.

By hiring team members who are motivated to develop autonomy, mastery, and purpose in their roles, we’ve been able to take on a high volume of work and become the go-to supplier for a number of large companies. 

Here’s a look at some of the strategies we’ve used to build “The Team You Can Trust.”

Cultivating Micro-CEOs

Our team members are critical thinkers who assume ownership of their roles. We hire carefully and invest fully in each person who comes on board at Wal-Tek, training our employees to become micro-CEOs rather than button-pushers carrying out isolated tasks. 

To this end, we’ve designed a series of optional monthly trainings that any staff member can attend to further their industry knowledge. We also conduct strategic planning at every level so team members have clear metrics to measure their own performance and work against it in quarterly sprints. We’ve got a 10-year vision, a 3-year picture, and a 1-year plan, and everyone on the team works together to stay on track with all three.

Empowering our team members to be the best versions of themselves enables us to reduce turnover and strengthen institutional knowledge internally. However, we recognize that institutional knowledge alone isn’t enough. Which brings us to our next strategy for building a high-performing team. . .

Phasing Out Legacy Knowledge

In the precision machine shop of the past (and sometimes the present), information pertaining to a particular job was often shared with only one or a few individuals. Particularly in long-term partnerships, a shorthand developed between the customer and the machinist. 

The machinist could easily recall the information related to a process when a customer placed a repeat order, so documenting the process fully was considered unnecessary. Becoming the gatekeeper of a customer’s information also ensured a machinist a degree of job security.

However, as CNC machining services have evolved, such legacy knowledge has become increasingly problematic. Setting aside the fact that human memory is often unreliable, failing to document details from a work order for future reference can leave a company vulnerable to a host of problems in the event of that team member’s absence. 

Without strong document control, design changes a customer requested may be lost to history. The same goes for workarounds that helped an employee avoid a scrapped part. Other machinists, oblivious to past modifications or false starts, are at risk of replicating an outdated design or repeating mistakes they could have avoided. 

That’s why at Wal-Tek, we create and maintain thorough documentation that would enable any machinist to perform a task upon viewing it.

Living Our Core Values

Every person who joins our team helps us promote our core values of safety, teamwork, excellence, and continuous improvement. What does this look like from day to day?

  • Information sharing. Our employees complete exhaustive documentation of our procedures for use by the entire team. In fact, we recently published The Wal-Tek Playbook, a guide that documents every single process and clearly defines all roles at Wal-Tek. Any team member can turn to this resource and find all the information they need to perform a process that’s new to them.
  • Overcommunication. To create the strongest company possible, we promote open and frequent communication among our employees and with our customers. From the moment we begin a job, we conduct meetings several times a week to provide customers with progress updates and inform them of any potential quality issues. 
  • Start-to-finish quality control. From the moment we accept an order to the moment it ships, we maintain quality standards with our foolproof system of checks and balances. 
  • Keeping our promises. With powerful operational systems and document control forming the foundation of all areas of our business, we are highly attuned to our capabilities as well as our limitations. We never promise results unless we’re sure we can deliver because we’d never want to risk a valued customer’s order. 

Want to see our core values in action? Book a facility tour with Bryce Eddy.

Interested in working with us? Visit our careers page

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