Navistar Manufacturing Facility
Challenge/Allied Solution: COVID shutdowns created material shortages that Allied had to navigate and overcome. Allied coordinated the design, supply and fabrication of significant tonnage amongst several suppliers and hundreds of design team members. A true coordination success story.
Pre-Fabricated Steel Manufacturing Facility
In 2020 Allied won the multimillion-dollar engineering and fabrication contract for Navistar’s pre-fabricated steel manufacturing facility in San Antonio, Texas. The journey to get there was competitive, with many opportunities to demonstrate character and capability, which Allied did with well-earned results. Navistar, an $11 billion-dollar company that employs approximately 13,000 people worldwide, is a major player in the truck and bus manufacturing industry, with an eye on emerging technologies. To meet their manufacturing goals, they needed an industry-leading, sustainably minded, manufacturing facility, designed to produce both electric and internal combustion powertrains. The facility would house amongst many things, a body shop, paint shop, general assembly shop, and logistics center, with efficient energy-use goals considered in both design and construction. To say the least, it was an ambitious project with many interested bidders.
Steel Building Supplier – Small but Mighty
Projects this broad in scope and scale typically involve a large number of participants and stakeholders. In Navistar’s case, four teams consisting of internal consultants, internal processes teams, a large consulting architectural group, and a large construction group, were brought on to ensure that the bidders understood the needs and requirements of the facility. In addition to being highly selective, the bidding process involved stiff competition amongst a select group of steel building suppliers and manufacturers including Allied who, with a lean 45 employees located across four countries, was the most compact and efficient at the table and also a relatively new player by comparison. Despite this, Allied brought with them an impressive portfolio of over 5,000 satisfied customers across 65 countries and over 20 years of experience in developing the skill sets to succeed, bolstering them with their own brand of confidence. Never one to overpromise and underdeliver, Allied underlined that they would be the first to raise their hands, should they at any point realize they didn’t have what was needed.
Allied approaches every project the same way: client-centric. Each team is built around the client, based on the needs of the project at hand. The bidding team grew to be a core team of 6 people, precisely assembled for their areas of expertise; from legal, to materials, to technical. Forming teams strategically around clients’ bid requests and needs is an efficient, meticulous, and systematic approach that has proven successful time and again.
Adaptability: the Key to Survival
The bidding process kicked off in February, 2020. Despite knowing one another as colleagues, this was the first time these teammates were working together on this kind of a project, not to mention remotely! With the majority of the team based in South Florida, everyone enjoyed a solid month of office work before the pandemic sent everyone to work from home. Rather than jumping on the Zoom bandwagon immediately, Allied’s bidding team met by phone, which actually allowed for more frequent and open communication (sometimes of up to 15 calls a week, including on the weekends.) The gained efficiency led the team to further adapt their project management process, shifting to a “Core team of 3” – one Project Executive and two technical managers – who were on all calls and communications. This adjustment proved essential to Allied’s success in positioning itself as a strong, trustworthy partner for Navistar. Having the consistency of the same core team across all meetings and discussions was not only an exercise in fluidness and flexibility but also ensured every one of the client’s questions and potential scenarios of concern were being addressed and mitigated, with room to make improvements and recommendations at every opportunity.
Transparent and Flexible… no, we’re not describing steel
This is not to say that Navistar didn’t have some reservations about Allied. Size was one concern as Navistar had initially envisioned working with a larger more prominent supplier, traditionally one who would have manufactured their own steel. While Allied’s innovative approach of sourcing steel through a variety of factory partnerships could have been seen as a sticking point, Allied demonstrated the flexibility and benefits of this arrangement, including a wealth of new options and solutions, which clearly resonated with the client.
The question of character also proved critical in the bidding process, with the disposition of each bidder put to the test often, as increasingly challenging questions or scenarios were posed. Allied rose to the occasion, providing unique solutions and often even foreseeing potential issues that other bidders had not considered, which gave them an edge and allowed them to shine.
One of Allied’s core values – perhaps its most important – is transparency. Character and integrity are the cornerstones of who they are and what they represent. The team is always intentional in their approach, careful to never oversell nor overpromise. Identifying the delicate balance between managing clients’ needs while committing to realistic timelines is the key to handling a project with competency and efficiency. Navistar’s required timeline drove the team to come up with new solutions that took into account the client’s needs, yet proposed tweaks to make the timeline meet expectations. This ability to collaborate, think outside the box, pivot, and offer different solutions, helped Navistar view Allied more than solely as a supplier but also as a design partner. The architectural consultants were particularly impressed and their opinion was a deciding factor in awarding them the bid. The partnership has flourished and groundbreaking in San Antonio took place on June 25, 2020.
Allied brings this same approach to every opportunity they are given. Focus on the client, build the team around the needs of the project, be transparent throughout the process when it comes to capabilities, concerns, or alternatives, and build a true and trusted partnership. Allied won Navistar’s bid simply because they exceeded expectations, but don’t take our word for it. . . .here’s what Navistar’s Program Manager Christopher Pellico recently said about working with them: “Allied has been a great partner in creating this benchmark masterpiece! Truly a talented and fantastic team to work with!”
203 ‘ x 1050 ‘ x 36 ‘
Square Footage: 21,3150
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