As 2019 comes to a close, we can't help but take a look back at the amazing year we've had at Fullerton and the promising opportunities ahead for this company. We've had a successful 77th year of business with a lot of accomplishments to celebrate, of which I've highlighted a few of those accomplishments below.
New CNC, Coating & Inspection Equipment
Investment in new CNC and inspection equipment has been a priority for Fullerton over 2019 with over $2 million worth of investments towards equipment. New equipment includes a Rollomatic 630XS, 2 - Walters CNC Grinders, Platit Pi411 Coating Chamber, Zoller Smile/Pilot 3.0 CNC Control Wheel Measuring Machine, Winslow Camera Inspection Gage, 2 Aeroel Precision Laster Micrometers.
Continuous Improvement of Production, Quality, and Shipments
Our commitment to continuous improvement has resulted in improvements in our production, quality, and shipments rates. In 2019, we have reduced lead time of custom tooling by 25%. Our catalog item fill rate improved from 95% in 2018 to over 97% in 2019. Our first-time quality (FTQ) to the customer has increased from 99.94% to 99.96%. Our on-time delivery of custom orders from 86% in 2018 to 90% in 2019.
New R&D Lab
Investing in R&D has been a priority for 2019. We have expanded our capabilities in research and development by investing in a Makino PS65 CNC, along with a Bilz ISG3430 Shrink Fit, Jergens vice and quick-change, and Spike Tool holder. This equipment will help us develop new tooling solutions, improve manufacturing processes for end users, and test parts for customers.
Extended Office Hours & Shipping Cut-Off Times
We've extended our office hours and shipping cut-off times to better service customers throughout the country. Our office is now open from 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM (EST), Monday through Friday. UPS shipping cut-off times have been extended to 4:30 PM (EST) for standard Ground shipments and 5:00 PM (EST) for Next Day Air, 2nd Day Air, and 3-Day Select Air shipments.
Invest in Future Talent
Our commitment to investing in future talent continued in 2019 as we continue to partner and support local colleges and high schools. We're always enthusiastic to bring in students and show them all the possible career opportunities within manufacturing and always willing to help support their programs through tooling and sponsorships. This year we participated and sponsored Middle Michigan's MiCareer Quest - a career exploration experience focused on Advanced Manufacturing, Construction, Health Sciences, and Information Technology. Over 10,000 local students participated in this year's event and were able to engage with over Fullerton team and find out more about career opportunities at Fullerton.
Implementation of Innovation Team
Improving our overall production practices and enhancing customer interfaces has been a focus in 2019 with the implementation of our Innovation Team. This team is working together to research and implement Industry 4.0 technologies and opportunities to improve efficiency, collect better data, and create more effective work environments.
Giving back and supporting the organizations that provide assistance in our local community was another continued focus for Fullerton this past year. Our stewardship committee contributed time, money, and donations to over 12 local organizations that help children, the homeless, assault victims, and more.
We hope you enjoyed some of our highlights of 2019, because we are very proud of them.
Thank you for all your continued support and commitment to Fullerton. We appreciate your partnership and we look forward to a great 2020.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!