By Mike Vieira | Feb 06, 2023
Precision machined parts
With companies the likes of Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and other well-respected aircraft manufacturers in its roster of clients, A & D Precision’s Anaheim location is well-situated within the Southern California aerospace hub.
"We sit in a very good, localized area where we have a lot of product support for anything from raw materials to plating, to any ancillary services that we don't do inside our shop," says Vo, whose team focuses on the precision machining of small- and medium-sized complex structural components and sub-assemblies, outsourcing finishing processes and the like to meet customer's particular needs.
An AS9100D and ISO 9001:2015 certified manufacturer, Vo notes that increased efficiencies in manufacturing processes have allowed the company to improve the value it offers its customers while also broadening its client base. Since Vo purchased the company from its retiring founders in August 2022, he has made strides in expanding the manufacturer's focus. While about 90 percent of A & D Precision's work was in military aerospace when he took over, he has been making a gradual shift towards commercial aerospace, with a goal of 35 to 40 percent of the company's projects within that segment of the industry going forward.
The expansion is not at the expense of existing military work, however. "Always go back to the well that feeds you the most amount of work," says Vo. He plans to keep building both sides of the business while following along with the vision of the original owners in building a small, stable customer base. "We're definitely going to have some strategic growth in our trajectory here, and that's the reason I bought it," he continues. "The company has a really solid foundation with the customer base, so this legacy will propel and go forward, for sure."
Not only is A & D's customer base stable, but so is its workforce, with most employees being with the company 15 to 20 years. "We have a long legacy of good, qualified people working for us," Vo says.
Challenges: "Obviously, the challenge is to keep up with demand as we grow," says Vo. "The HR side of things has to grow, too, because we're definitely going to have to either hire new talent or train new talent to facilitate growth."
Additionally, the domestically sourced raw materials that the company uses in its work have been through some ups and downs in supply in recent years. Because the lead times for most of A & D’s work are rather long, it hasn’t created much of a problem for the company, although costs have risen for both materials and outside services.
Opportunities: "Aircraft in general is making a huge recovery," Vo says. "With COVID, a lot of production run rates for aircraft were down, and now it's picked back up. People need to fly again, and we're excited to see that." He also believes that as a minority business owner, additional opportunities may be open to help advance the company further.
While Vo does not actually do machine work himself these days, he grew up in a successful family-owned aerospace business and has experience in all facets of the work that A & D Precision does. Vo says, "That really helps move the company where it needs to go, because you understand the difficulties of what your workforce is facing, so you can align your strategy around what's right for the company. My position in this company is basically customer relationships and vision casting for us."
Needs: Within the next several years, A & D will be looking for a new building in the 20,000- to 25,000-square-foot range, more than doubling its existing floor space, as the company grows into an even larger presence in the market.