In 1988, Cullman, Alabama-based Elk River started a modest manufacturing operation with twelve products and a handful of employees producing safe, quality products. Today, the company has grown to employ more than sixty workers, who manufacture and ship more than 1,600 line items around the globe.
Elk River’s operating philosophy is built on the traditional value taking pride in the quality of work that goes into the products they make. Elk River employees are advised to perform all aspects of their jobs as if their own loved ones were going to put the product to the ultimate test. Each employee, regardless of job position, has both the authority and the responsibility to stop production on any product if they feel that product does not meet the highest standards of quality and reliability.
Although Elk River’s catalog of personal safety products is extensive, the company maintains a constant product development process. That process involves envisioning and designing new products to bring to market, as well as improving upon exiting products in the company’s portfolio.
Bringing customer input into the development process, Elk River has the capability to work with special requests. These products fall under the direction and supervision of Elk River’s R&D team, and are diligently researched, tested, and approved to ensure the same quality standard as all of the company’s products. If there is any question about the safety or reliability of a product, the company simply will not make it.
Such a commitment to quality standards requires that Elk River take a proactive stance in maintaining a high level of manufacturing technology — both in equipment and manufacturing processes. To that end, Elk River either adds to or updates its existing manufacturing equipment fleet annually. The goal is to streamline its manufacturing processes while maintaining its unwavering commitment to quality.
Maintaining that high level of quality and reliability means that products must be thoroughly tested to ensure they comply with safety standards. Elk River has on-site testing facilities that are as modern as other facilities anywhere in the world. At its test facility, the company has the capabilities of testing to any standard from any country. All of its products either meet or exceed the following applicable standards as product labeling specifies: OSHA regulations, ANSI Standards, CSA Standards, and other applicable standards at time of manufacturing.
The Elk River shipping goal is to ship standard stock products within 24 hours of receiving a customer’ order, while the shipping goal for items that are not in stock is typically 8 – 10 working days from receiving a customer’s order.
Elk River views the manufacturing its line of safety products as a marriage of science and art. The science requires research, testing, and methods. The art to designing products is characterized by how the product feels, wears, and looks. For Elk River, the art represents its traditional values; the science reflects its use of technology.