We speak to CEO Kirk Goins, who discusses the importance of AWC Incorporated’s valuable position as an all-round service provider in the automation and control industry.
THE TRUSTED PARTNER
The automation and control industry incorporates a plethora of technical services, from information technology (IT) to mechanical systems. To cater to such a multitude of products and brands, AWC Incorporated (AWC) has built a solid reputation as the authorized local sales, support, and service partner for leading manufacturers of automation and control systems.
AWC was founded in 1965 by three engineers as a local manufacturing representative in the Baton Rouge area of Louisiana, with a simple mission: to help local refineries optimize and standardize their operations.
Nearly 60 years later, the business has grown exponentially, evolving to become an invaluable support partner to titans utilizing Factory Automation and Process Technology. This is reflected by its near nationwide reach, as AWC’s customers now span 11 US states across 32 regional support offices.
“Our team embodies a ‘Winning Together’ culture in which our employee-owners, customers, and technology partners collectively succeed because we strive to ‘out know, out care, and out serve’ others in our space,” introduces Kirk Goins, CEO of AWC.
NO ORDINARY DISTRIBUTOR
AWC is uniquely positioned to deliver customers significantly more value with expert support and dedicated engineering services. As an authorized distributor and service partner of products and solutions to customers across a broad geographic area, AWC supplies innovations from the world’s leading technology factory automation and process technology companies like Siemens, Phoenix Contact, Honeywell, Farris, Valmet, and many more.
AWC’s driving mission remains “to provide customers the indispensable support necessary to help them achieve their business goals in a safe and efficient manner,” Goins explains. This explains why the company’s customer base spans many verticals, including oil and gas, pulp and paper, automotive, water and wastewater, food and beverage, and many other industries.
For example, AWC is particularly proud to be a key partner in the success of the U.S. Navy Fleet Oiler (T-AO) Program. This fleet of oilers for the U.S. Navy is designed to transfer fuel and cargo to its carrier strike groups operating at sea. AWC was tasked with designing, building, and implementing critical power and control components of the lead ship in the class (T-AO-205), named in honor of Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).
The oilers feature the capacity to carry 162,000 barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and a speed of 20 knots. The first ship was successfully delivered, with Ship 2 (USNS Harvey Milk) ready for final delivery to the US Navy, and Ship 3 (USNS Earl Warren) preparing for Sea Trials later this year. As the company approaches Ship 9, the Navy has already committed to procuring 16 vessels in the T-AO(X) Class, and excitement is building for future projects.
“Supporting and servicing customers with diverse challenges across multiple industries provides rewarding experiences and outcomes for our automation and controls experts and customers. It also allows us to remain strong during economic downturns or if one segment grows/falls disproportionately to others,” recalls Goins.
However, in the present economic environment, AWC is experiencing a strong demand across all sectors, and the company is anticipating positive impacts from emerging advances in the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI).
“We are beginning to turn a corner in the ongoing global supply chain disruptions and workforce challenges affecting lead times and availability in the manufacturing and industrial parts industry,” says Goins.
AWC is looking forward to seeing how the significant trend in reshoring manufacturing plays out in the North American market. Such trends and changes in the industry make for a dynamic and forward-thinking environment for AWC.
A dependable and connected supply chain is fundamental to the successful operations of AWC’s customers, therefore, technical partner relationships are the most important component of the company’s “Winning Together” mantra.
Despite facing recent headwinds in supply chain operations, the close collaboration with technical partners has carried AWC through the storm, so it can diligently continue to help its customers achieve success.
“When we work together, we achieve amazing results,” Goins highlights. “Through hard work, our processes and relationships will be even stronger when the supply chain is restored to pre-COVID-19 levels of reliability and robustness.”
AWC’s comprehensive network of people and technology partners sets it apart from other manufacturing entities in the North American market. The company is committed to its customers, partners, and employee-owners to create a collective focus on achieving its objectives and reaching success.
Moreover, as an employee-owned company, team members are the core of AWC, and as such have an unshakeable dedication to the business.
“We know this makes a difference as our teams are empowered to creatively problem solve for the benefit of our customers and technical partners,” Goins continues. The team structure guarantees efficiency and streamlines operations for swifter responses and more nimble, customized solutions.
Another core belief of AWC is its wider responsibility to the communities in which it operates. “At AWC, we feel it is critical that we are responsible members of the communities in which we live, work, and conduct business. As such, we live by our mission of empowering people to make the greatest possible impact on the communities and families we serve together,” Goins comments.
As AWC rapidly expands its workforce, it is positioned to continue enriching the lives of even more communities. “We have the best team in our sector, and we want to ensure continued investment in hiring, development, and training.”
To facilitate this, AWC continues to invest in tools and technology in support of safety, quality, and efficiency. In recent months, several exciting initiatives have been launched, including specialized manufacturer-led training, investments in STEM programs and projects, plus a robust college-level engineering internship program.
Beyond community-centric activities, AWC is a vital part of industries shifting towards a greener future. AWC’s technologies and services are becoming increasingly critical, particularly for aiding customers in the adaptation and conversion to electric capabilities via innovative energy technologies.
AWC is on the front lines of several innovative developments which will incorporate its vast portfolio of Factory Automation and Process Technology services and capabilities. One such initiative utilizes hydrogen as the green energy of the future to create portable power units for customer equipment, vessels, and remote facilities. AWC’s experts are harnessing the newest technologies to marry together the chemical and electrical segments to create a holistic solution within the context of green energy.
Other innovative green projects AWC is currently working on include an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and charging station design, space exploration initiatives, and 3D home building technology, all designed to amplify the work the customers are making in green energy.