Elkay celebrates 100 years!

Elkay celebrates 100 years!

We recently sat down with Kim King, Senior Director of Sourcing and Procurement and Kim Miller, Senior Manager of Procurement at Elkay Manufacturing to discuss their business, supply chain, and the future. 

Tell us about your company.

Family-owned since January 26, 1920, we are celebrating our 100th year anniversary! Elkay has been making innovative products and delivering exceptional customer care for a full century. While proud to be America’s No. 1 selling kitchen sink company, Elkay expanded its commercial offerings more than four decades ago, and today delivers faucets, water coolers, drinking fountains, Smartwell Water Delivery Systems, and the award-winning ezH2O bottle filling stations, in addition to world-class stainless steel and quartz sinks. Since their launch a decade ago, our bottle filling stations have helped keep over 20-billion plastic bottles out of landfills.

Our Elkay Interior Systems business is a global leader in the design and buildout of branded retail environments for leading global brands. Elkay Commercial Systems provides stainless steel products for commercial kitchens around the globe. Like your family, Elkay has values and traditions that endure - like our commitment to sustainability and giving back to our community. Headquartered in the United States in Downers Grove, Illinois, today, Elkay employs over 2,500 employees worldwide, working from 21 locations across the U.S., China, Mexico, Austria and Cyprus. 

What are the key ingredients to Supply Chain & Sustainability that have evolved over these 100 years.

Our “family” has prioritized “Made in the USA” wherever possible – our bottle filling stations are produced right here in Illinois.  We also have 3 sink plants in North Carolina, Utah – AND Broadview, Illinois.

Like many companies out there, we have a very complicated and diverse supply chain.   To ensure we can supply what our customers require – we source from all around the globe.  Our Supply Chain – Planning, Procurement, Sourcing, Quality and Logistics utilize “Best in Class” systems, working closely with IT with regard to our ERP System, Oracle – maximizing our on- time delivery while minimizing our inventory, global communications, exceptional quality and customer service. 

In addition, we pride ourselves on our sustainability story – not only saving 20-billion plastic bottles due to the expansive use of our bottle filling stations, the stainless steel we use comes from approximately 90% recycled steel.  Our corrugate manufacturers plant 5 trees for everyone one cut down.   We continue to expand our sustainability efforts year over year.

Who do you serve?

Elkay serves a wide variety of markets. Consumers typically acquire our residential plumbing products through either a traditional plumbing wholesaler, a big box home center or through a ecommerce retailer, while our commercial plumbing products (such as our popular ezH2O bottle filling stations) can either be specified into a new building by the architects or purchased by building engineers through traditional wholesalers or commercial ecommerce channels. Our Elkay Interior Systems business serves large global hospitality, foodservice and restaurant chains, providing branded retail interiors in the “front of house” and stainless commercial kitchens in the back of house.

Where do you see the future of supply chain? How is it shifting and what adjustments have you all made according to those shifts?

Our Supply Chain has been partnering with Loyola and other key Universities to create win/win opportunities for education alignment and training with the needs of a complex, global supply chain.

Supply Chain is changing quickly because of our truly Global World. What happens in one part of the world affects other people and countries all over the World. These key contributors also affect the financial well-being of each company and it is difficult to keep up with these ever-changing factors. Elkay’s Supply Chain proactively collaborates to manage risk – the risk of supply interruption for any reason. The risk management system developed by Elkay’s Supply Chain is utilized to identify and mitigate risk that would interrupt our Supply Chain – supplier insolvency, Acts of God, machine breakdowns, political unrest, etc.

However, some things never change. With Elkay’s people at the heart of our success, so too are the people within our Supplier partnerships. The suppliers we have developed and continue to develop are at the heart of our Supply Chain’s success. The trust and respect that are core to any long-term relationship continue as the foundation for every strong Supplier partnership we have formed. This translates into the best value to our customer – getting the product to their door on time, on cost, and on quality. 

Learn more about Elkay