Behind every successful company, there is a story of a driven entrepreneur, devoted to building a company—often from little or nothing. Nelson B. Delavan was the man behind the company known today as Delavan Fluid Power. Understanding Nelson Delavan helps to paint a portrait of a company that—some 80 years later—is still committed to serving its customers faithfully and delivering innovation and value to the marketplace.
Nelson B. Delavan was born in 1897 in Norwich, New York. In 1936 Nelson formed Delavan Engineering. The goal of the company was to be manufacturer’s representatives for producers of electrical and mechanical equipment in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and the Dakotas. In 1941, Nelson founded Delavan Manufacturing Company in Des Moines, Iowa to produce high precision nozzles for oil burners, agricultural spraying equipment, and special components for aircraft engines.
Nelson Delavan died in 1971 and in 1984, Delavan’s wife Elizabeth established a non-profit trust, The Nelson B. Delavan Foundation, in her late husband’s honor. This trust donates money in support of education, historical, cultural and arts-related endeavors and is still operating to this very day.
Delavan never quit dreaming and—maybe more importantly—never stopped doing. His life’s story proves this and both his family and the company he started back in 1936 are extremely proud of him.
Now known familiarly as Delavan Fluid Power, our current President and Owner, David Beaudry, shares his vision of the future of the company in no uncertain terms. “We have a rich history of entrepreneurship at Delavan thanks to our founder, Nelson Delavan. Over the last 80 years, we have kept ourselves in business with firm commitments to product innovation coupled with sterling customer service that treats every customer like our last customer.“
Our Mission Today
“To Create Value through Innovation, Delivering a WOW Experience One Customer at a Time.”
At Delavan Fluid Power we clearly understand the trajectory of change. We envision the top-two customer demands of the future as “more customized products and services” and “faster order fulfillment times.”
In order to meet those demands we strive to be (fit-for-purpose) based on a unique value proposition for each particular customer.
We are committed to succeeding in today’s increasingly challenging marketplace by responding to each varied and dynamic individual customer requirement with an exclusive and custom tailored solution.
We engineer, we manufacture and we source exceptional products for you, our customer, here in North America and throughout the world.
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The Planning phase involves the creation of a set of planning documents;
The key stages are as follows:
- A comprehensive Project Plan is critical to the success of the project. It identifies the Work Breakdown Structure of phases, activities and tasks to be undertaken to complete the project. It also identifies the sequencing, duration and dependencies of tasks and the resources and financial expenditure required to complete the project.
- The Resource Plan gives a detailed assessment of the resources required to undertake the project. It lists the required labour, equipment and materials and quantifies the scope and specification of each resource. It also delivers a resource usage schedule to give the Project Manager a complete view of the total amount of resources required for each stage.
- The Quality Plan lists the quality targets that need to be achieved to ensure that the project deliverables meet our customer requirements. Quality Assurance and Quality Control activities are scheduled to make sure that the required level of quality is achieved throughout the project.
- The Risk Plan identifies all foreseeable project risks and rates them in terms of their likelihood of occurrence and potential impact on the project. The risks are prioritised and actions are identified in order to reduce the likelihood of each risk and minimize its potential impact.
- The Acceptance Plan is created to ensure that customer approval is confirmed for each deliverable produced. The Acceptance Plan provides a schedule of Acceptance Reviews.
- The Communications Plan describes what information is to be supplied by each Delavan Manager in order to keep the entire team informed of the progress. A schedule of communication events and activities is drawn up to make sure that the right information is communicated to the right people at the right time.
•Finally, a Phase Review is carried out to ensure that all of the required Planning activities have been successfully completed and to provide formal approval to proceed to the next phase.
During the Execution phase the deliverables are physically developed. While each deliverable is being constructed, a group of management processes are carried out to monitor and control activities.
During this stage, a detailed design of each deliverable is created, vetted, and reviewed to determine whether they meet the previously set out Quality and Customer acceptance criteria. When all the criteria have been met, the approval is signed off on by both Delavan and our customer. During the construction of the deliverables, the Project Manager performs several management processes to monitor and control time, cost, quality, risk, issues, acceptance, and communication.
- Time Management involves monitoring and controlling the time spent by staff on the project. Timesheets are used to track and record time spent, so that the project manager can ascertain the overall progress of the project.
- Cost Management involves identifying project costs and recording the rate of consumption of the project budget.
- Quality Management involves undertaking the Quality Assurance and Control activities specified in the Quality Plan, to manage a project\’s level of quality and ensure that the project deliverables meet customer requirements.
- Risk Management involves monitoring and controlling project risks by taking the steps necessary to prevent risks and minimise the impact on the project should those risks occur.
- Issue Management involves resolving any unforeseen issues that may arise before they affect the ability of the project to meet its stated objectives.
- Acceptance Management involves carrying out Acceptance Reviews to gain the customer\’s approval of each deliverable.
- Communications Management involves completing the activities specified in the Communications Plan to ensure that every stakeholder receives the right information, at the right time.
- Finally, a Phase Review is undertaken to ensure that all of the required activities in the Execution phase have been completed and the project is ready to proceed to the next phase.
The Project Closure phase involves releasing the final deliverable to our customer, categorizing and filing of project documentation, releasing project resources, and communicating project closure to all stakeholders. The Project Closure Report lists all the activities required to close the project and ensure that the production tasks are undertaken smoothly and efficiently. Once the report has been created and approved, the closure activities specified within the report are undertaken and the project is then officially closed.
One to three months after the project has been released we undertake an evaluation referred to as a Post Implementation Review. This allows Delavan to measure the level of success of the project and identify any variances from the original plan that will benefit future development initiatives.
The first step is to review the Post Implementation Review and determine whether the project delivered the benefits, met the objectives, operated within the scope, and produced the deliverables on time, within budget, and using the allocated resources. This review also determines whether the project conformed to the management processes specified in the Project Plan, identifies the key achievements, failures and lessons learned. This evaluation measures how the project performed against each of the targets set out originally during the Initiation and Planning phases of the project.
- Achieved the objectives specified in the Project Plan?
- Deviated from the original scope as defined in the Project Plan?
- Met the quality targets defined in the Quality Plan?
- Proceeded according to the planned Delivery Schedule?
- Flowed correctly according to the Communication Plan?
- Deviated from the forecast resource levels as defined in the Resource Plan?
This information and the subsequent gap analysis report allow Delavan to measure actual results and ultimately implement required improvements.
We call this the Delavan Process of Ongoing Improvement.