In 1976, Bob Wood founded Alpha Metal Finishing after working as an engineer for various companies. His goal: superior quality metal finishing, provided with a rapid turnaround and friendly, responsive customer service. And in the 45 years that we’ve been in business, we’ve held true to our founder’s goal and are proud to maintain those high standards to this day, even as we’ve grown in capabilities and staff.
When we first opened up shop in downtown Ann Arbor, we were a relatively small shop. Not long after, IBM commissioned us to process circuit chips, which set us on a path of growth that eventually led to our move to Dexter in 1985. At that point, we employed over 70 people who worked three shifts to handle the circuit chip workload from IBM and eventually also AMD. But when IBM and AMD no longer required our services in the early 2000s, the loss of that business was catastrophic to Alpha, forcing us to cut our staff to just eight and our working hours to only 32 a week.
In 2010, Bob’s son Greg joined the company. Combined with Bob’s engineering and technical expertise, Greg’s experience with sales and leadership helped restore the company to what it is today: a trusted provider of metal finishing services with a reputation for quality customer service.
Part of what has brought us back from the brink in the ensuing years has been a recommitment to our founding values and continuing to invest in our workers. Our trust and loyalty in our employees is the “secret sauce” that has been the backbone of our company’s ultimate success. Some members of our staff have been with us for more than 30 years, and we even have multiple generations of one family working for us!
Today Bob Wood is retired, but he still shares his decades of engineering experience with us. He also answers questions for people in the industry through our popular Ask the Expert feature here on our website.
We’ve faced hurdles in the decades we’ve been in business: feeling the sting of economic downturns, having to make difficult business decisions in the interest of keeping the company thriving, and the tumultuous uncertainty of the past year. But through it all we’ve held on to the values on which Bob Wood founded our company: faith, integrity, and doing right by the customer.