The FLEX™ Advantage

What do a 24-hour response time and lightsabers have in common? They’re two examples of the FLEX™ Advantage at Finger Lakes Extrusion – the company’s commitment to personalized customer service and customized tubing products for virtually any need.

People, not robots

Kathie Stevens

What won’t you find at Finger Lakes Extrusion? An automated phone system.

When you call, you’ll speak to a real person. Robots have a place in manufacturing, but it’s not on the telephone.

Kathie Stevens has been the main person answering the call at the company for the last decade. She has a deep background in customer service in the manufacturing industry.

Why is customer service so important?

“If you don’t have satisfied customers, you don’t have a business. It’s that simple,” Stevens said.

She estimates Finger Lakes Extrusion gets an average of 25 calls a day. Most of the time, she can answer a customer’s question instantly. If not, she gets back to them right away – most often, the same day. 

If a customer places an order, they’ll get a confirmation within 24 hours. And if the tubing is in stock, the company can ship it the next day.

“Customers shouldn’t have to wait. They’ll know right away what they’re getting and when they’re getting it,” Stevens said.

This personalized and timely service is so important to the company that when Stevens announced she would retire in 2023, they arranged for her replacement, Jordyn Petroske, to train with her for two years.

Can-do service at every touchpoint

During the COVID shutdowns in New York state, Finger Lakes Extrusion remained open as an essential business. They saw an uptick in customer inquiries as manufacturers worldwide experienced supply chain issues and difficulty getting raw materials.

The company was able to meet new customer demand, including delivering 13 million feet of respirator tubing for a medical facility at the start of the pandemic. That’s equivalent to the length of over 36,000 football fields.

It was possible because many of the company’s raw materials are made and sourced in the USA. All of its products are proudly manufactured in America. 

With a large warehouse and high-efficiency shipping department, the company stocks virtually all standard catalog items and can deliver them whenever and wherever customers need them. 

That’s all part of the FLEX™ Advantage – a pledge that carries through every department, from ordering to production to shipping.

Complete customer satisfaction 

The very first thing customers see when they visit Finger Lakes Extrusion is the company’s quality policy. Stenciled across the lobby wall, it reads: “To achieve complete customer satisfaction, each employee is committed to comply with requirements and continually improve the effectiveness of the quality management system.”

That system is ISO 9001:2015 certified. What does that mean? In short, it’s a promise to the customer that they’ll get quality and consistency, every time.

It’s a commitment to manufacture the highest quality products that meet customer and regulatory requirements; to provide consistent product delivery, day after day, lot after lot; and to focus on continuous improvement.

“We have internal and external audits every year, including audits by our customers. This ensures we are not only meeting the requirements of our quality management system, but that we’re continually improving. That’s important for our business and very important for our customers,” explained Stevens.

She added that the company’s annual customer satisfaction survey yields high ratings for quality, product selection, value and order fulfillment.

From the ordinary to the extraordinary

The FLEX™ Advantage is also developing strong relationships with customers and working hard to accommodate their unique needs. Finger Lakes Extrusion makes flexible tubing for a range of applications in a variety of industries – from agriculture and food and beverage, to medical and pharmaceutical, to oil and gas and mining.

It’s manufactured tubing for some interesting customer applications, including:

  • Fishing lures
  • Handle covers for military duffle bags
  • Coverings for chin up bars
  • Rack covers for transporting sailboats
  • Lightsabers for a Star Wars convention
  • Scented tubing for pharmaceutical packaging

Stevens said the company works with many entrepreneurs to solve unique problems. One is the inventor of RailScapes™, a new railing planter clip for vertical gardening right in the railing. Finger Lakes Extrusion provides tubing that is used as bumpers to protect the railing and give the added grip necessary to suspend up to 15 lb. planters.

With experience, innovation and adaptability, Finger Lakes Extrusion is equipped to meet virtually any customer need.

Customization in spades

Customization is a cornerstone of the FLEX™ Advantage. Customers benefit from an abundance of options, including custom process formulations, colors, sizes, lengths, imprinting and packaging.

Finger Lakes Extrusion can print a company name and logo or other custom information on both tubing and product labeling. 

For packaging, they can bag it, shrink wrap it, spool it or box it – whatever is needed to save the customer time and money on their end.

Service, quality and consistency is at the heart of everything Finger Lakes Extrusion does.

Give them a call at 585-905-0632. And when Kathie or Jordyn answers the phone, tell them you read about them here.

“You’ll never work with anyone better,” Stevens said. “You’ll get the best response, follow up and service.”

That’s the FLEX™ Advantage.

Natalie LeGrett

Customer Account Specialist

Natalie is a 2011 graduate of St. John Fisher College with a bachelor’s degree in business management and concentration in Human Resources. After 14 years of working in the Staffing Industry as a Recruiter and other various roles she was looking to switch gears and start a new career path. She had ties with Erica as she assisted in staffing temporary staff to FLEX for years. She decided not to return to the corporate world after maternity leave and start at FLEX where she has been a Customer Account Specialist. She is passionate about her family and two sons who always keep her on her toes; we enjoy creating memories as a family and enjoying the sunshine every chance we get!