For many companies, outsourcing is an extremely undesirable concept that brings to mind the loss of jobs and product quality in the name of cost savings. Typically, manufacturers only look to it as a last resort in a poor economy, with many later regretting the decision regardless of the positive effect on their bottom line.
Louisville, Colo.-based Inovonics made the decision in 2008 to contract out its manufacturing operations for reasons similar to those of many other companies. The wireless sensor, network and systems manufacturer, founded in the mid-1980s, faced capacity restraints that would have required a heavy investment in new equipment, which it wasn’t willing to make during a poor market.
Over the course of the last nine decades, Hygenic Corp. has grown into a global leader in the production of high-quality synthetic and natural rubber products. When it was founded in 1925, the company cut its teeth as a manufacturer of vulcanized rubber dentures. Today, it is known in the healthcare industry and beyond for the quality of it natural and synthetic rubber sheeting, extruded rubber tubing, dipped-latex tubing, latex-free tubing, and latex and synthetic tourniquets.
When inventor and businessman Magnus Hendrickson founded his namesake company 100 years ago on May 1, 1913, it would have been hard for him to imagine exactly how successful it would become over the course of the next century.
Hendrickson was an innovative company from the start, but over the years it continued to develop a strong reputation as one of the leaders in heavy-duty truck and trailer suspensions; auxiliary lift axles systems; axles; springs and bumpers for commercial trucking industry.
Emmanouel Piliaris, general manager at Hardel Mutual Plywood Corp., has a simple yet powerful management mantra: “You either move forward, or the competition will take you over.”
Piliaris’ mantra to never settle echoes throughout Hardel – the company has become one of the largest and most successful plywood manufacturers in North America. Founded in 1953 as a worker-owned softwood plywood mill, Hardel has grown to be a plywood powerhouse with 280 employees working out of a facility that spans seven acres. Under this roof, more than 500 different products are manufactured, including 170 million square feet of plywood on a 3/8-inch basis, annually.
Eagle Bend Manufacturing has been a success story in its homebase of Tennessee’s Anderson County since it opened in 1987. The Clinton, Tenn.-based automotive parts manufacturer has created hundreds of jobs for its surrounding community and, along with other manufacturers in the region, been a key part of the county’s economy.
Eagle Bend’s contributions to the city and county will grow even more during the next five years. A $64 million expansion plan launched in 2012 will add 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space to the 334,000-square-foot facility. The expansion will add new production lines including a laser hot stamping line and create 188 new jobs. These new jobs will include assembly, laser and press operator and maintenance positions.
Founded in 1979, DeKalb Molded Plastics has spent more than 34 years building its reputation in the structural foam industry. A custom structural foam molder, DeKalb specializes in structural foam injection molding and gas assist molding, and large, multi-nozzle plastic products.
DeKalb was one of the first ISO 9002-certified structural plastics molders in the United States. Among the company’s services are in-house post mold painting; plastic decorating capabilities; kitting and assembly requirements for programs for single standalone products; or complex, multicomponent, multi-operation programs.
Any manufacturing company can claim to have a staunch work ethic that is passed from upper management on down to the workforce. However, the Benyo brothers put their money where their mouths were in 1996 when their new company, Brilex Industries in Youngstown, Ohio, offered a profit-sharing program with its employees to make sure they worked just as hard as they did.
“I’m proud to say, since 1996, we have given bonus to all employees every quarter and maintained profitability throughout this entire period,” boasts President Brian Benyo, who founded job shop Brilex Industries with his brother, Vice President Alex Benyo. “Alex and I always try to maintain a high level of work ethic and we demonstrate that in the work we put forth to the company through sound management and profitability.”
Blackhawk Engineering Inc. realizes today’s clients expect their contract manufacturer of choice to serve as a consultant instead of just a job shop. According to Vice President/General Manager John Oltman, Blackhawk Engineering has made a reputation for itself not only through quality products delivered in a timely manner, but also for its ability to assist customers with value-engineering.
“When a customer is developing a new product, we will become involved and renew their new designs with them, and often, we can identify issues that are expensive or next to impossible to produce,” Oltman says. “It gives us an opportunity to create a design that is manufacturable and less costly.”