Cutting Edge Metal Solutions

Hendrick Manufacturing
Written by Jessica Ferlaino

Hendrick Manufacturing is part of the Hendrick group of companies, which includes Hendrick Architectural Products, Hendrick Metal Products and Hendrick Screen Company. It delivers cutting-edge perforated and fabricated metal solutions for clients in a number of sectors and with 140 years of metal perforating experience, the company has earned a reputation as an industry leader.
Hendrick Manufacturing was founded in 1876 by Eli E. Hendrick who developed a high-speed, multiple punch perforation process with funds received from the sale of oil refining patents to John D. Rockefeller. This laid the foundation upon which the entire industry could grow.

“When Hendrick started the company in the 1800s, it served a [specific] need. Over the years, the company has adapted in terms of the way it services customers,” noted CEO Michael Drake. Though Hendrick has transformed throughout the years, much has remained the same; it is still a family owned-company that is dedicated to providing world-class products and services.

The company remained in the Hendrick family until purchased by Drake’s father in 1994. “At the time, the company had some union issues; they were on strike; they had a division in California that wasn’t doing well; they were losing money; and they were in a lawsuit. In about two years, my father fixed all of that. Ever since then, we’ve always turned in a profitable quarter,” he says. According to Drake, the primary reason behind this success has been the company knowing its markets and treating its customers like it would like to be treated. “If we make a promise, we keep it. We stand behind our product, and if we have an issue, we work through it, and we show the respect the customer deserves.”

Michael and his brother joined the business in 1996 and 1997 respectively and initiated a new era of growth at Hendrick.

Though many companies have ups and downs, Hendrick has remained up, a testament to its consistent delivery of quality products and services. Today, Hendrick employs over two hundred employees across its operations at three plants, all of which are ISO certified.

“Another reason why we’ve been successful is that our products are used in about twenty different industries,” with the company serving varied markets which can help insulate it from market vacillations. “So if one industry slows down, the other industries would pick it up,” Drake explained. Key industries include the acoustical, agricultural, appliances, architectural metal, medical, mining and aggregate, recycling, filtration and automotive sectors.

Hendrick gives its customers a competitive edge by helping them make their products better. The company possesses the design and value engineering expertise to support outstanding product output, with strong lead times and minimized transportation costs. Through continuous investment in technology, improved lean manufacturing processes, and an experienced and dedicated workforce, Hendrick remains at the leading edge.

Hendrick provides perforating and fabricating services and capabilities and can produce unlimited patterns from standard to intricate configurations in round, square, oval and rectangular shapes. Customers can choose from a variety of materials including stainless steel, aluminum, carbon steel, galvanized, brass, copper, plastic, paper and foil, delivered in sheets or coils.

As well as in-house cleaning, degreasing and deburring/polishing, Hendrick also delivers many completed designs, with an array of high-tech fabrication options that can help to eliminate labor, time and ultimately result in cost savings upon assembly completion.

What differentiates Hendrick as an industry leader? “It has to do with customer service on the front end. We try to meet our customers’ needs, and we try to work with them when they have issues or when they need something. We have a fair amount of face time with our customers which I think is missing in this world today. We have a number of direct salespeople, and we have a number of representatives. As an example, in the architectural industry, we have twenty-five to thirty representatives who are calling on customers and prospects for us.” Drake himself, as CEO, dedicates twenty-five percent of his time to face-to-face interactions with the customers.

Hendrick’s sales representative network and distribution channels support a global reach, though the majority of its sales are North American-based. Across the board, the company attracts some of the industry’s best talent and is proud to have a family-like work environment, in which each employee and their families matter. “We have excellent employees at all locations. They are all dedicated,” says Drake. “We treat everyone as part of the family: The Hendrick family.”

Hendrick has a comprehensive safety program at all of its facilities and has remarkable safety records to show for it, with all three of its facilities having gone years without a lost time incident. Each location has a safety committee that meets monthly, and safety audits are regularly conducted on the shop floors. There is also hands-on and video training that helps to support a safe workplace.

The company also offers a competitive compensation package. “My father put in place – over twenty years ago – a profit-sharing system where, at most of our locations, employees can earn between fifteen and forty percent of their base pay in bonus based on our goals and actual performance. That really makes a difference in terms of employees watching where money is spent and controlling costs because it all reflects in their pay,” Drake explained.

Profit sharing is paid out on a monthly basis, and Hendrick is sure to go over all financial information with its staff members on a regular basis, giving them insight as to what the future might hold. “We help them understand how our industry is performing, what the outlook is for the future, and what changes Hendrick will make to adjust to shifts in our industry. We always consider that our employees are our best asset, and the more informed they are, the better we are because they have a vested interest,” said Drake.

As Hendrick is dedicated to continuous improvement and has the processes and practices in place that have proven to be effective, the future looks bright. The goals moving forward include a transition to an even more service-oriented approach.

For example, in addition to the work being done for the architectural market, Hendrick could potentially offer services to better support that sector with on-site installation or expanded engineering design work, either structural or creative. The sky is the limit in terms of potential, and as technology advances in the industry, Drake wants to ensure that Hendrick is at the forefront of those changes.

Looking to the long term, Drake believes that robotics will be the future of the industry and this will be a necessity. Interest in manufacturing is dwindling, he explained, a trend that he’s seen when discussing career opportunities at local schools.

As a frontrunner in perforated and fabricated metal products, Hendrick has little to worry about as it consistently delivers quality products and a customer-minded experience with each interaction. “Hopefully what we provide is a good experience that people remember. So, if we do have a hiccup in the future, one out of one hundred isn’t bad.”



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