February 2019

Evolving with the Industry to Meet the Needs of its Members

Evolving with the Industry to Meet the Needs of its Members

St Louis – Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council

Throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Southern Illinois, the St. Louis – Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council works for its more than twenty thousand members. The organization’s work provides contractors with a highly trained, safe workforce.
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In the first few months after Donald Trump was elected, most Americans were narrowly focused on the stories unfolding within the White House. In early 2017, as tensions in America flared between the political left and right, few people were paying attention to state politics. The Missouri Senate had passed “right-to-work” legislation by a vote of 21 to 12, which would allow union members to opt out of paying union dues and force contractors to hire non-union work, thus shrinking membership, union funds, and wages across the State.

Where Customers Send Their Friends

Where Customers Send Their Friends

Sarmazian Brothers Flooring

In 1970, four innovative brothers strived to start a business that was set apart by the way that it treated its customers. Tony, Harry, Steve and Jack Sarmazian started a Guelph, Ontario-based flooring installation company, and have since branched into other related services.
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In business for just shy of half a century, Sarmazian Brothers Flooring is now run by the 10 children of the original brothers. The next generation of Sarmazians stand by the founders’ values of honesty, integrity, and family values – in both internal and external operations.

This Award-Winning Concrete Contractor Looks to Expand

This Award-Winning Concrete Contractor Looks to Expand

Milis Flatwork

Award-winning concrete construction firm Milis Flatwork is a fairly young company, having been in business less than a decade. However, it was successful right from the start, thanks largely to owner and founder Dylan Milis’ extensive experience. Milis Flatwork specializes in agriculture-related and commercial concrete construction projects.
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“I’ve been doing concrete my whole life, since 1992. I did a lot of stuff with my dad. Then I went to college to get a degree in civil engineering. Then, I did a lot of layout work for a paving company and a lot of inspection work for agricultural facilities,” recalls Milis, whose firm is based in Kaukauna, Wisconsin.

Where Innovation, Quality and Performance are the Standard

Where Innovation, Quality and Performance are the Standard

STANDARD Products

STANDARD Products is the second largest manufacturer and distributor of lighting solutions in Canada and it is through innovation, quality, performance, and a passion for efficiency that the company has been able to establish itself as a leader in both the markets and the communities it serves.
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As a proudly family-owned Canadian business, STANDARD Products has had great success serving customers from coast to coast, and now it is looking to new market horizons to establish its reputation and further build its brand. It recently introduced a new warehouse in Chicago that will give the company access to the Midwest and will enable it to break into the U.S. market.

Truly Custom Components

Truly Custom Components

Valcor Engineering Corporation

Valcor Engineering Corporation designs and manufactures fluid control components for a wide range of industries with aerospace, nuclear power, industrial, medical, and scientific laboratory applications. The company specializes in highly-engineered, custom solutions over commodity components.
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“We go after very demanding applications,” says Vice President Leo Loiacono. “We don’t have a standard catalog with standard products. There are plenty of companies that do that, but that’s not Valcor. We’re truly the customized solution.”

Ready, Set, Grow

Ready, Set, Grow

Talon Innovations/Ichor Precision Machining

Four years ago, Business in Focus explored the world of semiconductors through the lens of Minnesota-based Talon Innovations, a manufacturer of machined parts and complex assemblies for semiconductor tools. At the time, the company had been on a steady growth path with a plan to fully execute an acquisition, after which it would focus on the two primary goals of diversification and added capacity. We recently touched base with this ambitious company to see if it achieved its goals and find out what its plans are for 2019 and beyond.
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In November 2017, Talon was acquired by Ichor Holdings, Ltd. “Ichor was a significant customer of ours – our second largest customer by revenue, and we shared a lot of common customers in the semiconductor industry, so when it acquired us, it was a good synergistic fit, if you will, with the products they provided to us and to the industry,” said Vice President Sales and Marketing Marty Dertinger. “We saw it as a 1 + 1 = 3 acquisition.”

The Leading Value-Added Distributor and Manufacturer of Packaging Products

The Leading Value-Added Distributor and Manufacturer of Packaging Products

SupplyOne

SupplyOne partners with companies to deliver packaging solutions that simplify operations, ensure cost savings, and increase efficiency. Their interests are focused on the customer’s needs, both short and long term.
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Since its inception, SupplyOne’s business model has been to provide its customers with custom corrugated, label and thermoforming manufacturing, packaging supplies, and equipment solutions – all from a single point of contact. This robust offering is complemented by the Packaging Management Program (PMP) and a host of services designed specifically to simplify and organize their customers’ packaging supply chain to reduce their total cost of packaging ownership.

Lighting a Fire in the Home Heating Industry

Lighting a Fire in the Home Heating Industry

Stove Builder International

Marc-Antoine Cantin and his brother Jean-François have turned a once bankrupt fireplace manufacturer into an international player that is bringing warmth and comfort to homes around the globe. So you, too, can sit back and enjoy the coziness with a glass of wine.
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It’s one of the coldest days of the year and your boots crunch on the snow as you make your way home. Your breath comes out in a frosty cloud and your fingers are a little numb as you fumble with the keys to the door. You come inside and feel it right away – the warmth of the wood-burning fireplace crackling in the living room. Is there any better feeling in the cold months than coming home to a warm fire?

Where the Sky Is the Limit

Where the Sky Is the Limit

Quadbridge

In 2007, a group of IT professionals in Montreal, Quebec decided to launch a full-service IT solutions business that focused on value-added, engaged client services for mid- to large-sized businesses around Canada and the United States. The company, Quadbridge Inc., has experienced 2,100 percent growth in the last five years and is partnered with many of the technology industry’s major players – including Microsoft, HP, and Lenovo – while also serving its community through giving back.
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Pejman “PJ” Emam, the CEO and one of the founding partners of this hardware and software solutions provider, is known within the bootstrap company for instilling the mentality that the sky is the limit. With a disruptive, direct, and fearless approach, the business of 52 employees has been able to add value to much larger Silicon Valley-based corporations and startups alike.

At Mid-States Aluminum Corp., It Is All About Progress Through People

At Mid-States Aluminum Corp., It Is All About Progress Through People

Mid-States Aluminum Corp.

Mid-States Aluminum Corp. of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, is a leading aluminum extrusion company. From initial design and die creation to alloy specification and in-house anodizing capabilities, here, creative solutions take shape for diverse industries.
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With a $20 million expansion opening in March, there is much cause for excitement. However, it is more than the state-of-the-art facility that is being celebrated; the company is celebrating fifty-five years of the people who made it happen.

Evolving with the Times

Evolving with the Times

Mathews Company

Back in June of 2015, I had the pleasure of speaking with Joseph Shulfer, President of Mathews Company, a grain dryer specialist that has helped farmers by making their lives easier. We touched on challenges that include global economics and the price of corn. When last we spoke there was an issue surrounding Section 179 capital equipment depreciation. But Joseph was unable to gauge its effects as there were other issues within the industry that were more dominant. We caught up with him again to find out about the company’s progress.
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Grain drying technology is the core of Mathews Company business, and the cross-flow grain dryer has been the company’s bread and butter for a long time. The Delta series, however, is a completely new product and is what is known as a mixed-flow grain dryer. To enter this area, a total rethinking of the dryer market and its needs was necessary. If Mathews wanted to be the grain dryer specialist, it needed to offer all kinds of grain dryers.

The Company that Believes in Reinvention

The Company that Believes in Reinvention

Kaspar Companies

What does it take to create a company that lasts over 120 years? According to the Kaspar Companies, there are three core values that have contributed to its identity and longevity since its foundation: stewardship, versatility, and family.
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Jason Kaspar, CEO and fifth-generation owner of the Shiner, Texas-based parent company, reveals that it has reinvented itself several times in the course of its history, and is in fact currently going through a period of reinvention right now.

Unique Welding Technology Allow Small Firm to Punch above Its Competitors

Unique Welding Technology Allow Small Firm to Punch above Its Competitors

Dyna Torque

Dyna Torque Technologies, Inc. is a Texas company with pipe welding products that continue to solve the increasing quality and safety needs of the market. The Houston-based firm’s proprietary LoneStar automated welding system uses internal microprocessor technology and leading-edge software to solve many of the pipe welding requirements of today’s Oil and Gas industry by reducing defects, controlling labor costs and increasing overall quality while providing increased workplace safety, to name a few advantages.
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“Dyna Torque provides welding technology where it counts, from light wall 4 inch pipe to large diameter heavy wall pipe for fabrications and pipeline projects,” explains President Andrew Scherfenberg. The company provides automated welding solutions and the latest solutions for pipe beveling, counter-boring and profile finishing of segmentable fittings, while carrying a line of internal line-up clamps and other products used primarily by the oil and gas industry.

E-Commerce with a Personal Touch

E-Commerce with a Personal Touch

US Cargo Control

US Cargo Control is a bit of an anomaly. In an industry where success is built on immediacy and turnover, this company offers a personal customer experience and genuine relationship building, something for which no other company can match it.
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US Cargo Control aims to work on a mixed model where e-commerce and traditional sales of ratchet straps, tie-downs and any other cargo control meet all the needs of its customers. This means that the company’s online presence sits equal with a real, human-led organization in the state of Iowa.

Driven by Experience

Driven by Experience

Trans-United

To maintain a business over time is no mean feat. To keep it on the road, weathering financial and national crises for fifty-four years, is something even beyond that. Specialist hauling company Trans-United was started in 1964, in Burns Harbor, Indiana. The company now operates in forty-eight U.S. states, Canada, and internationally.
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This is undeniably a forward-facing company. However, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Fleming acknowledges how important it is to take stock of the past and learn from experience. This wealth of experience has resulted in customer retention and in-house skills. “I think the longevity of the company has come from the culture to serve and the customer returning, committing themselves to our service. We have a long, rich customer history of many years, and customers continue to return to us because of our ability to take on their size and weight challenges and move them from their manufacturing points or point of origin. It might be an international port coming inbound or an export – we take those challenges and are able to put a competent solution to them.”

The White Glove Approach

The White Glove Approach

Tantara Transportation

Discovering a new industry niche to fill is quite possibly the goal of every company, and Al Fisher of Tantara Transportation has carved out his. Tantara offers a wide array of services as a fully-licensed, Department of Transportation compliant company…
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Since each industry has its own unique requirements and challenges, the company is equipped to deal with the time-sensitive and unpredictable aspects of moving trade show displays, concert tour gear, store fixtures, sporting event equipment, and prototypes. And this is just the beginning of the flexible services provided by its employees and fleet of air ride vehicles.

Excelling in All Aspects of Transportation

Excelling in All Aspects of Transportation

Swan Transportation

Logistics company Swan Transportation has locations throughout the United States and specializes in providing back-office management services to independent freight brokers. “We partner with freight brokers so that they can focus on developing relationships and building their book of business,” says company President Roy Martinez.
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The company was established in 1998 by Winston T. Jones, Sr. with the development of his proprietary, web-based, transport management system dubbed RubberDuck. This innovative software platform provided third-party logistics companies with real-time communication and order tracking capabilities that were uncommon in the industry at the time. By sharing RubberDuck with other independent freight brokers, Swan began to concentrate its effort on providing freight management services to other companies.

Forty Years Strong

Forty Years Strong

SPI Logistics

For SPI Logistics, impossible asks and just-in-time deliveries are business as usual. The SPI team members are the experts who take the worry out of getting your products to wherever you need them.
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This is it! You have your product ready to share with the world at that big trade show in San Francisco. You know that when potential clients see it, your company will be ready to go to the next level. There are just a couple of problems: the trade show is two days away and San Francisco is on the other side of the country. Your delivery plans have fallen through, so how in world are you going to get a product the size of yours to that trade show in time?

One Company, Four Divisions, Complete Supply Chain Services

One Company, Four Divisions, Complete Supply Chain Services

The Schilli Companies

Complete supply chain provider Schilli Companies delivers raw materials and finished goods all over the world and offers road freight transportation, logistics, and warehousing services from its base in Remington, Indiana. It is made up of four divisions that were originally considered to be four separate companies when it was established in 1960.
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The Schilli Companies was created in 1960, under the name Schilli Motor Lines, as a bulk carrier of fertilizer products, and in 1972, Thomas R. Schilli assumed ownership.

Bringing Calm to the Chaos

Bringing Calm to the Chaos

Freightsaver

Huntington Beach, California is where you will find the head offices of Freightsaver. The company acts as a freight brokerage, the middleman between the shipper and carrier. Therefore, it owns no equipment to move shipments but instead manages the logistics behind that goal, going that extra mile and doing things that larger entities avoid. Cloud-based technology has greatly added to its abilities, and despite multiple challenges, Freightsaver is growing. We spoke to its Executive Vice President of Sales Jay Hughitt.
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Freightsaver was founded in 2014 by Buster Schwab and Ryan Renne who had been working together in this field for over 25 years. Previously, both worked for a small, privately-held brokerage in the Los Angeles area. They helped to build that business up to a worth of $25 million and decided to start a company called Mountain Logistics in 2000.

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