Six Wisconsin companies have been awarded prestigious Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Awards for outstanding achievements in manufacturing and a commitment to business excellence.
Four Grand Award winners, categorized by number of employees, were recognized for impeccable performance across the nomination categories. This year, Company Culture Awards were presented to two manufacturers that demonstrated a deep commitment and investment in their employees and their families.
Grand Award winners are: Generac Power Systems, town of Genesee, Mega Category; Alto-Shaam, Menomonee Falls, Large Category; Teel Plastics, Baraboo, Medium Category; and Felss Rotaform LLC, New Berlin.
Winning Special Awards for Company Culture are: Masters Gallery Foods, Plymouth; and Amerequip Corp., Kiel.
“The success and dedication of these well-run companies highlights the strength and vital importance of manufacturing to the overall economy in Wisconsin,” said Tim Wiora, chief executive officer and executive director of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
The winners were announced Feb. 25 at a black-tie banquet at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee honoring 38 nominees. The accounting and advisory firm of Baker Tilly, the law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, and the business association Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce sponsor the MOTY awards program.
“These manufacturers are the backbone of our economy, and when they are strong, other industries will succeed as well,” said Kevin Heppner, Managing Partner at Baker Tilly.
Celebrating its 28th year, the Manufacturer of the Year Awards program evaluated companies in areas such as financial growth or consistency, technological advances, product development, environmental solutions and sustainability, operational excellence and continuous improvement, commitment to employees and effective research and development. An independent panel of judges selected the winners.
“Wisconsin manufacturers are responsible for sustaining our local economies,” said David Krutz, Managing Partner at Michael Best & Friedrich. “Their commitment to quality leadership in their industries and dedication to their teams continues to provide countless opportunities for individuals and families in Wisconsin to prosper.”
Grand Award Winners:
Baraboo-based Teel Plastics views their customers as partners, inviting them to work collaboratively during the design and development phase of their projects, ensuring faster problem solving, better communication and improved customer satisfaction. Its new analytical lab and dedication to continuous improvement has increased efficiency and allowed the company to create new ideas and solutions, delivering products to a wide variety of industries, including healthcare, water management, oil and gas, cosmetics, and automotive.
The implementation of Teel Plastics’ project management process has allowed for projects to be completed more rapidly and to bring new product initiatives, market opportunities and capital projects to a manageable level. Teel Plastics’ dedication to lean manufacturing processes has allowed strong growth. The company has doubled net income in three years and plans to hire between 50 and 70 new employees.
GENERAC POWER SYSTEMS
Generac Power Systems, based in the town of Genesee in Waukesha County, has a reputation for being an innovative, market-leading manufacturing company that produces generators and other engine products that positively impact the lives of their customers. Its dedication to new product development has allowed for innovation in products, leading to short, custom manufacturing cycles and speed to the market.
Generac has implemented a companywide charity program, donating more than $200,000 to more than 75 organizations. Generac is committed to participating in numerous programs, including helping non-traditional students receive their high school diplomas in a work environment.
Menomonee Falls-based Alto-Shaam started in a garage 60 years ago and has transformed into a worldwide manufacturer of commercial food preparation products. The company has increased its employee headcount by 50 percent over the past five years. Its focus on a transparent culture is evident in its top-down and bottom-up leadership. Empowering employees and bridging a long-standing gap between the shop floor and front office has allowed Alto-Shaam’s workers to be at the heart of the company’s success.
Alto-Shaam’s unique culture is complimented by their gain sharing program that rewards all employees for contributions to overall corporate objectives. Since 2010, Alto-Shaam has succeeded in organically growing at an annual rate exceeding 15 percent by entering new customer channels, developing new products and satisfying unique customer needs.
Felss Rotaform LLC, which has 51 employees, has adapted a lean and cost-effective approach to manufacture products that are exported to China, Brazil and Mexico. One of only two companies of its kind in the United States, Felss Rotaform is a pioneer in the auto supplier industry as a manufacturer of cold formed and processed tubular components for the automotive industry.
Special Award winners:
MASTER GALLERY FOODS
Masters Gallery Foods started in 1974 as a small brokerage firm. Company management has created a culture that values relationship, collaboration, and commitment to excellence at every level within the organization. Masters Gallery markets more than 500 million pounds of top-quality cheese every year, exporting to China, Mexico, and other parts of the world.
Amerequip Corp. has a retention rate of more than 95 percent. The company has made significant investments in capital expenditures including facility and equipment upgrades and technological improvements. This has allowed Amerequip to expand business with existing clients and markets, including construction, compact utility tractor and turf care. A producer of backhoes, mower decks, utility vehicle attachments and service kits, among others, Amerequip has maintained an on-time delivery rate of 95.5 percent over the past five years.
“These six companies represent the best of the best of Wisconsin’s manufacturers. All of the nominated companies are recognized around the world for their technological improvements, sustainable business practices, dedicated workforce and an unwavering commitment to their customers,” said Kurt Bauer, President and CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.