Allis-Roller reduces workforce from 100 to 50

Franklin-based manufacturer Allis-Roller LLC recently reduced its workforce from 100 employees to 50.

According to president and chief executive officer Dave Dull, the majority of employees were laid off at the end of 2014 and in June.

“We’re in a downturn, but we expect to come out of this soon,” Dull said. “We’re stabilized now, and starting to see things at least stay at a sustainable level. And we have some new business we’re expecting, so we’re very confident we will start to see things improving certainly by 2016.”

Shortly before the first set of layoffs, Allis-Roller, a contract manufacturer of precision machined parts and complex welded assemblies, moved to a new 110,000-square-foot facility at 5801 W. Franklin Drive. It was previously located in a 43,000-square-foot facility a quarter of a mile away at 9800 S. 60th St.

Allis-Roller had needed the additional space to accommodate its growth, but sales dropped about 35 percent in late 2014 due to a slump in the agricultural industry, Dull said.

“Farmers aren’t buying equipment right now,” he said. “Corn and soybean prices are at very low levels compared to what they were two or three years ago. Farmers just aren’t projecting to have enough income during this upcoming harvest to feel like they have to go buy equipment.”

Although it primarily served the agricultural market, Allis-Roller is now finding business in other industries including construction, trucking, paper and printing.

“When times get tough we have to get creative, and we knew we needed to diversify our customer base,” Dull said. “We’re really working hard to find business in other areas to make our company stronger, and we’re having some success with that.”

Dull said he is optimistic for the next two or three years, and he expects the company to reach about 100 employees again in that time period.

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