LOCATION: 5050 North 124th Street Milwaukee, WI 53225
WEB SITE: www.churchmetal.com
YEAR FOUNDED: 1944
PRODUCT OR SERVICE OFFERED: Contract manufacturing of metal fabricated parts.
PROJECTED 2008 REVENUE: $3.5 million
LEADERSHIP TEAM: Mark Verhein, president; Kim Verhein Herro, owner; Pete Gutmann, quality manager; Scott Otte, sales engineer; Mike Wulf. floor manager, spinning; Brenda Birno, human resources/financial; and Pam Wulf, customer service/data entry.
TARGET CLIENTELE: OEMs and primary OEMs requiring metal fabricated parts for lower volume production (1 to 10,000 pieces) and prototyping. Our key customers are OEM’s that manufacture high value industrial equipment.
BUSINESS ORGANIZATION MEMBERSHIPS: Precision Metalforming Association (PMA); MMAC; CIM-The Business Owners Forum; and American Welding Society.
WHAT HAS FUELED YOUR COMPANY’S GROWTH? We have sharpened our focus on our key customers, fulfilling their production and prototype requirments for metal fabricated parts. These customers manufacture large engines, mining equipment, power transmission and electrical grid equipments. As energy and international infrastructure projects have boomed, our customers have benefitted. We also completed ISO 9001:2000 certification of our Quality System. This has helped to remove an impediment to earning more business, and it has helped to make us a more effective company. In 2005, we replaced our industrial laser with a new 4,000 watt machine. Lastly, but importantly, we established an advisory board of directors in 2005. The board has been a great tool for helping us make decisions. We established the board as an outgrowth of our membership in CIM – The Business Owners Forum.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO YOUR COMPANY’S GROWTH? Our biggest obstacle is recognizing that we must continue to trust our key employees with increasing levels of responsibility. Our employees are ready and willing to help us grow. We need to continue to give them the tools they need to help the company continue to grow.
DO YOU PLAN ANY CHANGES IN YOUR COMPANY IN THE UPCOMING MONTHS? First, and most importantly, we will be losing our quality manager to retirement within the next twelve months. Pete has been a key member of our team at Church Metal for more than 35 years. His experience and focus on our success will be missed. Secondly, we are in the process of reorganizing our office to more effectively serve our customers. This will include a greater focus on customer service and order processing. We may be adding one or two positions.
WHO ARE THE BUSINESS PEOPLE, LOCALLY OR NATIONALLY, WHOM YOU ADMIRE? AND WHAT TRAITS DO THOSE PEOPLE EXHIBIT THAT MAKE YOU ADMIRE THEM? First, our father, Don Verhein and uncle Gene Verhein, provided the model of our business. They aggressively invested in new machinery and were always honest and fair in their dealings with our suppliers, customers and employees. We use their example as our moral compass. We have been fortunate to meet and discuss business issues with many successful local business leaders, including both other business owners and individual customers. On a monthly basis, I meet with other members of CIM – The Business Owners Forum to share ideas and discuss ways to address opportunities. Ron Marsahll, of Helgesen, has been helpful to both Kim and I in helping us to understand how to grow our business. Mike Erwin of Tailored Label Products has given me insight into how to empower and motivate employees.
WHAT IS THE OUTLOOK FOR THE BUSINESS CONDITIONS OF YOUR INDUSTRY OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS? There is still substantial opportunity for growth by meeting our customer’s requirements. OEM’s are continually working to focus their efforts on their own core compentencies of designing and building their products. Their de-emphasis on metal fabricating creates opportunities for companies like Church Metal.
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(262) 784-6210, www.freyberg-hinkle.com