Location: S80 W18766 Apollo Dr., Muskego
Year Founded: 1979
Product or Service offered: InPro is the nation’s premier manufacturer of building products, offering the most choices and best service in door and wall protection, decorative surfaces, expansion joint systems, cubicle track and privacy curtains and signage and wayfinding. InPro products are used in the healthcare, senior living, hospitality, education, government, marine and retail sectors.
Projected 2010 Revenue: $90 million
President: Philip J. Ziegler
Other key leadership members: Steven J. Ziegler, chief executive officer, Marc Holland, executive vice president of sales and marketing; Glenn Kennedy, executive vice president of plant operations.
Target Clientele: InPro products are used in the healthcare, senior living, hospitality, education, government, marine and retail sectors. In addition, InPro works with archtects and contractors engaged in commercial and institutional design and construction.
Business Organization Memberships: U.S. Green Building Council; Construction Specification Institute Amer. Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers Center for Health Design
What has fueled your company’s growth?
“An uncompromising dedication to our employees, and to delivering the best value to our customers. When you can run product in the competition’s colors and deliver it to the jobsite faster than they can, that tells you why we’ve been so successful.”
What has been the biggest obstacle to your company’s growth?
“Without question, Wisconsin’s business climate is at the bottom of the barrel. We have a tremendous pool of talented, hard-working folks to draw from, but when the tax structure of our state is factored in, it is a huge damper on growth. In addition, the runaway fiscal freight train that is Washington, D.C., is going to unhinge our country’s growth long-term. The answer is not in extending unemployment benefits – real growth will only happen if Washington and Madison help small and medium businesses expand their operations through tax cuts and tax incentives. That’s the only true answer to job creation, and returning our economy to full employment.”
Do you have any planned changes for your company in the coming months?
“We don’t have any major changes planned in the near-term, other than the normal enhancements to our line of products. Instead of first-of-the-year launches, we’ve moved to more of a rolling schedule of new product introductions, which allows us to bring new revenue sources online throughout the year.”
Who are the business people, locally or nationally, whom you admire? What traits do those people exhibit that make you admire them?
“Locally, nationally and even worldwide I admire all those people who are still successful in this economy. More specifically, my greatest admiration goes to the 400 people at InPro Corporation for the customer and fellow employee focused can do winning attitude they demonstrate on a daily basis. It is a pleasure and a delight to watch them successfully navigate this business climate individually or in teams to accomplish their goals, and in many cases to do this with very little or no direct supervision from the person they report to. Truly entrepreneurial, and in many cases simply amazing. I literally, just stay out of their way.”
What is the outlook for the business conditions of your industry over the next several months?
“We’re cautiously optimistic. We’ve seen our sales trending upward over the last six months or so, and we’re ahead of last year. A good portion of our business relies on construction of new commercial and institutional buildings. As credit continues to loosen, we should see more big construction projects get on the drawing boards.”
What has been your company’s key strategy for rising out of the recession?
“Stay the course. We’ve weathered the Great Recession well by using a scalpel to trim expenses. Where other companies take a meat cleaver to expense for things like marketing, we’ve maintained a ‘business as usual’ attitude and made only very selective cuts. We’ve also been very successful at maintaining margin. Once you give on price, it will take years for you to gain that back, if you ever do. Our philosophy is: Let the other guys give their business away … in the long run, we’ll not only survive but be in a much-stronger position.”
Congratulations from the strategic partner behind InPro Corporation