J.W. Winco expands to new markets

New Berlin-based J.W. Winco Inc. manufactures and/or distributes more than 50,000 different products for an international customer base, and it continues to expand its reach.

The company, which focuses on standard machine components and assembly hardware, recently opened a sales office in Canada and is expanding its sales efforts to Mexico, said chief executive officer John Winkler Jr.

There are two employees at the Canadian office, which opened near Toronto in April 2011 to bring the company closer to the customer base there. J.W. Winco also plans to send a sales engineer to Mexico by fall to target that area.

“We just knew that the amount of business that we were doing was not as much as we could up there and down in Mexico,” Winkler said.

The company’s signature products are its plastic adjustable levers and Ny-Lev leveling mounts. The lever handles and leveling mount pads are made by a Wisconsin plastic molder, and the component parts like leveling mount studs and lever inserts are manufactured on J.W. Winco’s CNC turning centers.

There are nine CNC machines, lathes, milling machines and broaching tools in J.W. Winco’s manufacturing area. There is also a space for assembly, a shipping area and lots of inventory at the company’s 40,000-square-foot facility.

The company added 20,000 square feet to its facility in 2007 to make more room for its $3.5 to $4 million in inventory.

This year, J.W. Winco invested more than $1 million in a vertical storage system to improve ergonomics and efficiency in filling orders. The system works like an elevator to move parts up and down as needed.

Installing a vertical storage system improved J.W. Winco’s order pulling times and maximized its usage of the facility space, Winkler said.

Winkler’s parents, Anne and John Winkler, started J.W. Winco in 1978 as solely a distribution business. When customers requested modifications to existing parts, the company started making additional products.

“We do everything from complete manufacturing to partial manufacturing to secondary operations and assembly,” Winkler said.

As a result, J.W. Winco has a greater breadth of components than its competitors, Winkler said. It distributes products through various sales channels, including manufacturing representatives, sales engineers and catalogs.

Flexibility also sets J.W. Winco apart, he said. If a customer calls with a request for a round nob with a longer stem or different finish, the company can make it custom.

“Everybody has the ability to buy products online,” Winkler said. “For us, it’s that diverse ability.”

J.W. Winco expects revenue of $13 million in 2012, up about 9 percent from 2011, Winkler said.

The company continues to add new product lines and the equipment to make them. Winkler has also focused on increasing marketing and sales efforts to continue the company’s growth.

“All of our dedicated employees have been instrumental in the growth of J.W. Winco and without them and their support in every accomplishment and milestone achieved by us, we would not be where we are today,” he said.

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