Jason Industries to reduce number of facilities in coming years

Company also plans to consolidate brands

Jason Industries-Milwaukee

Milwaukee-based Jason Industries Inc. plans to complete two or three facility consolidations each year over the next three years, bringing its total number of facilities closer to 26.

Jason Corp-Milwaukee-2016-01-19

Brian Kobylinski, Jason president and chief executive officer, said the current number of 35 facilities amounts to running almost three dozen $20 million businesses at the same time.

“This is just too many for a company our size,” Kobylinski said. “You can imagine the challenges this fragmentation presents, increased logistics costs, pockets of underutilization and problems recruiting high-level talent are just a few of the inefficiencies this organizational complexity contributes to.”

He said the company was starting its work cleaning up and organizing space at all its facilities, pointing to one in Richmond, Indiana where more than 20,000 square feet of floor space was made available through these efforts.

“This type of work gives us options,” he said, adding the company would be announcing its next consolidation during the second quarter.

Most of Jason’s facilities are in the United States, Mexico and Germany. The company is the parent company of a group of seating, finishing, component and automotive acoustic manufacturers. Other than the Milwaukee headquarters of its seating business, the only other Wisconsin operations the company has are in Redgranite for the seating business.

Jason has already been undergoing a number of restructuring and transformational activities over the last year. Those activities included closing a facility in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, and consolidating two facilities in Libertyville, Illinois. The company has achieved $22 million in savings and is targeting $30 million over three years.

During the most recent quarter, Jason’s revenue fell by 8.3 percent to $175.2 million, but the company narrowed its loss from $2.6 million to $386,000. Earnings improved from a 15 cent loss per diluted share to 5 cents per share.

“We are beginning to see the results of our quality, delivery, portfolio optimization and cost reduction initiatives reflected in our financial performance and the rate of new business awards received in the quarter,” Kobylinski said. “We continue to aggressively pursue further operational improvement opportunities while driving growth via new customers, new markets, and new products.”

He also announced the company would look to streamline its branding. Jason currently sells products under 27 different brands for its four businesses.

“The complexity is overwhelming,” Kobylinski said. “Moving forward we are focused on one parent company brand, Jason, and four business-level brands.”

The brands will Osborne for finishing, MetalEx for components, Milsco for seating and Janesville Acoustics.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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