Mayville grows its Wisconsin footprint

While many companies have struggled to survive, much less grow, in recent years, Mayville Engineering Company has increased its annual sales from $60 million five years ago to $180 million.

Last year, the company acquired a facility in Wautoma for its MEC Contract division and hired 54 new employees.

In all, the Mayville-based company has seven locations comprising more than 1.25 million square feet of space in Wisconsin. Most of those were opened during the past five years.

“We’ve grown aggressively but also conservatively,” said Bob Kamphuis, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We’re reducing debt continuously while investing in our business, and that’s quite an accomplishment.”

Product diversification has been the key to success at Mayville Engineering, a contract manufacturer that makes more than 10,000 different custom parts. Founded in 1945, Mayville became successful in the 1950s making a proprietary product – the MEC Shotshell Reloader. The device can be used to reload a spent shotgun shell at about 60 percent of the cost of buying a new shell, Kamphuis said.

“When people shoot a shotgun shell, there’s an empty hull laying there and (we) thought, ‘Maybe I can recycle these and reuse them,'” he said.

The shotshell reloader product is still big business for Mayville, bringing in about $4 million per year alone.

The 1,150-employee company now has five divisions. MEC Shotshell Reloaders has its own division. The MEC Contract division manufactures parts by contract for agriculture, construction, water sports, medical devices and many other industries. MEC Prototype and Service focuses on prototype design and low volume production to pinpoint the right design. Phoenix Coaters paints some of the parts the company makes. Fabricating Specialists focuses on metal tube forming.

Kamphuis said he is focused on continuing to grow and expand in the company’s existing industries and into new areas.

“Our balance sheet is very conservative,” he said. “We have little or no debt, and we have a lot of borrowing capacity if we want to grow our business.”

Kamphuis attributes the company’s success to providing a high level of value to the customer by helping them realize savings while improving the quality of the company’s products. The diversity of products and capabilities at Mayville has also been an advantage, he said, since customers can save time and money by having several processes completed at the same location for their parts.

“We have such a broad capability that they can come to us with a lot of their product needs and have it done completely,” he said.

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