The Brewer Company LLC

The Brewer Company LLC
N88 W13901 Main St., Menomonee Falls
Industry: Examination tables, seating and accessories for the medical, dental, industrial and related markets
Employees: 120

The products made at Menomonee Falls-based The Brewer Company LLC are important features in physicians’ offices, clinics, dental offices and some industrial applications – but the company is far from a household name.

Most of Brewer Co.’s products are made for the medical market. It makes goods ranging from examination and procedure tables to IV stands and other chrome-plated support stands used in hospitals and clinics. It also makes specialized ergonomic seating for dental offices and industrial markets, as well as custom upholstery for health care-related original equipment manufacturers.

The company’s best known products are its examination tables, said Paul Siepmann, president and chief executive officer. The tables are used in general practitioners offices, as well as specialists including dermatology, OB/GYN, urology, gastro-intestinal and some cosmetic surgeons.

“Our examination tables start with a box table and go all the way up to a motorized procedure table,” Siepmann said. “We’ve incorporated innovations into them such as the combination of storage with motorized positioning of the patient, with foot controls for the operator. They’re safer for heath care workers because they don’t have to lift the patient.”

Many of the exam tables made by Brewer Co. also feature handrails, leg supports and other support structures to accommodate patients.

Brewer Co.’s chairs for dentists and dental hygienists have been designed to accommodate the unique body positions those workers must adopt while examining and working on patients.

“They are geared toward positioning the clinicians so they have optimal ergonomic scenarios and avoid back, neck and shoulder strain,” Siepmann said. “They have to sit all day and they’ve got to crane themselves into position to get into their patients’ mouths.”

Brewer Co. also makes similar chairs that are used by ophthalmologists and opticians.

The company also makes ergonomic chairs for the industrial market – to be used in environments where operators, assemblers and inspectors need to sit for long periods of time.

“We’re also looking at durability for harsher environments,” Siepmann said.

Brewer Co.’s products for the medical, dental, optical and industrial markets are sold under its own brand. However, it also makes upholstery and other items for OEMs in the health care, marine and spa markets.

“These are for a lot of patient surfaces – one of the things we make is a pad that sits on top of a stretcher, Siepmann said.

All of Brewer Co.’s exam tables, seating and upholstery products are made to order, Siepmann said. Its production departments are arranged as independent cells – producing finished products in packaging and ready to be loaded onto trucks for shipping.

Brewer Co. has about 120 employees in two facilities in Menomonee Falls. Its manufacturing, design and sales force is based in a 70,000-square-foot facility. About three weeks ago, Brewer Co. opened a 40,000-square-foot distribution facility about one-half mile away from its headquarters.

“We’ve in-sourced our distribution,” Siepmann said. “It used to be done by a third party. It was both a cost reduction and an opportunity to control the process better.”

As the health care equipment market shrunk in 2009, Brewer Co.’s sales fell. However, the company was able to capture additional market share last year, positioning it for growth this year.

“We’re looking forward to seeing market recovery in 2010,” Siepmann said.

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