Vollrath reshoring some production

The Vollrath Co. LLC in Sheboygan is reshoring some of its production from China because it has become less expensive to manufacture one of its products here.

The company’s Gastronorm Steam Pan is 10 percent more expensive to manufacture in China because of inflation, government policy enforcement, transportation costs and the appreciation of the RMB currency.

“We only source outside the U.S. when we have to do so to hit a competitive price point in the market,” said Paul Bartelt, president and CEO. “In general, the costs of sourcing, specifically in China, over the last couple of years, have really started to move in the opposite direction.”

About 80 percent of the company’s production is in the U.S. and 20 percent is elsewhere.

The company is currently adding 160,000 square feet to its existing 90,000-square-foot facility in Sheboygan to make additional warehouse space.

Since the product runs through an automated production line, the insourcing will result in just two to five new jobs in Sheboygan.

At the end of 2012, Vollrath has about 1,400 employees companywide, up from about 700 in 2008. It has seven factories worldwide, six of which are in the U.S. It also has distribution centers globally.

Its revenue is expected to be between $325 million and $375 million for 2013. Vollrath has acquired six other companies in the last four years.

Vollrath’s growth has been driven by strategic product additions, Bartelt said. The foodservice equipment manufacturer has focused on the middle part of the restaurant, where food is prepped, cooked and served.

“We have a fairly tight strategic plan and we’ve identified some specific areas in the foodservice industy where we can take market share,” he said. “Really the idea is as our customer base consolidates and wants to go to fewer suppliers, we want to offer more and more products within that space of the restaurant.”

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