Company Success Based on Ability to Reinvent Itself
MILWAUKEE, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ — Although Res Manufacturing has completed a very successful first century, it hasn’t been a history without challenges. Constant throughout the company’s history, however, have been its dedication to a vibrant corporate culture, business and market expansion and the most sophisticated technology and facilities.
Established on Fifth Avenue in Milwaukee in early 1907, the metal stamping company almost immediately began its affiliation with Wisconsin’s burgeoning aluminum cookware industry by manufacturing stamped handles. Res has continued to work closely with the cookware and appliance industries throughout the years, adding advanced stamping operations to provide a comprehensive variety of products that demand intricate shapes and surfaces along with high strength.
“Dedication to the cookware industry has helped us to realize many goals over the years,” explained John Ormerod, company president. “In addition, we’ve contributed to our nation’s history by supplying cookware for our troops both in World War II and during the Vietnam War.”
But Res has also maintained a history supplying stamped products to the automotive industry, beginning in 1914 providing parts for Ford Motor Company’s new Model T vehicle. When their traditional markets were seriously eroded by foreign competition in the late 1990s, Res was forced to reinvent itself. The company re-focused its efforts on the automotive industry, adding automated assembly and robotic welding operations. They also pursued international automotive quality awards, earning the QS-9000 certification in only one year and ranking as one of the first U.S. manufacturers to achieve TS 16949 certification when it was awarded to Res in 2004. Also in 2004, the company earned a special award for “Reinventing to Meet Global Competition” from the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award program.
The company has also been focused on expansion throughout its history, beginning in 1962 when their downtown Milwaukee operation was replaced by the new interstate system. Since that time they have undertaken four major expansion operations. The company has also been a leader in developing the most sophisticated stamping systems and related operations of the time, as well as providing engineering and materials expertise.
Most of the company’s expansion and technological advancement came at the hands of Scott Moon, who purchased the company in 1979. Moon “was dedicated to making Res an international manufacturing operation, and made many trips to Japan to learn about their methods and equipment,” said Ormerod.
“An offshoot of Mr. Moon’s work with Japanese manufacturing has been his long focus on improving the Res corporate culture,” he said. Over a period of more than 20 years, the company has completely refocused its manufacturing operations, adding open office concepts and work cells to better manage the flow of business. In addition, the company has been dedicated to employee training and retention, through cross-training programs, company-wide retreats, quality management programs and other efforts.
The company has continued to increase production, and has doubled its sales within the automotive industry. “We’re looking at record sales levels for 2007,” said Ormerod. “It’s a good time to be looking back at how we have evolved as a company. We discovered that our overall philosophy hasn’t changed: that we’ve dedicated ourselves to a strong company culture, providing a wide variety of products to our markets, while always learning from the past. It’s a good lesson for any company.”
Res Manufacturing has celebrated its 100th anniversary with many activities throughout the year, including a customer/supplier appreciation party at a Milwaukee Brewers game, and a celebration for Res associates, spouses, board members and retired associates at the new Discovery World Museum on the Milwaukee lakefront.
About Res Manufacturing: Res Manufacturing is a supplier of metal stampings and sub-assemblies for automotive and consumer product applications. From headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisc., the company provides engineered solutions in the manufacture of progressive die metal stampings and subassemblies, offering full tool design and prototyping. A sister company, Kondex Corporation, supplies cutting products to the agricultural and commercial lawn and turf care markets from new facilities in Lomira, Wisc. For more information about Res Manufacturing, visit www.resmfg.com.
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Source: Res Manufacturing