Res Mfg. wins award for turnaround

March 16, 2005

Res Mfg. Co. earned a special award from the 2004 Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award for its turnaround story.

Fifty-two manufacturers were nominated for awards during 2004. In honors bestowed Mar. 3, 2005, in Milwaukee, eight received grand awards for overall outstanding achievement. Twelve companies earned special awards based on their exemplary contributions to manufacturing in the state. Res earned a special award for "Reinventing to Meet Global Competition."

According to the company, Res is an entirely different company than the one that was in business in 1998. Seeing a steady and alarming decline in sales to its traditional customers, the manufacturer of metal stampings completely shifted its internal and external focus to reach new markets, and was able to accomplish an astounding turnaround in revenue and growth.

"I wouldn't have believed, four years ago, that we could be in the position we are today," said Dave Tomczek, Res vice president of marketing and sales. "Starting in 1998, foreign competition began to eat away at our traditional markets, resulting in a 40 percent decline by 2001. We had to completely re-invent ourselves."

Historically a supplier of metal components for high volume commodity consumers, the company developed a new strategy to provide more technically focused products to automotive OEMs. This new structure required an expanded workforce, tool and process engineering, research and development and new manufacturing capabilities in welding and mechanical fastening. It also sought and earned the international quality certifications necessary to compete in this new industry.

According to Tomczek, the results have been remarkable. Revenue has increased 47 percent since 2002, and in 2005, the company expects to realize an additional 20 percent growth. Res has increased its customer base, quote requests have increased fourfold, and the company has created 200 new parts. Employment is back to pre-1998 levels, and the company is adding direct manufacturing and salaried technical positions.

The annual Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award is co-sponsored by law firm Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, Milwaukee, accounting and consulting firm Virchow, Krause & Company, LLP, Madison, and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Madison.