SIDNEY — “Tom Gross and I ushered in 2020 as new business owners, having purchased Sidney Manufacturing Company from the retiring Steve Baker and Paul Borders.” said Joe Swartz. “Tom and I have a combined 35 years at the company and a great support staff, so we were able to hit the ground running.
Swartz’s report continues:
Sidney Manufacturing has two major product lines, drag conveyors and special purpose personnel elevators. Our conveyors offer an innovative design that caters to applications where product damage is a concern. This provides a competitive advantage over other types of drag conveyors and screw conveyors. The special purpose personnel elevator is another core product and continues to evolve with new innovations and regulatory changes. Recent product improvements are roller guides (offering a smoother ride) and a new control panel that was developed with Electro- Controls of Sidney that offers ease of maintenance and serviceability.
These core products are bolstered by a line of bucket elevators, slidegates, divert valves and distributor/turnheads. These products have a long history across a number of industries. And with a willingness to customize and evolve these products, they remain a relevant part of our business.
When March of 2020 arrived, it brought with it a pandemic and all the uncertainty that came with it. But we were able to keep moving forward, thanks to a tremendously dedicated workforce and strong customer base. By June of 2020 we made our first capital purchase, a Hydmech automatic saw, to replace an aging unit that was becoming maintenance intensive.
Our largest markets remained strong but at various points we saw capital projects being put on temporary hold. This led to a slight dip in sales, but things picked up as summer arrived. But this was followed by another dip in the weeks preceding the Presidential election, as the uncertainty hampered sales. A surge of sales in late-Novemeber and December allowed us to finish strong, however.
With the first year of ownership under our belts, a talented and experienced workforce, and a vaccine that promises to end this pandemic – we are very optimistic of the future of one of Shelby County’s oldest manufacturing firms.