SIDNEY — “The year 2016 was a banner year for Electro Controls as we reached a milestone of 40 years in business while achieving record high sales volume,” said President Tim Geise. “Control panels and wire harnesses for food equipment, metal forming equipment, and automated manufacturing equipment have been very strong for us for several years now and those industries did very well for us again in 2016. We had some very nice growth with the wire extrusion, plastic extrusion, conveyor, and pump industries this past year and our continued focused efforts from our controls engineering team and our supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) team are paying off. We are pleased with our position in the market and remain optimistic for continued growth into the midterm.”
His report follows:
Sales results in 2016 were well above budget. Our summer months were especially busy and we set monthly sales records regularly throughout the year. However, margins were slightly lower than budget and have been in decline for a few years now as the global market has really taken hold, resulting in price point pressures across the board. Increased government regulations and trade and product compliance requirements continue to negatively impact our cost structure and this holds true for our suppliers and clients as well. The good news is that we are doing a good job adapting as a company and our employees are continuing to work hard on continual improvement initiatives to help offset these additional costs. We worked very hard on a large project to overhaul our materials and resource planning system in order to meet increasing business demands and successfully launched this new version in December.
Our biggest challenge in 2016 was finding the right people and space to get things done. We have added technicians in almost all production areas this year and finished the year operating with 94 employees. We had to log a significant number of overtime hours throughout the year in order to support our sales growth and we are very thankful to our employees and very pleased with their commitment to the company and to our clients. We are forecasting for the addition of another five employees in 2017.
Meanwhile, we completed a 15,625 square foot addition to our facility in December and it is being used for raw material and finished goods warehousing in order to free up additional space for manufacturing in our existing production area. With the inclusion of mezzanines, our facility has grown to almost 75,000 square feet, which is double the space we had when we built and moved into the original facility in 2001. We still have a 1.5 acre tract of open land to the north of our current facility for future expansion. We also continue to invest in technology and equipment to enhance our services and increase our efficiencies in order to provide best value for our clients.
We are very excited as to what lies ahead for Electro Controls. While there is a degree of uncertainty from an economic and political standpoint, we feel we have an effective business strategy and the right people in place to adapt and provide a value proposition that will continue to produce growth opportunities. We pledge to offer best in class solutions for automation systems, control panels, and wire harnesses. We are proud to be serving a wide range of clients and industries across North America from Sidney, Ohio. We want to thank all our employees, suppliers, clients, and the local business community for working with us.