SIDNEY – To grow Valence Industrial, CEO Chuck Pisciotta is investing in the business’ operations and its people – giving some of his workers ownership stake in the company.
Pisciotta, a Lehman Catholic High School graduate, purchased HB Products in Sidney and JR Buck Industries in Lexington, Kentucky, in September. He combined the two businesses into Valence Industrial and created a new leadership structure, allowing some of the company’s employees to become owner-operators.
“If you feel it’s yours, you’re going to make the right decisions,” Pisciotta said. “I don’t have to keep my eye on them all the time. When they’re spending money, they need to spend it like it’s theirs.”
In Sidney, Josh Price and Chuck Warner, both of whom started on the shop floor, are part of the new owner-operator structure. Warner now is the general manager of the Sidney facility while Price is a project manager.
“It’s definitely a better feeling than I had before,” Price said of the owner-operator program. “Definitely got a little more pressure, a lot more responsibility.”
In their new roles, Warner and Price have been tasked with helping to grow Valence Industrial, an industrial company that works in contract manufacturing, prototyping, reverse engineering and refurbishing.
“Anything that somebody brings to us we can build,” Warner said. “I like to think if you can dream it, we can build it.”
The company already has started toward its goal for growth by standardizing its AutoCAD system, upgrading its computer systems and purchasing a laser worth more than $1 million for its Sidney facility. The new laser allows the company to cut steel that is more than an inch thick – previously Valence Industrial could only cut steel up to a half inch – and can cut at least 10 times faster than it previously could.
“That laser just blows me away,” Warner said. “The speed of the thing is just phenomenal.”
Prior to upgrading the laser, Valence Industrial had to subcontract out work that required cutting thicker pieces of steel. When he bought the company, Pisciotta said, he wanted to place an emphasis on productivity and capability.
“The whole idea is productivity and capability for our customers,” said Pisciotta, who was a founding partner of an information technology and services company and a founding member of a precision metal fabricator. “So when a customer calls up, we’re able to be more competitive and react quicker. That’s what it’s all about: the customer. You can’t do that without investments.
“There’s 60,000 fabricators out there, and you’ve got to be on the leading edge. What I’m trying to do is push them into the future.”
Also helping to improve the workflow at Valence Industrial has been the merging of the shops in Sidney and Lexington, which combined have approximately 80,000 square feet of space. The two shops can share work, allowing them to focus on what each does best and share the load when one location is busier than the other.
When he was looking for companies to purchase, Pisciotta honed in on the Lexington and Sidney properties because they compliment each other so well. The Lexington facility specializes in prototyping and short runs while the Sidney facility is better equipped for long runs.
“Their sweet spot is about 50 to 300 units, and they tend to do more engineering on the front end,” Pisciotta, who is based in Columbus, said of the Lexington shop. “That’s where I thought the two kind of work well together. Sidney, they can do 20 to 100,000 units with no problem.”
Valence Industrial works with clients in a variety of fields including automotive, industrial and medical. The company hopes its diverse customer base will help it withstand the ups and downs of the economy.
“We never really slowed down during the pandemic,” Warner said. “We’ve been very fortunate, actually. We stayed steady. But here in the past couple months it’s really been increasing. We’re, yeah, we’re pretty slammed right now.”
Pisciotta sees growth potential in his new company. He’s added some people in sales to reach new customers and is on the lookout for any other companies Valence Industrial could purchase. The Sidney shop also has room to expand as additional capacity is required.
And with the next generation of management in place through the owner-operator program, Pisciotta is confident in his company’s future.
“I was just very impressed with their skills and their drive,” he said. “They’re young and aggressive. Very pleased with what I ended up with.”
For more information about Valence Industrial, visit www.valenceindustrial.com or call 877-330-2354.
Reach the writer at [email protected] or 937-538-4824.