2016 was one of the best years in Hytrol history. We overcame challenges in the influx of business, diversified our markets, grew our workforce and invested in our relationships.
Hytrol's most valuable asset is our workforce. The Hytrol Family has grown this year to include more than 1,000 employees. These employees are vital to our efforts and goals, and we continue to invest in them to ensure that they feel valued. Our employees are responsible for every order, from before a customer orders to long after the order is completed. Because of their efforts, we exceeded our shipping goals for five consecutive months, making this a record year for Hytrol.
To accommodate the influx of business, we increased our facility's capacity by investing $13 million in a facility expansion and capital equipment to elevate our production levels. New additions such as lasers, presses and a state-of-the-art paint system have allowed us to increase capacity and provide quality systems more efficiently to our customers.
The large spike in e-commerce within the past five years has created new opportunities in the parcel industry. We have been working with parcel industry leaders like UPS and Amazon to create innovations that will help businesses keep pace with this increasing demand. We've made huge strides in providing solutions beyond previous capabilities. We've created custom-designed products to fit heavy duty parcel specifications. Our new focus factory for parcel solutions will be operational by the end of January 2017. By seizing opportunities with these industry leaders, we will be competitive well into the future.
To move forward in the industry and drive new product development internally, we made adjustments at organization levels. We appointed product managers to oversee the implementation of particular products, such as Hytrol's plastic chain conveyor line, Connex™. We created new processes to establish project efficiency and produce a more lean process overall for our customers.
Our Integration Partners
The Hytrol Integration Partner Network is the key to success, for both Hytrol and our customers. Serving as Hytrol's sales force in the market, these independent companies are instrumental to the value we provide customers through our products' support, service and accessibility. As a company, we're grateful for the relationships we have built and/or maintained with integration partners throughout 70 years of business. By connecting our customers to our network, we know that they'll get the quality service and product we're known for.
I am proud of Hytrol's achievements this year. Our employees, integration partners and business partners were a crucial part of our success.
2017 marks Hytrol's 70th year in business and our late founder's 100th birthday. We look forward to achieving many more milestones, and continuing to create innovative solutions in the material handling industry.
About the Author
Chris Glenn is Hytrol Conveyor Company’s Vice President of Operations. He is responsible for all logistics operations of the company.