I’d like to start with the obvious: 2017 has been the best year in Hytrol’s history. That’s not meant to discount any of the successes of the previous years—we certainly wouldn’t have seen the success we achieved this year had it not been for years and years of preparation and hard work. We know that it’s the work that has happened since Hytrol’s founding in 1947 that we build on to create the progress we see today.

This has been an excellent year for many in the manufacturing and material handling industries. We’re a sector that is constantly planning for the future, but it’s important to take a step back and look at everything we’ve accomplished.

 

Investments

With the expansion of our facility last year, we invested in huge growth this year at Hytrol. We increased our employee number by 20 percent, our capacity by nearly 25 percent, and shipped nearly 25 percent more than we did in 2016. Those are major numbers, and we hit goals in 2017 that we didn’t expect to see until 2020.

I am very proud of how well we’ve done this year. This kind of growth means we’re providing opportunities for people in Northeast Arkansas and giving back to our community.

 

Opportunities and Lessons Learned

With such large growth this year, we had a few growing pains that came along with it. One of the issues we addressed was standard work and procedures. By creating a more encompassing training program during onboarding, we are setting our new hires up for success and the ability to contribute more quickly to the company. We have made good progress but we still have a ways to go.

One of the numbers Hytrol is always proud of is our shipping. We know speed to market is a competitive advantage for Hytrol, which is why we have aggressive time frames in which to get our product shipped. Our volumes impacted our on-time shipping numbers this year and we have addressed these challenges to ensure improved performance in 2018. Still, we can be proud that a “poor” shipping time for Hytrol is still levels above our competition.

 

Loberg Day Celebration

We had our third annual Loberg Day this year, and it was a special one. Hytrol celebrated both its 70th year in business and our late founder Tom Loberg’s 100th birthday. As always, our directors and vice presidents spent the day in our production facility as a reminder to keep our communication pathways open, and we hosted tours of the facility for our employees and their families.

All in all, Loberg Day is a day to celebrate all of the employees throughout history who have made this company’s success possible. We wanted to take the opportunity to thank our employees and members of the Hytrol Family, and we presented a $100,000 check to local charities to give back to the community which has given so much to us.

 

2017 was a year of growth and of opportunity. Heading into 2018, we’d like to thank our Hytrol Family, our integration partner network, suppliers, and all those who had a hand in helping Hytrol be successful. Thank you, and we hope to share even more celebrations, growth and opportunities with you in the years to come.