Team members at SELECT Products Limited in Portage have a great story to tell. The geared continuous door hinge they produce survived an independent test of 25 million open-and-close cycles. The test required over four years to complete. Every other component in the door failed except the hinge.
That’s a product the team is proud to develop, produce, sell, and support! In fact, the company has a never-ending warranty.
Pride in the product is one part of a culture developed over the company’s 27-year history. Walking the floor at the facility, visitors are greeted by energetic smiles from employees who are on a mission. The atmosphere exudes confidence. The team is experienced and they take great pride in being a small but “fiercely independent” company.
“We take care of our people and therefore can do what’s best for our customers,” said Mike Anderson, President and General Manager at SELECT. “New team members are matched with an experienced ‘sponsor’ and provided on-the-job training. The team helps select new members because they earn monthly profit sharing and have a stake in the outcome. Successful employees are team oriented multi-taskers.”
Anderson said turnover is low amongst the 35 members. In addition to the profit sharing, the company provides generous benefits, including paying 100 percent of the healthcare plan, a pension plan, and 401k options.
To help employees succeed, the company provides technical training. Plus, the team continually learns from each other through interactions with sales managers, weekly new product meetings, and shared customer service call experiences. Employees enjoy quarterly meetings featuring catered lunches where sales and product information is shared.
“Many of our research and development ideas come from our customers,” Anderson said. He cited a patented ligature resistant device created for behavioral health institutions.
It’s a method that works, evidenced by the company’s 14 percent growth rate last year. Current trends indicate an even better 2018. This spring, they’ll break ground on a new 50,000-square-foot facility in Oshtemo Township which includes space for four new employees.
“Assuming continued growth, our next major step in the future would be to vertically integrate, adding our own anodizing facility and bringing in additional employees,” Anderson said.
Anderson has no fear that a company creating a hinge lasting 60 years will eventually run out of customers. “The original patent on the hinge has been out there for almost 40 years,” he said. “But we still encounter hardware professionals at trade shows that have never seen it.”
Where the New Jobs Are
As reported by the regional economic development partners Battle Creek Unlimited, Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance, and Southwest Michigan First.
SELECT Products Limited
OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP, MI
NEW JOBS: 4
NEW JOBS: 54
THREE RIVERS, MI
NEW JOBS: 2
All That Jazz
NEW JOBS: 20
Prairie Farms Dairy
BATTLE CREEK, MI
NEW JOBS: 16