One of the mainstays of Life at IEA is the Employee Meeting…a frequent opportunity for everyone who works at the company to interact with management in an open forum gathering. It serves the valuable purpose of letting the employees know what’s happening across the organization, who’s moved on and who’s moved in, how the business is trending and what those in charge of planning see for the future. It’s also an ideal time for questions to be answered and those involved in the day-to-day of the business to share ideas and move toward a more productive environment for all.
Jim Kettinger, Owner and CEO, keynoted the July Meeting with an update on the effects lower oil prices, a slowing of the Chinese economy and Britain’s voting to leave the EU are having on the company’s two prime customers. He noted that the high quality standards demanded by these firms continue to be met even as their product mix and volumes change, results he attributed to employee commitment, continually upgraded production processes and having brought more fabrication in-house.
Strengthening of the outlook for the Silver Linings Systems division highlighted Kettinger’s comments, as did news of the expanded growth efforts on behalf of the ArcRon brand, with the addition of a full-time sales person to promote that division’s fabrication capabilities. “We’re working hard to reduce the traditional cyclicality of IEA’s business by finding new customers in new markets,” said Dave Steck, Chief Sales and Operation Officer.
Prominent among the on-going improvements described was the addition of new production equipment scheduled for fall installation, enhancement of the factory’s HVAC system and a new look and messaging for both the IEA and Silver Linings Systems websites.
As in 2015, the enthusiastic participation of IEA employees in the individual health maintenance portions of the company’s medical benefit plan helped blunt any expected increase in future plan rates. “So many of us taking better care of ourselves has allowed the company to maintain control over one of the more significant cost factors in today’s business climate,” said Doug Moennig, Engendren CFO.
Kettinger’s closing comments reminded employees of the future value to each of them provided by Engendren’s 401K plan and the healthy matching provisions offered by the company. “At a time when Social Security is no longer a sure thing, our program offers a viable alternative for retirement planning,” said Kettinger.
An added feature to the July Meeting was a true Wisconsin cookout, with management serving as cooks and servers. It gave everyone a chance to talk over the information they’d received while enjoying hamburgers, brats and all the fixin’s.