Anco named Elkhart Chamber 'Company of the Month'

Anco Products, Inc. is named Small Business of the Month!  Mike Lobeck of First State Bank and Chamber Recognition Council Stephanie Patka present the award to Anco president Ray Plagens.  Along with Ray (left to right-top row) are Anco's leaders Liz John
December 17, 2006 - The Business Recognition Council has given the Business of the Month Award for December to Anco Products, Inc. Anco has been operating since 1972 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the APi Group, Inc. in Roseville, MN. In the past 10 years Anco has grown from 35 employees to over 80 while revenues have increased more than 467% in the same period. More importantly, profits have improved to as much as three times the amount that the company was losing in previous years representing a complete turn-around of the company.

Anco has three manufacturing divisions operating from its 185,000 SF facility in Elkhart that specialize in fulfilling niche applications within their respective industries. Anco's longstanding primary revenue stream comes from its flexible air duct division which makes a myriad of Anco Flex Systems duct products for HVAC applications in residential and light commercial applications. Anco has sold products to all seven continents from its TextraFINE® division which is a recycled content insulation product sold into a multitude of OEM and industrial thermal and mechanical applications. The crown jewel of Anco is its Industrial Resilient Blanket (IRB) product that is used across the world in most cryogenic applications within liquefied natural gas tanks. Anco also started laminating metal building insulation and post frame insulation seven years ago forming its third product division that specializes in unique insulation applications for metal buildings and pole barns.

Ray Plagens, Anco's president and CEO since 1995, summarizes the company's success with emphasis on continuous improvement and teamwork. "Anco has performed to levels that some would have never envisioned. This success is completely due to the great ideas generated by our people. We have awesome employees with some who have been with Anco over 30 years and they have seen the good and the bad. Continuous improvement is a huge part of who we are as a company."

Dan Heatherson, Anco's VP of Operations further explained, "Anco is seeking to become a world class manufacturing enterprise. Our quest involves win-win relationships with our employees, our customers, and our vendors. We are implementing lean manufacturing principles across our entire company that will attack waste at every opportunity. This will make our operation far more efficient and at the same time we will improve the safety and working conditions for our employees. Our customers and vendors will also benefit from these improvements as we will become far more agile and efficient."

Many other key Anco leaders contribute with their excitement. Larry Cogdill, Anco's Lean Facilitator adds, "Anco is just at the beginning of this journey." Geoff McCuen, Anco's Safety Leader and Human Resources Manager exalts, "We are dramatically impacting our safety culture and it also is making Anco a far better place to work and allows us to take care of our families." Rob Rohena, the Quality Program Manager, states, "Attacking waste becomes the focus of our program and that has major implications for all parts of our company." Spencer England and Mark Sorg, members of Anco's sales force, jointly state, "As we improve our ability to cut costs and reduce waste, it will allow us to take care of our customers with better lead times and competitive pricing."

Anco hopes to emphasize the recycled content of its products far better into the future with heightened emphasis on LEED credits and eco-friendly building materials. Plagens adds, "Anco has so much to offer to builders who truly care about using a product that is 80%-90% recycled content. We have something to sell that no one else has. Combine that with all the other niche demands that we satisfy and you have a recipe for exciting times into the future. As long as we continue to focus on developing our most valuable resource, our people, we will enjoy improved performance for years to come. We place a very high priority on leadership development and the Elkhart Leadership Academy has helped Anco in that regard."

The Elkhart Chamber congratulates Anco Products, Inc. on its growth and success and the opportunities it brings to the Elkhart community.

Contact us today for more information about Anco Products.