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Sunday, 29 April 2012 20:00

Michigan 50 Companies to Watch: Lorin Industries

Written by  MiBiz Staff
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Founded: 1943

Location: Muskegon
Top executive: Park Kersman, president/owner
Primary business: Aluminum surface finishing
Employees: Did not disclose

A family-owned business in its third generation, Lorin Industries specializes in aluminium finishing solutions ranging from adhesive ready surfaces and ultraviolet stable colors to antimicrobial coatings. Lorin has also developed a new UV coating that reduces energy usage compared to conventional coatings by 70 percent, and Lorin’s products are being used in large-scale projects around the globe.

How have you managed to grow your company?

We have worked hard to maintain a high level of quality and service for the market, which has enabled us to remain a reliable and consistent supplier. We have also continued to educate the market on the benefits of our products and how they can add value to our  customers.

How did you survive the recession?

We had to pay close attention to the business basics ensuring that we managed our assets effectively while not forgetting the need to evolve with the markets and continue to provide solutions to our customers.

What’s the largest challenge you have in your business?

We are a very capital intensive operation and it is costly but necessary to continue investing in our plant and equipment to be a viable and sustainable solutions provider to the marketplace. As costs continue to rise, we must continue to look for ways we can be more effective in managing those costs in our operations because it is difficult to pass on price increases in a challenging economy and we recognize the importance of keeping our customers competitive.

What’s the best entrepreneurial advice you’ve received?

“Know when to keep quiet and listen” has probably been the very best single piece of advice that I have received. Though it is very simple, it applies to so many aspects of business and life that can enable learning and better understanding which allows for improved and more thoughtful decision making. I have gained a lot more from listening to our customers and to what is going on around me than I have from talking.

How do you innovate in your company?

We are always on the lookout for new ideas and concepts for our business whether it comes from a customer or within our organization. We have a process that we developed to qualify each idea allowing us to have a very good understanding of the opportunity that may exist and preventing us from working on everything that is put in front of us. One thing that we have learned through experience is that too many projects at once prevent any of them from getting done. We have found that the proper qualification process puts the right focus on opportunities that bring the best value to the organization.

What’s your company’s biggest opportunity?

Lorin’s biggest opportunity exists in the organization itself. There are a lot of very talented people here that are working hard to take Lorin to the next level. We recently reviewed and renewed our strategic plan and everyone has an important role in seeing it through.

Read 1424 times Last modified on Saturday, 04 August 2012 16:04

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