Published in Podcast

The MiBiz Podcast: Conveyability Inc.

BY Monday, February 27, 2023 10:00am

Heath Verstraete, owner and president of Walker-based Conveyability Inc., took an entrepreneurial leap by purchasing the local manufacturing facility just before the pandemic. Tune in to hear how Verstraete financed the purchase of the company, the improvements he has made during ownership and the explosion of new business made possible by adopting Industry 4.0 technologies.


How did you get your start in manufacturing?

I started my career in 2001 at Innotech after earning my mechanical engineering degree. I moved onto leadership roles in other companies but got the entrepreneurial bug around 10 years ago. About four years ago, I found an opportunity to pursue it. 

What sparked the bug to become an entrepreneur?

It came organically through my past leadership roles. I saw gaps in culture throughout West Michigan companies. My wife and I agreed to start something ourselves, taking the best of everything and making it something new. 


How did you come about purchasing Conveyability?

My friend introduced me to a real estate broker in Hudsonville, but our offer on a business fell through. I then got connected to Calder Capital and found numerous opportunities. I was looking for a business that will not only be relevant today, but decades from now. 


Do you attribute some of your growth to the automation of the manufacturing industry?

Absolutely. There is a talent gap in the U.S. manufacturing industry, so automation is becoming necessary. This is even more relevant as the older generations retire and birth rates drop. We are a great community of entrepreneurs, but we have to learn to trust and embrace this automation.


Tell us about your Employer Choice Award from Express Employment Professionals for creating new roles and investing in your team. 

We have been big fans of Express for years. We’ve always tried to hire through a temporary employment situation to give everyone involved a chance to try it before anyone makes the commitment. We have an apprenticeship program with Express that has been working great to help us upscale and provide new opportunities for our employees. 

Any current challenges you are facing?

We may face a talent gap if we land some of the larger opportunities this year, but we have great vendor partners, so we will have support if needed. Our cultural commitment is to hire people who will retire with us, so we will not commit to someone unless he or she can be retained. 


Is there anything you’ve found helpful in your entrepreneurial journey when it comes to advice and mentorship?

It is important to find the organization that suits you and your goals. Tim Ziegler was my mentor, but my wife is currently one of my biggest influences in my career, trusting me to take this risk. Our commitment is to the company first and employees second, and then to the community. We plan to work on the third one soon. 

Visit mibiz.com/podcast to listen to the full episode. 

Read 390 times Last modified on Monday, 27 February 2023 10:38