Adding new office space:
Cresswood has been very active planning for the future, both in our skilled positions as well as supporting roles. Our old engineering space was damaged by water over the years due to a leaky roof. We put in a brand new roof in 2021 and are now following up that capital project with indoor renovations. The original engineering office will be gutted and remodeled, and we are creating a new addition that will house another three workstations. These workstations will be used by sales and engineering as we continue to expand our support staff into 2022. Part of this project is anticipating adding an additional engineering talent to the team.
Adding a dust collection:
At the core of the Cresswood culture is a deep care and concern for the well-being of our employees. We realize that it is people that make our company great so this core value really just naturally springs from that genuine realization. The fabrication shop generates an enormous amount of welding fumes and metal dust from the plasma tables. We are installing a brand-new dust & fume collection system from Imperial with the CFM capability for running six individual ducts and collection hoods. We are very excited to see the impact this system will have on air quality and creating a healthier and more attractive working environment for our talented fabricators.
Added five new employees:
It is no secret that the biggest struggle in manufacturing today is finding new talent to help support growth. Companies all over the United States have been stressed to a breaking point fighting a war for available talent. Cresswood is a proud partner with Kishwaukee Community College in nearby Malta, IL. We have established a very close relationship with this school, its staff, and their technical programs. This relationship has created a steady and reliable talent pipeline, particularly for new welders, which is by far the most valuable skill in most of our shop positions. I also participated in a virtual leadership conference at Waubonsee College in nearby Sugar Grove that led to another hire in our machine shop. Finally, we have added a talented new person to our front office as a receptionist and assistant to our controller. Two of these five hires are women, and I feel particularly passionate that manufacturers must intentionally recruit female candidates for all roles, the math just isn’t going to add up unless we do.
Setting a record with revenue 157%
2020 was a particularly challenging year for capital equipment manufacturers. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies by and large took a wait and see approach to spending, and we saw many of our existing projects get delayed or put on hold. As the world has slowly adjusted to life and business in the reality of the virus, we saw a strong rebound in Q4 of 2021 that has continued to this day. Year-over-year, Cresswood has seen an increase our shop hours of 157%. This of course is a tremendous blessing, but it has also come with its own share of challenges, namely adding personnel and grappling with a difficult and unpredictable supply chain.
Cresswood LIVES by our core values, they aren’t just a fancy poster up on a wall or words on a business card. We realize that no matter what the present economic situation is, or what the future will bring, that if we stick to our core values we will remain successful and attractive to our customers. These values are SERVING, INTEGRITY, RESPECT, TEAMWORK, PASSION, and MINISTRY. All of these are essential, like links in a strong chain, but perhaps the ones we have relied on most over the past year have been TEAMWORK and MINISTRY. The secret to any great organization is creating and sustaining high-performance teams. These are teams where the sum becomes much greater than the parts, and a special sort of magic that beats individual talent every time. We are built on a solid foundation of trust, and that has really served to build this amazing culture and sustain it. I say MINISTRY because I firmly believe that sustaining profitability is a RESULT of having a higher purpose, it is not a purpose in and of itself and will never be. Our people are built for this, for feeling themselves a part of something that goes beyond a paycheck, a higher purpose that provides meaning and a deeper sense of satisfaction in our work. Every month our Cresswood Cares program allows a department to donate $1,00 to a charity of their choosing.
I personally believe that God puts people together to have an impact right where they live and work. Creating a successful business allows the company to be a good steward of all the great gifts we have been blessed with. We show this by supporting our surrounding community, non-profits, and businesses. We have also started a community garden with Dekalb County Community Gardens, to assist families in our area struggling with food insecurity.