A mom-and-pop business started in Flora more than 40 years ago is expanding again.
Quality Die Set is hiring more people and buying $200,000 worth of equipment to handle new orders.
President and Owner Raymond Shank says some recent business agreements spurred the growth, and might make it possible to acquire an Illinois company in the near future. Shank says the company has come a long way since his father started it in a barn behind the family’s home.
"He held down a job, working as a set-up person/foreman for two years, during the time he was building his own business. So, he'd work 8-10 hours a day there, 5-6 days a week. Then he'd go out in his own business and work 8-10 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. He was a very hard worker, very dedicated and believed in what he was doing. He had a great passion for this industry.”
Shank says the past 10 years have been tough for Quality Die Set Corp. The economic downturn after the September 11th terrorist attacks was a major setback, and foreign competition also took business away. However, he says clients who have had bad experiences with overseas partners are coming back.
"Some of the realization is starting to come in that, yeah, you saved a couple percent by sending it over there, but you're losing it through the ability to respond quickly and/or change quality or engineering problems that you have.”
Shanks says Quality Die Set already hired 6 people and is accepting applications for another half dozen or so, including a salesperson, which the company is lacking now. By the end of the current hiring process, the company will double its work force.
Quality Die Set operates out of a 58,000 square foot facility in the Flora Industrial Park.