Operations Updates: Coronavirus Impact

Dear Valued Customer,

The dynamic coronavirus outbreak continues to disrupt life throughout the world, especially in mainland China. We mourn with the rest of the world for the lives lost, and keep the safety and health of the public, our employees and partners, and all of their families as our top concern.

As a customer of Colson Group, we write to you today to provide a summary of updates as it pertains to our operations in China and the potential impact this outbreak may have on our Chinese manufactured goods. We are in continual contact with our local teams in China and will keep you updated on any advancements that could further impact product deliveries out of China.

• Last week, Colson Group’s three Chinese facilities were all government approved to resume production—with safety being our top priority for our teams.
• Our supply chain is moving quickly in the right direction, with the government speeding up application approvals, but many suppliers are not fully staffed as their employees are continuing to return to work. We expect most employees will be able to return by early March.
• Completed products are being successfully transferred from our facilities to the port for shipment.
• Although currently assessed at low risk due to advanced planning for Chinese New Year, potential delays of Chinese products not already manufactured or on the water could be up to 30 days; we will be updating delivery dates throughout this week to provide advanced notice on potentially impacted SKUs.
• We continue to work closely with our supply chain to provide you with the best updates and will leverage our global footprint as much as possible to meet your requirements.

We ask that you please direct any question to your Regional Sales Manager or Account Manager and again thank you for your business and understanding in this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Colson Group

Colson Group Introduces New Global Corporate Identity

Positioning Captures Dedication to Customer Centered Solutions

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL., October, 10, 2019—Colson Group, a global caster and wheel product company, unveiled a new corporate identity as the company continues its growth and transformation. Summarized by the tag, “Rolling at the Speed of Life,” the latest positioning was crafted to highlight the role that the organization plays in the lives of those who use their products.

“We are a solutions provider,” said Colson Group CEO Tom Blashill. “Every interaction with our customer matters. Yes, we manufacture and ship many casters, but we also create solutions that move lives and businesses forward. For example, when we create a product solution that allows a nurse to push a cart down a hallway quietly, efficiently and safely, we have done our job.”
As the largest manufacturer and distributor in the business, Colson Group operates across myriad industries to help businesses and workers move heavy machinery, delicate technology equipment, and many other solutions each day.

Blashill notes that the breadth of industry coverage at Colson Group was also a motivating factor behind the brand positioning.
“Each day of our lives has its unique mobility challenges. We have to think about ergonomics, efficiency, comfort, and safety,” he said. “We develop and engineer solutions for every industry. From your local supermarket to hospital, to the facilities that build our cars and planes, Colson Group keeps industry moving, businesses more efficient, and people happier and safer.”

Colson Group is comprised of category leading brands such as Colson, Albion, Shepherd, Jarvis, MedCaster, Revvo, and Pemco. By shipping over 50 million products across the world annually, the company sees the position as an opportunity for global messaging consistency. As CEO Blashill put it, “When someone in Europe, the U.S., or South America asks who is Colson Group, we want to have an answer. What we tell people is that Colson Group is rolling at the speed of life.”

Colson Group’s new identity will be rolled out globally throughout November 2019. A new video capturing the new identity can be found on Colson Group’s homepage (www.colsongroup.com).

About Colson Group:
Colson Group, the global leader in caster and wheel products, creates and drives solutions that move lives forward. World renowned brands provide specialized mobility for every industry and market. A leading product portfolio and proprietary global value chain delivery unparalleled efficiencies and support. With over 1,600 employees across 25 global facilities, Colson Group is committed to its customers’ success, ensuring proper products are selected or designed from the start, and always keeping the end-users’ safety, efficiency, and happiness in mind.

Colson Group US Welcomes New Light Duty Manager

We want to welcome Christina Kurtich to her new role of Light Duty Product Manager.

Christina has worked for Colson Group since 2017, leading the New Product development and Introduction (NPI) programs. Christina holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. She has a background in steel and investment castings, for aerospace, military, and power generation industries. Christina also has experience in customer service, project management, and continuous improvement initiatives.

Christina enjoys listening to market needs and desires. She will assist in turning those needs into actionable product and process improvements. Christina is a high-energy individual, and will bring new and creative ideas to our product management team.

Christina replaces Jeremy Brault as the Light Duty Product Manager. She will assume her new job duties on June 1st, 2019. Customers should continue to contact Jeremy Brault until that time.

Jeremy Brault is transitioning to a new role as well: Director of Sales – Midwest and Northeast. Jeremy has 16 years of caster experience. His roles have been in sales, customer service, and brand and product management. Jeremy has been actively involved with customers throughout his career, with specialty in the distribution, industrial/catalog, and OEM sales channels.

Jeremy joins Donald Johnson on our Sales Management team. Jeremy and Donald will collaboratively manage and drive domestic growth initiatives through our regional sales territories.

We want to congratulate both Christina and Jeremy as they move into their new roles.

Major Machinery Investments in Colson Group’s Injection Molding Facility

Colson Group has made a significant investment in new machinery for its highly automated injection molding facility in Monette, AR.  The recent investments enable the Monette facility to further increase output and efficiency on the many injection-molded wheels and OEM specific products they mold, including the ever-popular Colson Performa wheels and Albion X-tra Soft wheels.

Six (6) new injection-molding machines were installed in December 2018, and the facility is now benefiting from its efficiencies.

Each new machine replaced two (2) previous machines (a total of 12), and together, will help increase production by 25%.

The new injection machines are more efficient than previous equipment, reducing production waste from 5% to 1%.  This allows us to reduce production costs on injection-molded materials and remain globally competitive, in an otherwise very competitive industry.  Additionally, the new equipment’s efficiency also reduces our injection-molding energy consumption by 50%.

According to Jack Birdno, Supervising Plant Engineer for Monette, “The new machines set Monette up for the future, being a more cost-competitive injection molding facility than ever, especially as we continue to look at products to re-shore or on-shore for ourselves and other OEM customer requirements.”

Colson Group Announces Vertical Market Sales Managers

As Colson Group continues to increase our focus on value creation and market driven solutions, we are pleased to announce the newly created roles of Vertical Market Sales Managers for the Automotive, Food Service and Medical industries. These roles will be focused on driving customer solutions and growth, maximizing our product portfolio, and developing our strategic position within these vertical markets.

Their emphasis will be on identifying new opportunities, specifying Colson Group products in collaboration with our partners in all channels, and then overseeing these opportunities to closure. These members will be highly collaborative with our internal teams and distributor partners alike to develop wins that deliver on both our customers’ mobility expectations and our strategic business plans.

Please join us in welcoming the following vertical market sales managers. If you have new business opportunities supporting these markets please find their contact information also noted below. We welcome any opportunity to grow with you and look forward to applying their knowledge and skillsets to better servicing your account.

Automotive

Scott Fisher brings 20+ years of caster experience to his new role, originating with selling heavy duty and automotive applications as a distributor for Colson. Most recently, Scott held director level roles in both Heavy Duty Product Management and Distributor Sales for Colson Group. Scott’s automotive knowledge along with his product management and sales expertise will drive significant value to our current and new automotive customer opportunities.

Food Service

Darrell Metzger has a strong background in the food service industry, previously serving as the VP of Sales and Marketing for Jarvis Caster. In addition, Darrell has worked as the Director of Product Design and Director of Customer Service for Colson Group. His market and product knowledge along with his engineering and sales background provide a focused skillset that will benefit current and new customers throughout this industry.

Medical

Carl Susini joins Colson Group from Ametek Engineered Medical Components Group, where he served as Business Development Manager and Key Account Manager. Carl has over 10 years of experience in sales as well as experience in purchasing and product management. His successful track record will help Colson Group identify new customer opportunities and grow our presence with medical OEMs and designers alike.


To reach out to our Vertical Market managers, please contact us with your questions today.

Colson Group USA Welcomes New Members to Engineering Design Team

St. Joseph, MI

As part of Colson Group USA’s continued strategy to best position our company for growth as the global leader in the caster industry and to bring our brands together as “One Colson,” we are pleased to announce the addition of the newest members to our Engineering Design team.

Joe Hasik brings expertise and experience to Colson Group USA as Senior Project Engineer, where he will oversee specific customer projects. Prior to joining Colson Group USA, Hasik served as special projects design engineer manager for Dekker Vacuum Technologies, Inc. He also worked as senior designer for Sullair, and earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northern Michigan University.

Jacob Lindgren joins us as Project Engineer, with initial assignment to the Avant medical caster development. Jacob’s experience includes serving as a manufacturing engineer for AM General, LLC, and as Bending Engineer with General Stamping and Metalworks. Lindgren received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University.

Pattie Christensen, veteran of Colson Group USA since 2010, has moved into a new role as Engineering Configuration Control Specialist. Christensen moves from Inside Sales, bringing customer-first focus into this role, and joins Dieter Milbrandt, Colson Group USA CAD Designer, on the newly established Engineering Configuration Control (ECC) team.

The ECC team will ensure proper and consistent management of business-critical items, leveraging defined release and notification processes, including: engineering and Colson Group standards; ERP bills of materials or operations, and associated maintenance; engineering prints; customer-controlled documents; industry standards; and part number issue control.

“This enhanced team approach,” said Charles Schenk, Director of Engineering – US, “ensures we are driving results the right way to best support sales, customer service, and operations by reacting more efficiently and effectively to day-to-day customer needs, continuous improvement initiatives, and preparing the company for sustained growth.”

Colson Group USA appoints Vice President of Sales

Colson Group USA’s strategy continues to be:

  1. Best position Colson for growth as the global leader in the caster industry
  2. Continue to bring Colson together as one company and align us for the future

We are pleased to announce that Shelley DePuy has joined the Colson Group USA team as Vice President of Sales.

Shelley brings customer-focused leadership experience in all Colson Group USA’s primary sales channels: OEM, Distributor, and Industrial channels.  Most recently, she held the role of Director of Sales for the Kidde Fenwal division of United Technologies Corporation, a manufacturer of fire suppression systems. Prior to that role she worked with PBC Linear as their Director of Sales and Marketing.  Shelley holds a Bachelor of Science from State University of New York and a Master’s in Business Administration from Suffolk University.

Shelley will lead Colson Group USA’s three unique sales channels and continue to work with each to further develop winning customer relationships and growth strategies that support Colson Group USA’s leading solutions portfolio and industry position.

Colson Adds New 2 Series Models to World’s Largest Caster CAD Model Library

Colson 2 Series CAD Additions

Colson Group USA, a leading global caster and wheel manufacturer, is expanding its world’s largest computer-aided design (CAD) model library with the addition of three Colson brand product series: the 2-Series LoPro, 2-Series Stainless, and 2-Series Stainless Steel Precision. Customers can now quickly configure part numbers and download or deliver 2D/3D CAD models and interactive 3D PDF datasheets for these new additions.

“Colson continues to advance the world’s largest caster CAD library, meeting our customers’ needs for high-quality, dependable casters,” said Colson Light Duty Product Manager Jeremy Brault. “Through the expansion of the 2-series CAD models, customers can easily access pertinent specifications and easily integrate the designs of these three premium, three-year warranty products for their various caster and wheel needs.”

The 2-Series LoPro features a low profile design with cushion or hard rubber wheel options, providing floor protection and quiet operation in the lowest overall height; ideal for business machines, stock picking carts, warehouse dollies, and housekeeping carts. The 2-Series Stainless Steel series offers several tread types in 3” to 5” wheel sizes, two brake options, and a higher grade of stainless steel helping to prevent rust in even the most corrosive conditions. This makes it ideal for hostile and controlled environments, including the food, pharmaceutical, and healthcare industries. The 2-Series Precision Stainless Steel series provides the same great advantages of the 2-Series Stainless, but adds improved ergonomics and noise reduction to a users’ experience through the use of a durable stainless precision bearing raceway.

The 2-series CAD models are available on Colson’s Caster CAD 3-D app or online at www.colsoncaster.com. The 3-D CAD models are compliant with major world standards and are suitable for use in current CAD systems, saving engineers time, and money.

Distribution Center Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

In 2016, Colson Group USA opened the national distribution center (DC) in St. Joseph, Michigan. The DC has allowed our manufacturing plants to further enhance operational and service responsibilities.

Colson Group Expands Role of Director of Global Operational Excellence

Colson Group, the largest global manufacturer and supplier of caster, wheel and mobility solutions, announced today the expansion of Darren Taylor-Ridge’s, director of global operational excellence, role with the company. He will continue to provide support to Colson Group’s U.K. production team, while also increasing his support to global projects in North America and Asia to drive quality, health, safety, environment and customer service improvements.

Reporting to Colson Group Chief Operating Officer Christopher Cummins, Taylor-Ridge’s expanded role now includes leading global initiatives to improve customer service, quality, health and safety and productivity of the company’s operations in the U.K., China and the United States. He will be based in Colson Group’s China operations and spend time at the Saint Joseph, Michigan, distribution center.

“We are thrilled to expand Darren’s role,” said Cummins. “This move helps us better leverage his experience and expertise to continue to bring Colson together as one company and supports our goal of unmatched customer service and quality leadership.”

Taylor-Ridge joined Colson Group in April 2015 with responsibilities focused on production, health and safety, environmental and quality initiatives. During his time with the company, he has driven several process improvements in lead time, scrap reduction and the working environment. Taylor-Ridge also has been implementing lean methods to drive continuous improvements in all areas of the business.

Prior to joining Colson Group, he spent 14 years serving in the Armed Forces Infantry and six years in the Army Reserve. He then worked in manufacturing roles at Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd. and other manufacturing companies.

Taylor-Ridge earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Manchester Metropolitan University in the U.K. and a Master of Science degree in occupational safety and health technology from the University of Birmingham in the U.K.


About Colson Group:

Colson Group is the largest manufacturer and supplier of caster and wheel products in the world. Over 1,600 global employees support Colson Group’s leading product portfolio and proprietary global value chain. World renowned brands, such as: Colson, Albion, Shepherd, Jarvis, MedCaster, Rhombus, Revvo, Flexello, Pemco, and Faultless are manufactured and marketed around the world through Colson Group’s 25 global facilities – where over 192,000 products are shipped daily. For more information, visit colsongroup.com.