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Scot Forge commences work on the addition of a new office building at its Spring Grove, IL location.
With the new building construction underway, excitement is palpable among the employee-owners at Scot Forge. Although construction began on June 14, 2014 and the project is well on its way, there is still a long road ahead as completing the approx. 40,000 square foot addition has already proven to be a challenging, yet exciting, task.
Scot Forge has taken upwards of a year and half to complete all the planning and design, due in large part to the active contributions from many employee-owners. Although a seemingly long period of time, Scott LaRose, Project Engineer with the company, is ecstatic about this new undertaking. When asked what he is most excited about, LaRose answered, “That we’re doing it the right way.”
Michelle Riedel, office manager, described that initial steps in the design process included the introduction of a 6S system (Safety, Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain) into the office. This system has created a more safe and organized office environment—two aspects that continue to impact the design and layout of the new building. Pre-planning also included a visit to the current office by an Ohio State Professor, who specializes in ergonomics, to provide feedback for improvements. The professor observed office employees throughout the day and then made suggestions about chairs, monitor placement and other aspects of a cubicle layout. Keeping his recommendations in mind, employee-owners have contributed to almost every aspect of what their future office will look like. They have voted on things like work station design, colors, chairs, desks and more.
Not only will the appearance of the office be significantly improved, so will its functionality. With the addition of more conference rooms and several collaboration spaces, the new building will allow for better communication across all departments from the sales offices to the shop floors. Although the main conference rooms for customer visits will be located near the front lobby, as to make them more accessible, all conference rooms will be conducive for hosting visitors! So while the main reason for constructing this new building is to create a welcoming, functional space that will allow for better collaboration between both Scot Forge and its customers, the addition is also important for “improving the lives of people who work here.” Additionally, Scot Forge is leaving room to grow by constructing a third floor that is to be left vacant except for an IT server room.
Michelle Riedel goes on to explain that the Scot Forge plaid will not be lost. It will be incorporated through things like flooring tile layout, conference room names, and accent pieces throughout the office. The office will predominately consist of warm, neutral tones, infused with modern pieces—like the forging that will serve as a table in the main lobby. You may ask, “What about the bright Buchanan plaid couches?” Don’t worry…there is a place for those as well!
“We’re a state of the art forge facility; it’ll be nice to have a face that actually reflects that.” – Scott LaRose
Overall, Riedel is beyond excited for the completion of the project. She says, “I can’t wait to bring this beautiful space to life for our employee-owners that work so hard every day. They truly deserve it.”
When IS the completion date? LaRose was hesitant in sharing an exact date, stating it is dependent on weather conditions, but has targeted the end of the first quarter 2015. LaRose went on to say that his biggest motivator for this project is:
“…the belief that [constructing] this office is phase one of bringing in the shop offices, and making them more accessible. In the end this not only gives us that front façade that reflects the type of company we are, but also gives us opportunities to be more of a collaborative force—not only inter office but with the shop departments as well.”
He refers to this “collaborative force” as phase two and is certain that once the office is built and phase two is completed, that’s when Scot Forge will start to see a return on its investment.
All in all, the company is taking the right steps to create an environment favorable to successful collaboration throughout all departments, while remaining customer friendly and efficient. Scot Forge will soon be state-of-the-art, not only in its manufacturing space, but also in its offices! With seven months left until the completion of phase one, the passion and excitement is already evident in all employee-owners. Ron Hahn, Chief Operating Officer, describes the investment as:
“…perhaps the most important venture Scot Forge is investing in at this point as it will create an environment to be the revenue generator used to support and build the numerous other opportunities Scot Forge plans to capitalize on in the near future. This expansion is all about collaboration, and the new office building will facilitate bringing sales, operations, and engineering physically together, more naturally leveraging all their collective talents to bring the most creative solutions to our customers’ ever changing needs.”