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At the Caster Concepts Christmas Party on December 10th, 2022, Bill Dobbins announced that Caster Concepts is adding a 16,000 sq foot expansion to their facility on West Michigan Ave in Parma Township. While many shared in the excitement, several people asked important questions such as:

1) Why are we expanding?

2) Why are we expanding now? 

3) What does that mean to me? 

All of these are fair questions and ones to which Bill wanted to provide an answer. 

First of all, Why is Caster Concepts expanding?

This will be Caster Concepts’ fourth addition since they broke ground on the original site in 1995. Caster Concepts differs from many businesses that push to squeeze every dollar out of every square foot. They believe their manufacturing process is optimized when they have the space to move around. 

In regards to why their expanding, Bill writes, “At this point, the simple answers are that we are adding on because we can and because it has been 10 years since our last expansion. We are adding to our existing building because we value our space and what we can do with this space, and investing in this business makes sense.

We are a flexible manufacturing organization that needs flexible space to address constraints in all areas of the manufacturing process. We function better when we have space, and it helps us deliver on our promise to our customers of giving them what they want when they want it: What better reason to expand?”

Why is Caster Concepts Expanding Now?

Being early is being on time fairly sums up the thought behind the decision to expand right now, according to Bill. Rather than basing this decision on immediate needs, it was based on feeling and thinking prospectively. Moreover, what can be done to help ourselves and our customers in the near and distant future?

Bill explains that  “It feels like the right time to build” and expands a bit about the prospective thinking behind the decision:

“Our investments are long-term investments. We are not trying to “time” this investment, and I believe that if you wait to build until it is obvious, then you’ve waited too long. We have built very high-quality buildings, and they have treated us well. They are energy efficient and provide an open area that enables a manufacturing process that not only fits our needs, but also allows us to meet the needs of our customers with faster turnaround and on-time delivery. I am still determining exactly how we’ll utilize this space — and while we have some ideas about what will be important in the next 8-12 months — I know this space will be very valuable in the long run.”

What does this mean to the employees?

Although Bill cannot determine the answer to this question for each employee, he wants the Caster Concepts family to know that he’s investing not only in the company but equally in the people involved:

“What I can say is that I am hopeful that this building project sends a message to all employees that Caster Concepts is in it for the long haul. And that it shows that Bill and Andrew Dobbins, along with the leadership team, are confident in a prosperous future for the business and its employees. I frequently tell people that in closely held small businesses, you are “betting with your own money every day.” While this may not be pushing the idea of being “all in,” it means you are putting a substantial amount of money into the belief of your business’s long-term success and the people in this business. I believe in every one of you. And I appreciate the trust you put in me and the leadership team to make the right decisions at the right time and for the right reasons.”

What does the building program mean for customers?

Caster Concepts highly values its customers and consider them in many (if not all) decisions made. To answer the question of what the expansion means for customers, Bill reiterates this and ties it into the expansion.

“In the end, if what we do is not customer focused, then we will not have the growth we anticipate. Our customers expect Caster Concepts to lead the industry in product delivery, durability, and customer satisfaction while meeting customer specifications (what they want, when they want it). Caster Concepts stands behind this promise, from our two-inch wide products to our entire Heavy Duty Line. We have an optimized process that requires a flexible workspace to meet the customers’ needs. Outstanding people will use this new space, combined with engineering and state-of-the-art machinery, to create value for all stakeholders of the business.”

Overall, although a new decision like this can be new and maybe even a little scary, it is also exciting: Bill emphasizes “being bold while not being reckless” and that he is “excited to experience the next iteration of Caster Concepts and its community of businesses.”

Something he believes the rest of the company is as excited to share as well.