All that's happening in and around Muskegon that's readily apparent, that's pretty easy to point at and say "Look, see!! We're booming!" Yes, it's true, we are. But we also booming in some ways that are equally "boomful" (yes, we just invented a word) but the boom might be a little more subtle, a little more focused on getting it right for all the right reasons and making sure that what's being done is happening for the long term and modeling what a company should be like locally and internationally. While you might be heading to Downtown Muskegon for all of the readily apparent, chances are, you'll go right by the "boomful" on on your way.
Rolar Products is just off Seaway Drive on Hume Avenue in Muskegon Heights and was recently recognized as one of Michigan's to 50 Business to Watch by the Michigan Celebrates Small Business organization. Out of 575 nominees, to whittle it down to 50 and have one of them right here at home is a pretty big deal. The factors that go into such an honor are things like employee or sales growth, both of which Rolar has really put the rubber to the road on. Exceptional entrepreneurial leadership is another factor along with a sustainable competitive advantage and some other factors that come in to play as well. It's a huge honor and it comes with a lot of awareness for the company which is a priceless commodity when it comes to the business they are in, because what they supply..well the average guy might just think it's "parts" but in the game Rolar is in, it's literally seconds that make up the competitive world.
Supplying anything from truck parts to parts for pumps to help apply disinfectants in "The Bubble" for the NBA players, Rolar is in a highly competitive global business where everything is a factor. Cost of material, labor, shipping, reliability, certifications and more. Everyone around the world is competing for the work and Rolar is bringing it right here! Are you getting the idea this isn't exactly your dad's kind of shop? You're right. High tech, high precision, high stakes and incredible outcomes happen at Rolar, but how?
Anyone can have machines and part making guru's. Rolar set themselves a part by what could be considered well beyond an open door policy. Members of the team know how much everything sells for. They also know how much cost goes into everything they make, what the machines they work with cost, what it took to get the job, where the boss goes to the dentist (ok, that might be a stretch) and more. If they are looking to bring in someone new, they get a trial run. Come in and work a few hours, see if you fit in with us, and if we fit in with you. It's said that the company is more like a family. They have an ASE Master Mechanic working there, and in the off time, he helps fix others cars. The owner even lends out the snowmobile trailer to help people move. They even go as far as to have a board up on the wall as to who the current corn hole champion is around the place. No point in not bragging up a champion.
Jack Russell is the head of it all. He bought the company a few years back after his time at Shape, and we don't get into it much in the discussion, but Jack is no stranger to hitting the ground running. From years in the photography business, to learning how to work in the automotive supply chain, Jack has a lifetime of practical knowledge and people skills he brings to owning the company, and it shines through in all he does.
Imagine that? A waiting list to get in to the place to work? In a time when companies are begging for people to get to work, they are taking such good care of those that make the dream work at Rolar and that culture manages to go from the top down in every way. This is how a company in Muskegon Heights A) gets noticed, B) helps rejuvenate the area, C) sets the bar for other employers to follow. Looking back to how our article started today, about how things are "booming" in Muskegon, Rolar is one of the places making that boom as loud as it is and while they are doing what we've done best here for over a century...manufacturing, they are doing it in a way that looks to the next century to not only sustain themselves, but our community as a whole. To learn more about Rolar Products visit their website by clicking below.