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By Rick Mullen, Broom, Brush & Mop Associate Editor

 

 

Executives from three companies who were manning their exposition booths during the recent ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America 2012, which ran October 16-19, at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL, outlined in interviews at the show with Broom, Brush & Mop their goals for attending the event, and business projections for the near future.

 

At the Milwaukee Dustless Brush’s booth during the recent ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America 2012, President and CEO Ken Rakusin was busy demonstrating the company’s Speedy Sweep.

 

“We are working on selling high-end, long-lasting, high-quality janitorial products,” Rakusin said. “The Speedy Sweep was introduced last year and has probably been the best introduction to a product we have ever had. It is a great product to show our customers who often remark, ‘Wow, I can’t believe it can do that.’”

 

In addition to the Speedy Sweep, Milwaukee Dustless Brush also offers the eMop bucketless floor cleaning system and other types of brooms, brushes, dusters, handles, squeegees, food processing tools, and more. The company’s manufacturing facility is located in Delavan, WI.

 

Ken Rakusin

Milwaukee Dustless Brush President and CEO Ken Rakusin


“Our business is up over last year. The sluggish economy is not impacting us, which we are very happy about,” Rakusin said. “We have very good products and we have competitive pricing.”

 

Rakusin said Milwaukee Dustless Brush’s customers are looking for quick shipment times.

 

“Customers are looking for their orders to be shipped ‘today,’” Rakusin said. “We offer this kind of delivery. Everything we make, we ship right out of our inventory.

 

“We have a very simple customer service philosophy — we want everything in stock. We want to ship it today, and we want our customers to get it as soon as possible. If something goes wrong — and things do go wrong — we will do whatever it takes to fix the problem.”

 

Like many other executives, Rakusin is worried about the possibility that health care costs will continue to rise, perhaps as much as 20 to 40 percent by 2014, he said. The country’s immigration issues are also on Rakusin’s mind.

 

“If they take the 12 million people who they say are illegal immigrants and send them out of the country, who is going to fill all those jobs, and what is going to happen to wages?” Rakusin asked. “This would be 12 million people out of the workforce. Are wages going to go up 5, 10 or 15 percent? I don’t know.”

 

Milwaukee Dustless Brush is part of a family of companies under the Gordon Brush, of Commerce, CA, umbrella. Rakusin is also Gordon Brush president and CEO. One of the key strategies for maintaining the growth of Gordon Brush and Milwaukee Dustless is Rakusin’s commitment to purchasing the latest in manufacturing equipment.

 

“We keep modernizing, investing in new equipment and updating the way we do things,” Rakusin said. “We are in California. We are in Wisconsin. We are in the United States of America. We have labor, workman’s comp and health care costs. We want our people to earn a living. We pay them so they can earn a living; therefore, we automate wherever we can. We don’t ever fire people; we just get better at what we are doing.

 

“I am very optimistic about the future, because we have had very significant double-digit sales growth in all our companies. We make everything in the United States. Sometimes our prices may be a little higher, but our products will probably last longer than what end-users are getting from overseas.”

 

Contact: Milwaukee Dustless Brush,

1632 Hobbs Drive, Unit C, Delavan, WI 53115.
Phone: 800-632-3220; Fax: 323-724-1111.
Email: sales@milwaukeedustless.com.
Website: www.milwaukeedustless.com

 

Gordon Brush Mfg. Co.,

6247 Randolph St., Commerce, CA 90040.
Phone: 323-724-7777; Fax: 323-724-1111.
Email: sales@gordonbrush.com.
Website: www.gordonbrush.com.

 

Michael Garrison

Remco President Michael Garrison

 

At the Remco Products Corporation booth, the emphasis was on displaying products in two primary areas: material handling and cleaning, according to Remco President Michael Garrison.

 

“On the material handling side, we are displaying several of our one-piece, injection molded, polypropylene items such as scoops, shovels and hand scrapers,” Garrison said. “On the cleaning side, we have the Vikan line of brooms, brushes, squeegees and related handles.”

 

One of the major advantages of Remco’s product line, the company says, is color-coding, which the company has been offering for about 15 years. Color-coding helps prevent cross contamination when using material handling and cleaning products.

 

Remco’s product lines include Vikan Professional Cleaning Tools and Remco Plastic Moldings. Vikan offers a full line of brushes, squeegees, handles, and specialty products. Remco has been the exclusive U.S. master distributor for Vikan for more than 20 years. The Remco Plastic Moldings line includes molded products, such as shovels, scoops and scrapers as well as some manufactured items.

 

“We have attended ISSA for a number of years. Our focus has always been on the food processing industry with our cleaning products,” Garrison said. “However, the standard of cleaning that is expected in food processing has also become more and more the expectation in the janitorial and sanitation market as well. We have always thought it is important to have a presence here, and it is good to see what types of products are resonating with customers.


“One example is color coding. It was once almost exclusively limited to the food processing industry, but in the past few years, color-coded products are becoming popular in many other segments, including jan/san. We have always focused on market environments where hygiene and quality are essential.

 

“As more market segments are focusing on color-coding, businesses are looking for suppliers who have experience and expertise in this area. We can show customers how to use our color-coded products for their risk management programs. This translates into many types of products, depending upon whether the customer is a winery, a canning operation, a poultry plant, etc. We have the products customers need and want.”

 

Garrison reported that business has been “solid” at Remco, despite the sluggish and uncertain economy.

 

“Since we are so heavily focused on food processing, we are somewhat insulated from some of the upturns and downturns in the economy,” Garrison said.

 

A foundational part of Remco’s company culture is an emphasis on personalized customer service.

 

“Everybody talks about having great customer service, but we really do set ourselves apart in this area,” Garrison said. “We do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do, even when it may not be the most profitable path to take.”

 

Remco is known for taking the time to help meet a customer’s needs, even if the result might be a small order.

 

“We might spend 45 minutes on the phone with a customer who may only order three shovels,” Garrison said. “If looked at from a purely business and economic standpoint, would it be a good decision to spend so much time on such a small order? Many people would say it would not be a good way to conduct business.

 

“We don’t have an automated phone service. Whenever someone calls, he or she will talk to a live person. We receive calls from many people who are frustrated in dealing with large corporate entities. We receive comments such as, ‘Wow, I feel like you guys are actually interested in talking to me.’

 

“Keeping this personalized culture alive and thriving will be a challenge we will strive to meet as we grow.”

 

Another challenge as Remco continues to grow is raw material prices. Since the company’s products are made with plastics, and plastics are petroleum-based items, raw material costs are tied to the volatile and unpredictable fossil fuel market.

 

“Keeping raw material costs under control is always a challenge,” Garrison said. “We are fortunate to have really good relationships with our major vendors, suppliers and manufacturers to keep these costs under control.”

 

Despite the challenges that Remco and other businesses face in today’s marketplace, Garrison sees a future of continued prosperity and growth for the company.

 

“We have always operated very lean,” he said. “We are looking to grow our sales staff and evolve our strategy to involve more tools for both the distributors of our products and also end-users. We will continue to strive to help customers solve problems, while providing expertise to go along with our products.”

 

Contact: Remco Products,

4735 W. 106th St., P.O. Box 698, Zionsville, IN 46077.
Phone: 317-876-9856; Fax: 317-876-9858 and 800-585-8619.
Website: www.remcoproducts.com.

 

Larry Stevenson

Briarwood Sales Manager Larry Stephenson

 

 

The manufacture of laborsaving and practical cleaning tools is the mission of Briarwood Products Company, of Cleveland, OH. In keeping with this theme, the company, which was founded in 1965, was on hand at ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America 2012, featuring a new bucket-less mopping system.

 

“One of our goals for ISSA is always to show what we have that is new,” said Briarwood Sales Manager Larry Stephenson. “This year, we are showing a bucket-less mopping system that, at this point, is a prototype. We are trying to get some feedback from our customers and some end-users to see what they like, and what they don’t like about it to help us develop the item. This coming spring we should have a finished product.

 

“We also are showing many of the small cleaning aids that we have been selling for 35 to 40 years. Briarwood has been exhibiting at ISSA for about 15 years.”

 

Stephenson reported that business at Briarwood has been good, notwithstanding the sluggish U.S. economy.

 

“All of our products are made in the United States,” he said. “We are finding that companies are starting to come back to American made, better quality products, and that is what we offer.

 

“We partner mostly with manufacturers and large wholesalers. As we manufacture in the United States (in Cleveland), our turnaround times are very fast — typically a week or two.”

 

Briarwood’s product offerings fall under several categories including wet mop holders, dry dust equipment, sweeping equipment, Adjust-A-Turn™ cleaning tools, painters tools and metal-free correctional facility tools. Other products include extension poles, microfiber tools, scrubbing brushes, and the Hi-Rib wall-washing tool.

 

Innovation in designing new products has been a major emphasis at Briarwood and one of the keys to the company’s success. Stephenson explained while the company’s products are not necessarily the cheapest; they are designed and manufactured with maximum quality in mind to make them efficient laborsaving tools. This quality translates to cutting labor costs for the end-user, as well as increasing product longevity.

 

“Our goal for the future is to continue to be innovative, always seeking to offer tools that will save labor,” Stephenson said. “With the cost of labor these days, if you can cut down the time it takes a person to do his or her job, then you can cut down the overall cost of that job considerably. It is important that we continue to make quality products and not just talk about price.”

 

Contact: Briarwood Products Company,

2900 Bradwell Ave., Cleveland, OH 44109-2795.

Phone: 800-266-1680; Fax: 216-398-1075.
Email: bp@briarwoodproducts.com.
Website: www.briarwoodproducts.com.

 



 


 

 

Raw Material Imports Down, Finished Goods Up — Exports Report Increases

 

import

Including complete list of July

Import/Export Statistics

 

By Rick Mullen, Broom, Brush & Mop Associate Editor

 

U.S. government trade figures for the first seven months of 2012 indicate raw material imports were down in three of the four categories outlined in this issue, compared to the first seven months of 2011. For July 2012, raw material imports were up in two of the four categories outlined, compared to July 2011.

 

Import totals for the first seven months of 2012 were up in five of the seven finished goods categories outlined from the same time period in 2011. In July 2012, four of the seven categories outlined also recorded increases, compared to July 2011.

 

RAW MATERIAL IMPORTS

 

Hog Bristles

The United States imported 54,524 kilograms of hog bristle in July 2012, up 56 percent from 34,917 kilograms imported in July 2011. During the first seven months of 2012, 210,187 kilograms of hog bristle were imported, a 13 percent decrease from 242,044 kilograms imported during the first seven months of 2011.

 

China sent 209,516 kilograms of hog bristle to the United States during the first seven months of 2012, while Thailand exported the remainder.

 

The average price per kilogram for July 2012 was $7.18, down 21 percent from the average price per kilogram for July 2011 of $9.09. The average price per kilogram for the first seven months of 2012 was $10.84, up 14 percent from $9.52 per kilogram for the first seven months of 2011.

 

Broom And Mop Handles

The import total of broom and mop handles during July 2012 was 1.3 million, down 32 percent from 1.9 million for July 2011. During the first seven months of 2012, 9.2 million broom and mop handles were imported, down 32 percent from 13.6 million for the first seven months of 2011.

 

During the first seven months of 2012, the United States received 3 million broom and mop handles from Brazil, 2.2 million from Honduras, 2.1 million from China and 1.5 million from Indonesia.

 

The average price per handle for July 2012 was $1, up 10 percent from the average price for July 2011 of 91 cents. The average price for the first seven months of 2012 was 85 cents, up 5 percent from 81 cents for the first seven months of 2011.

 

Brush Backs

July 2012 imports of brush backs totaled 732,022, up 22 percent from the July 2011 total of 598,181 brush backs. During the first seven months of 2012, 4.7 million brush backs were imported, up 31 percent from 3.6 million for the first seven months of 2011.

 

Sri Lanka shipped 2.3 million brush backs to the United States during the first seven months of 2012, while Canada shipped 2.1 million.

 

The average price per brush back was 49 cents during July 2012, down 8 percent from the average price for July 2011 of 53 cents. For the first seven months of 2012, the average price per brush back was 48 cents, down 1 cent from the average price for the first seven months of 2011.

 

Metal Handles

The import total of metal handles during July 2012 was 3.2 million, down 9 percent from 3.5 million for July 2011. During the first seven months of 2012, 15.7 million metal handles were imported, down 27 percent from 21.4 million for the first seven months of 2011.

 

During the first seven months of 2012, Italy shipped 9.1 million metal handles to the United States, while China sent 5.4 million.

 

The average price per handle for July 2012 was 71 cents, up 3 percent from 69 cents for July 2011. The average price for the first seven months of 2012 was 68 cents, down 1 cent from the average price for the first seven months of 2011.

 

FINISHED GOODS IMPORTS


Brooms Of Broom Corn

Valued At Less Than 96 Cents

Imports of brooms of broom corn valued at less than 96 cents per broom during July 2012 totaled 24,192, up 13 percent from 21,408 brooms imported during July 2011. During the first seven months of 2012, 164,192 brooms of broom corn were imported, up 42 percent from 115,968 for the first seven months of 2011.

 

Mexico sent 119,472 brooms to the United States during the first seven months of 2012, while China shipped the remainder.

 

The average price per broom in July 2012 was 76 cents, down 7 percent from 82 cents for July 2011. The average price per broom for the first seven months of 2012 was 86 cents, up 8 percent from the average price for the first seven months of 2011 of 80 cents.

 

Brooms Of Broom Corn

Valued At More Than 96 Cents

The United States imported 720,481 brooms of broom corn valued at more than 96 cents per broom during July 2012, down 7 percent from 773,723 for July 2011. During the first seven months of 2012, 4.7 million brooms of broom corn were imported, down 8 percent from 5.1 million for the first seven months of 2011.

 

Mexico shipped 4.5 million brooms to the United States during the first seven months of 2012, while Honduras sent the remainder.

 

The average price per broom for July 2012 was $2.51, up 8 percent from the average price for July 2011 of $2.32. The average price per broom for the first seven months of 2012 was $2.45, up 2 percent from the average price for the first seven months of 2011 of $2.40.

 

Brooms & Brushes Of Vegetable Material

The import total of brooms and brushes of vegetable material during July 2012 was 189,418, up 4 percent from 182,682 brooms and brushes imported during July 2011. During the first seven months of 2012, 1.1 million brooms and brushes were imported, up 16 percent from 950,450 imported during the first seven months of 2011.

 

Sri Lanka exported 576,086 brooms and brushes to the United States during the first seven months of 2012, while China sent 178,743.

 

The average price per unit for July 2012 was $1.09, down 20 percent from $1.36 for July 2011. The average price for the first seven months of 2012 was $1.16, a decrease of 8 percent from the average price recorded for the first seven months of 2011 of $1.26.

 

Toothbrushes

The United States imported 76.5 million toothbrushes in July 2012, down 6 percent from 81.5 million imported in July 2011. During the first seven months of 2012, 631.3 million toothbrushes were imported, an increase of 20 percent from 526.9 million imported during the first seven months of 2011.

 

China sent 484.2 million toothbrushes to the United States during the first seven months of 2012.

 

The average price per toothbrush for July 2012 was 23 cents, down 12 percent from the average price for July 2011 of 26 cents. The average price for the first seven months of 2012 was 19 cents, down 17 percent from 23 cents for the first seven months of 2011.

 



(Continued on Top Right Column)



 

Hair Brushes

The United States imported 4.5 million hairbrushes in July 2012, up 10 percent from 4.1 million imported in July 2011. During the first seven months of 2012, 33 million hairbrushes were imported, up 28 percent from 25.7 million imported during the first seven months of 2011.

 

China sent 32.6 million hairbrushes to the United States during the first seven months of 2012.

 

The average price per hairbrush for July 2012 was 26 cents, down 16 percent from 31 cents for July 2011. The average price for the first seven months of 2012 was 26 cents, down 10 percent from 29 cents for the first seven months of 2011.

 

Shaving Brushes

The United States imported 7.5 million shaving brushes in July 2012, down 18 percent from 9.1 million imported in July 2011. During the first seven months of 2012, 43.6 million shaving brushes were imported, down 32 percent from 64.1 million imported during the first seven months of 2011.

 

China sent 29.6 million shaving brushes to the United States during the first seven months of 2012, while Mexico sent 6.5 million and Germany exported 3.5 million.

 

The average price per shaving brush for July 2012 was 12 cents, up 33 percent from the average price for July 2011 of 9 cents. The average price for the first seven months of 2012 was also 12 cents, the same as the average price for the first seven months of 2011.

 

Paintbrushes

U.S. companies imported 26.5 million paintbrushes during July 2012, up 37 percent from 19.3 million paintbrushes imported during July 2011. Paintbrush imports for the first seven months of 2012 were 144.5 million, up 8 percent from 134.4 million recorded for the first seven months of 2011.

 

China shipped 124.3 million paintbrushes to the United States during the first seven months of 2012.

 

The average price per paintbrush for July 2012 was 34 cents, up 2 cents from the average price for July 2011. The average price for the first seven months of 2012 was 32 cents, up 1 cent from the average price for the first seven months of 2011.

 

EXPORTS

 

Export totals for the first seven months of 2012 were up in three of the five categories outlined, compared to the first seven months of 2011. In July 2012, four of the five categories outlined reported decreases in exports, compared to July 2011.

 

Brooms & Brushes Of Vegetable Materials

The United States exported 8,402 dozen brooms and brushes of vegetable materials during July 2012, down 8 percent from the July 2011 total of 9,116 dozen. Exports of brooms and brushes of vegetable materials during the first seven months of 2012 were 80,585 dozen, up 56 percent from 51,749 dozen for the first seven months of 2011.

 

The United States sent 31,441 dozen brooms and brushes to Brazil during the first seven months of 2012 and 22,018 dozen to Canada.

 

The average price per dozen brooms and brushes was $34.46 in July 2012, down 18 percent from $42.27 for July 2011. The average price per dozen brooms and brushes for the first seven months of 2012 was $35.98, a decrease of 32 percent from the average price per dozen for the first seven months of 2011 of $53.14.

 

Toothbrushes

During July 2012, the United States exported 10 million toothbrushes, up 49 percent from the total recorded in July 2011 of 6.7 million. During the first seven months of 2012, 80.1 million toothbrushes were exported, up 44 percent from 55.6 million exported during the first seven months of 2011.

 

The United States exported 34.6 million toothbrushes to Canada during the first seven months of 2012, while sending 12.5 million toothbrushes to Mexico.

 

The average price per toothbrush for July 2012 was 47 cents, down 32 percent from the average price for July 2011 of 69 cents. The average price per toothbrush for the first seven months of 2012 was 52 cents, down 13 percent from 60 cents for the first seven months of 2011.

 

Shaving Brushes

The United States exported 822,890 shaving brushes during July 2012, down 64 percent from 2.3 million for July 2011. During the first seven months of 2012, 16.9 million shaving brushes were exported, up 23 percent from 13.7 million during the first seven months of 2011.

 

Mexico imported 11.2 million shaving brushes from the United States during the first seven months of 2012.

 

The average price per shaving brush for July 2012 was $1.38 cents, up 171 percent from 51 cents for July 2011. The average price for the first seven months of 2012 was 56 cents, down 3 percent from 58 cents recorded for the first seven months of 2011.

 

Artist Brushes

The United States exported 690,603 artist brushes during July 2012, down 51 percent from 1.4 million artist brushes exported for July 2011. During the first seven months of 2012, 5.6 million artist brushes were exported, down 19 percent from 6.9 million during the first seven months of 2011.

 

Canada imported 3.2 million artist brushes from the United States during the first seven months of 2012.

 

The average price per artist brush for July 2012 was $2.91, up 71 percent from $1.70 for July 2011. The average price for the first seven months of 2012 was $2.93, up 17 percent from $2.50 recorded for the first seven months of 2011.

 

Paintbrushes

The export total of paintbrushes during July 2012 was 130,427, down 24 percent from 171,839 paintbrush exports recorded for July 2011. During the first seven months of 2012, 1.1 million paintbrushes were exported, down 15 percent from 1.3 million during the first seven months of 2011.

 

Canada imported 620,508 paintbrushes from the United States during the first seven months of 2012.

 

The average price per paintbrush for July 2012 was $13.80, up 66 percent from $8.29 for July 2011. The average price for the first seven months of 2012 was $12.89, up 37 percent from $9.39 recorded for the first seven months of 2011.

 

Click here for entire July Export/Import Statistics

 

 

deal

 

U.S. Imports 85 Short Tons
Of Broom Corn In August

 

By Harrell Kerkhoff, Broom, Brush & Mop Editor

 

A total of 85 short tons of broom corn was imported into the United States during August 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. All broom corn imports for the month arrived from Mexico. Total value of the 85 short tons was $249,192, with an average cost per ton of $2,932 ($1.47 per pound).

 

For the first eight months of 2012, government figures indicated that 427 short tons of broom corn were imported into the United States. All of these imports came from Mexico. Total value was $1,113,674, with a cost per ton average of $2,608 ($1.30 per pound). In comparison, after the first eight months of 2011, a total of 478 short tons of broom corn entered the United States. Total value of this import was $1,105,605, with a cost per ton average of $2,313 ($1.16 per pound).

 

Bart Pelton

Bart Pelton

 

Bart Pelton, of PelRay International, LLC, in San Antonio, TX, said the 85 short tons of imported broom corn for August was higher than average, but was to be expected.

 

“U.S. consumption of broom corn right now is running around 50 short tons a month. Of course, the first Torreon harvest (in Mexico) for 2012 took place in July, which means most of this crop first became available for purchase during August,” Pelton said.

 

He added that many broom factories traditionally seek out additional broom corn when a new crop first becomes available, thus increasing demand.

 

“In addition, this summer’s first Torreon crop was real small with prices moving higher. I think there was some extra buying taking place in August to protect against the possibility of higher prices for the coming months,” Pelton said. “It looks like the first Torreon broom corn crop this year only resulted in 400 to 500 short tons.”

 

The reasons for this smaller harvest were abundant, according to Pelton. For example, many Mexican farmers planted other crops that paid them higher prices, forcing strong competition to the planting of broom corn. Also, due to the continual threat of violence in the Torreon area from drug cartels, a lot of Mexican broom corn processors and corn broom manufacturers were reluctant to travel to the area to encourage farmers to grow more broom corn. There was also a drought that took place this summer in the growing region, cutting back on how much water was available for irrigation.

 

“In other words, it was a perfect storm,” Pelton said.

 

When interviewed on October 25, he added that the second Torreon harvest of 2012 is basically completed and is also very small, at about 60 to 80 short tons.

 

“Right now, Mexican broom corn processors have very little inventory, and most of what they do have is insides. For the most part, the Torreon broom corn did not grow as long (in length) this year compared to traditional standards,” Pelton said. “There was more insides grown this year than needed. This is being supplemented by plenty of insides still available from carry-over broom corn. The overall quality of this year’s Mexican broom corn is fine except for the lack of hurl.

 

“Right now, the selling price between insides and hurl on a percentage basis is probably as large as it’s been in 20 years.”

 

Due to the small nature of the two Torreon broom corn harvests in 2012, Pelton feels there could be shortages by the time next summer’s main crop becomes available.

 

(Continued on Top Right Column)

“I have heard talk of farmers being encouraged to plant more broom corn in the Apatzingan region, which is located in southern Mexico. This crop is traditionally harvested in February and March,” Pelton said. “There is not a whole lot of land available down there for broom corn as this growing district features many multi-year crops, such as banana trees. It would really help, however, if 100 to 200 short tons of broom corn could be grown in Apatzingan this winter.

 

“It will be interesting to see how it all plays out over the winter. There just isn’t a lot of broom corn available (in Mexico) right now.”

 

Pelton added that partly due to a decrease this year in the supply of Mexican broom corn, yucca fiber prices have risen — up around 20 to 25 percent.

 

“There may be some broom makers who are trying to squeeze a little more yucca fiber into their brooms to help keep overall costs down. Higher yucca fiber prices are also a result of this summer’s drought. Just like broom corn, it takes water to grow yucca fiber,” he said.

 

Despite today’s tougher broom corn and yucca fiber conditions, Pelton reported in late October that overall business at his company has been running ahead of last year’s pace.

 

Richard Caddy, of R.E. Caddy & Co., Inc., in Greensboro, NC, also felt that August's 85 short ton import mark accurately reflected the influx of first crop Torreon broom corn into the United States.

 

“A lot of us in the industry have experienced pent-up demand for broom corn. I’m not surprised by August’s import figure. Pricing went up as well, but has since leveled off. Broom corn is still very expensive,” Caddy said. “Another problem is that because there is not a whole lot of broom corn available, it’s taking (Mexican) processors a bit longer to get orders together. They don’t have extensive inventory in their facilities to draw from compared to past years.

 

“We (at R.E. Caddy) have pretty much been able to get what we need, but there is still a challenge in receiving short hurl for those people who make toy, whisk and lobby brooms. There is no problem in getting longer lengths (of hurl) and insides.”

 

Richard Caddy

Richard Caddy

 

Caddy agreed with Pelton that the second Torreon harvest of 2012 did not net much broom corn. He added there should be enough supply available from Mexico during the winter. The real question, however, is the level of availability by next spring.

 

Regarding the supply of yucca fiber, Caddy said on October 25 that lead times are currently running two to three weeks. Pricing, meanwhile, is higher.

 

“It’s more expensive now, probably another 10 percent or so compared to several months ago. The quality of this yucca fiber is still nice, and the availability is not bad,” Caddy said. “Overall business has been pretty good as of late. Demand is still fairly strong. Corn brooms continue to be made in the United States, although most of my customers also import.

 

“It will be interesting to see if our overall business stays strong in November and December, or if there will be some pulling back. It’s not unusual to see (lower sales) after the middle of November, but you never know. Retailers are trying to sell everything they can. It wouldn’t surprise me if broom production kept right along.”

 

Caddy stressed the importance of keeping plenty of inventory on hand, including broom corn.

 

“This year’s Mexican broom corn crops have not been very large, so it’s good to keep a little extra inventory available just in case. We don’t want to run out.”

 

Tim Monahan, of The Thomas Monahan Co., in Arcola, IL, was unavailable for comment for this month’s broom corn dealer survey.

 

 

 


 


Broom Corn Imports



Zahoransky Group Wins Award From Procter & Gamble

 

Zahoransky Group, of Todtnau and Freiburg, Germany, has been honored for the second consecutive time by Procter & Gamble (P&G) with its “Business Partner of the Year” award.

 

Zahoransky is one of only eight partners of the American consumer goods company to receive the award — out of 75,000 candidate suppliers and agencies. In addition, Zahoransky also received the Excellence Award, as it had in 2011 and 2010.

 

 

Zahoransky's P&G Award Winners

Shown, left to right, at the awards ceremony are Rick Hughes, chief purchasing officer, P&G;

Corinne Reich; Gerd Schelshorn, key account manager, Zahoransky AG;

Michael Schmidt, managing director, Zahoransky moldmaking;

Ulrich Zahoransky, managing director, Zahoransky AG;

Dimitri Panayotopoulos, vice chairman, global business units, P&G;

Krishna Kolachala; and Khalid Hajji.

 

 

Each year P&G recognizes its top performing external business partners during an awards ceremony in Cincinnati, OH. Ulrich Zahoransky (managing director of Zahoransky AG), Gerd Schelshorn (key account manager for Zahoransky AG), and Michael Schmidt (managing director of Zahoransky Formenbau GmbH) received the awards at the annual External Business Partner Summit in Cincinnati on behalf of the entire Zahoransky Group.

 

“This summit came at the perfect time for us to clearly communicate to our external business partners our growth strategy of ‘40-20-10,’ and the priorities we’re focusing on to fully bring it to life,” said Dimitri Panayotopoulos, P&G’s vice chairman, Global Business Units, referencing the Company’s emphasis on its top 40 country/category business combinations, top 20 innovations and top 10 most important emerging markets.

 

“P&G has a renewed energy and it’s these business relationships that will help propel us to winning where it matters most,” Panayotopoulos said.

 

“I congratulate all of our award winners, especially those who were recognized as ‘Business Partner of the Year,’” said Rick Hughes, chief purchasing officer at P&G. “The entire P&G organization is focused on our top business priorities, and that includes our external business partners who help us innovate, operate more efficiently and win in market.”

 




Mill-Rose Announces Launch Of New Website


The Mill-Rose Company's new, redesigned website.

 

Company spokespeople say that a new website designed to offer standard and custom-design brushes that deburr, polish, finish, sort, auger, conduct, dissipate, collect, move and protect materials has been introduced by The Mill-Rose Company at www.MillRose.com.

 

The company says the new website provides one-click access to a complete selection of brushes used in every industry imaginable, including aerospace, agriculture, automotive, defense, energy, manufacturing, medical, technology and telecommunications.

 

Mill-Rose says that design engineers will find the “Custom Designed Brushes” area helpful as many special and unique brushes are presented, along with a feature that allows engineers to custom design their own brushes. Mill-Rose specializes in manufacturing custom brushes and has designed more than 100,000 special brushes with unique configurations for unique applications.

 

The new website also features a complete selection of laboratory and scientific brushes, along with medical brushes used for cytology sampling (disposable and reusable), instrument cleaning, and other medical and dental applications requiring micro brushes.

 

The Mill-Rose Company is a family-owned organization, now in its third generation. Mill-Rose experienced significant growth from its beginnings in 1919, and today operates manufacturing and warehouse facilities throughout the United States and Mexico.

 

Production facilities in Mentor, OH, and Mexico feature advanced manufacturing techniques and quality-control programs that ensure quality. Production is complemented by a U.S. distribution center featuring state-of-the-art inventory management to better serve customers around the world.




PelRay International Located In New, Bigger Warehouse In Texas

 

PelRay International CEO Michael McKenzie recently announced that the company has moved its operations to a larger facility in San Antonio, TX. “PelRay has always worked hard to be the best choice for customers, regardless if they only need one bale of broom corn or a container,” McKenzie said. “The new offices and larger warehouse will help us provide that level of customer service that we are committed to deliver in the industry.”

 

The company’s website (www.pelray.com) will also feature a new design to allow users to have up-to-date information on inventory levels, prices and a virtual tour of the warehouse, according to COO Ray LeBlanc.

 

“In this global marketplace, it’s imperative that PelRay be available 24/7, and we encourage customers to visit the website regularly,” LeBlanc said.

 

The PelRay International staff includes, front row, left to right, Raul Gonzalez, Raquel Estrada,

Vicki Vannatta and Ray LeBlanc. Shown in the back row, left to right, are Andy Gonzales,

David McGee, Michael McKenzie and Bart Pelton.


 



Sam Lombardo Appointed National Technical Manager For PFERD

 

PFERD INC., the U.S. subsidiary of August Rüggeberg GmbH & Co, of Marienheide, Germany, a manufacturer of abrasive products, cutting tools, brushes and power tools, recently announced that Sam Lombardo has been appointed to the newly created position of national technical manager for all PFERD U.S. operations.

 

Lombardo will report directly to Mark Noe, director of sales, and will be responsible for directing the sales efforts of all PFERD vertical market managers and application specialists. Lombardo will also head product training programs directed at assisting distributor sales people in demonstrating more effectively new company products to their end-user customers.

 

Lombardo is originally from El Paso, TX, but is currently residing in Kansas City, MO. He earned his Associates Degree in Business from Longview Community College, and has completed formal educational programs at the University of Wisconsin and at Xerox Learning Systems. He brings 35 years of experience in industrial sales to his new position including time in OEM, MRO and distributor based sales.

 

Sam Lombardo

PFERD's new National Technical Manager, Sam Lombardo.


 

His most recent position was at Apex Tool Group LLC as district sales manager where he oversaw many major end-user accounts as well as managed premier distributor accounts. Prior to that, Lombardo spent over 11 years at Standard Abrasives where he also managed large end-user and distributor accounts. In both positions, he earned recognition for consistently exceeding his sales goals, increasing market share and growing business at major accounts.

 

PFERD President Gene Huegin also commented, "In spite of poor economic times, PFERD has enjoyed record growth in recent years, but we still see many good opportunities out there, especially with our distributor partners. We feel putting a strong manager in charge of our technical training and sales efforts will realize great benefits for all of us,” Huegin said.

 

Lombardo and his wife, Linda, have three grown children and six grandchildren. They will maintain their residence in

Kansas City where they enjoy spending time with their family and where Lombardo will continue his hobbies of

restoring muscle cars and drag racing.

 

Visit www.pferdusa.com for more information.




German-based Brush Manufacturer Kullen

Merges With Dutch Brush Manufacturer Koti

 

Brush manufacturer Kullen, based in Reutlingen, Germany, has been sold to the Dutch company Koti bv.
Former Managing Partner Dieter Kullen explained his decision: “This move has secured the continuation of the company

in the long term.”

 

Dieter Kullen added that he is confident that this decision will stand the workforce in good stead for the future and safeguard jobs. He said that by taking this step, his aim is to lay the foundation for a successful successorship arrangement. In the absence of an obvious successorship candidate within the family, the shareholders took the decision that sale of the company was the best way forward.

 

Spokespeople say the companies share similar corporate structures.

 

Dieter Kullen, who has been in a leadership role within the company since 1984, will be stepping down as shareholder but will remain at the helm as CEO.

 

Kullen

Shown, left to right, are Michel Huybreckx, managing director of Koti bv; Nathalie van Kouwen, managing director of Koti bv; Dieter Kullen, managing director of Kullen - Koti GmbH; and John van Kouwen, founder and managing director of Koti bv.

 

 

The deal encompasses all producing locations of the company group with the exception of its joint venture in China, which will continue to be owned by the Kullen family.

 

The Kullen company is based in Reutlingen, which is also home to the subsidiary HK-Entgrattechnik GmbH, and is also represented by two subsidiaries in the United Kingdom and a sales office in the Czech Republic. The production range encompasses more than 141,000 brush types which are exported to over 74 countries. Over the past year, the Kullen Group generated an annual turnover of 38 million euros.

 

Koti — also a family-managed firm active in the brush sector — operates branches in six different locations across Europe. Alongside its parent company in The Netherlands, the manufacturer runs subsidiaries in Germany, Austria, France, The United Kingdom and Belgium.

 

Kullen Factory

The Kullen factory is based in southern Germany.

 

 

While for Kullen wire brushes, in most cases with metal bodies, form a substantial proportion of the company’s business, the main focus for Koti is on all-plastic brushes in which the basic body and fill are both made of plastic.

 

“Koti is not a direct competitor for us. The product portfolios of our two companies complement each other ideally,” Dieter Kullen said. “This merger will create a powerful company group which is on course to expand its leading position in Europe.”

 

Kullen’s integration into the Koti Group will see the Dutch manufacturer gain an additional workforce of around 560, and take its total turnover to just under 80 million euros.

 

“Over the past decades, our mantra has always been reliability and continuity. Nothing is going to change as far as this goes. Our customers and partners will still be able to rely on our broad experience and expertise just as they have always done,” Dieter Kullen said.

 

The company will now trade as Kullen - Koti GmbH.
Visit www.kullen.de and www.koti-eu.com for more information.






Shurhold Super Mop Enables Super Clean-Up

 

Mopping an RV floor doesn’t have to be a dreaded task. Shurhold Industries says its Super Floor Mop makes the process a lot easier.

 

According to the company, this floor mop won’t drip, leave streaks or turn moldy.

 

Kullen

Shurhold's new Super Mop.

 

It is made from absorbent PVA, and enables users to wring the mop out. This mop works well on vinyl, tile, smooth concrete and wood. It also cleans windows without streaking, according to Shurhold.

 

Shurhold manufactures specialty care items and accessories to clean, polish and detail.

 

Visit www.shurhold.com/rv for more information.