Craig Guttmann,

President, Algood Caster Innovations

Casters make my world go round

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I called this blog “My world is Round” because it’s true. Yeah, I know that Christopher Columbus or Magellan or a Greek philosopher figured out the world is round centuries ago, but the point is that my world is round. I spend most of my life living and breathing casters. And its been that way for 25 years. That’s what happens when you’re the president of one of North America’s largest caster manufacturers that just happens to be a family business. When I was a kid our family life was centered around this caster business. I can still remember going to the plant with my mother to bring my dad dinner on nights that he had to stay late.

My world is also round because I spend so much time traveling the globe – throughout North America, to Europe as well as the Near East and the Orient – seeing customers, suppliers and strategic partners. In posts to come, I’ll talk about how I deal with that part of my world.

But, to start, I wanted to tell you what’s truly important in this round world of mine. Of course, it’s casters. But what I learned from my father – and on my own for the past 15 years – is that there are principles and values that go way beyond what we actually make. There are actually some very old fashioned – you might even say square – ideas that I learned from my dad and that make my world go around. Here they are:

Take pride in what you build and sell. Always strive to do better and don’t ever be satisfied unless you’ve done the very best you can. There is no product or delivery error that is ever tolerable. We may have a 75,000 square foot facility that turns out hundreds of thousands of pieces a year but every caster with Algood stamped on it, comes with our personal guarantee.

Your word and your reputation are worth everything. When you say you are going to do something for a customer, it happens – even if you lose money doing it. When you shake hands on a deal, there’s no turning back. Dishonesty is the slippery slope to failure. Whether you’re one of our customers, partners or suppliers, you’ll always get the straight bill of goods.

Treat your employees with respect and care. Value their contributions. Never take them for granted. Give them the opportunity to reach higher and do more and then reward them when they do it. At Algood, we are proud that we employ almost 100 people in our manufacturing facility. Our employees are our greatest asset – and they know it.

Never compromise your values. Never settle. Never put profit ahead of principle. When you deal with Algood, you’re not dealing with a corporate sub-division. You’re dealing with the people who make all the decisions and are have to live with the consequences. So, there you have it.

This is my round world and I welcome you to it. In the coming weeks and months I look forward to sharing more of it with you. In the meantime, if there’s something about my world that reminds you of yours, or anything else that you’d like to comment on, I’d love hear from you.

4 comments on “Casters make my world go round
  1. Joe Mayer says:

    Craig: You have done an excellent job, building your Dad’s career, into a global distributor. As being one of you very first distributors, I have always enjoyed selling your line of casters. As you, I too lived “casters”. It is now, and always will be in my blood. Please continue growing your product line.

  2. Craig Hagel says:

    Craig,

    I am glad to see that your business is doing well. It is obviously a result of exactly what you stated in your blog. Those are great ideals for any company and its employees.

    Years ago our company (Frantz Mfg. / Sterling Steel Ball were a part of the Institute of Caster Manufacturers (ICM). It was there that I had the opportunity to meet you and understand your values as you have noted. You had recently lost your Dad and were facing a very challenging time in your life where you had to become the champion for Algood Casters, which you certainly have done.

    Congratulations.

    Hopefully there will be a time that we will meet again, it’s a small world.

    Regards,

    Craig Hagel (VP Sales)
    Frantz Manufacturing Co.
    815-622-4558

  3. Bryan Alire says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words of wisdom. I especially enjoyed and appreciated you’re principles and values portion of the article. Great job! Looking forward to your next post.

  4. Craig, I know how your Dad ran his business and I know what type of man he was.
    What you say is true and you have taken over where he left off. Great advice which cuts a broad path beyond casters. Amazed at and proud of what Algood has become and the new direction it is headed under your stewardship.

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