Craig Guttmann,

President, Algood Caster Innovations

02
Jun
2014

What’s a Castersmith, you ask?

You may have noticed that Algood’s new tagline is The Next Generation of Castersmiths and I would bet your first question is, “What the hell is a castersmith?” I can tell you a lot about Algood by answering that question and explaining the new tagline.

Castersmith is a term that we coined based on all of the qualities that are understood when talking about other smiths – like silversmiths, blacksmiths and locksmiths. What follows is what I believe makes us true castersmiths.

  • Craftsmanship. We have mastered the trade of building casters. We manufacture our own casters and wheels we know every part, every ounce of material and every minute of work that goes into creating a quality product. We know every tiny detail that goes into making a caster from beginning to end. Our integrated production facility includes tool & die making, metal stamping, injection molding and assembly – all under one roof.
  • Attention to detail. There is no part of the design and production process that is too small to deserve our attention. Our fully resourced R&D and engineering departments make sure that every aspect of a caster’s performance is considered from the outset. We create our own prototypes, test them extensively and modify them until we’ve got it right.
  • Pride. Every caster or wheel that leaves our 80,000 square foot manufacturing facility has our name stamped on it.  It’s a stamp that says we stand behind our products and guarantee their quality. Through our commitment to ISO testing and compliance, we have achieved a near perfect 99% quality completion rate. As our shipping inserts say, every Algood order is packed with pride.

Here’s what “The Next Generation” part of the tagline is all about. Obviously, we’re the next generation because this is a family owned business and my brother Sean and I have taken over where my father, who founded the company, left off. My father is my hero and I try every day to emulate his dedication to our customers, his creativity in developing products that meet our customers’ needs and his commitment to hard work and honesty.

The Next Generation also means that this is a business that has embraced technology and innovation. We develop our own equipment. We integrate casters with advanced hydraulics and electronics. We are creative and have dozens of patented or patentable products. We have more standard caster configurations than any other manufacturer. Don’t just take our word for it. Algood was recently recognized by a huge Fortune 500 company as its most innovative supplier in 2013.

Far from being a meaningless marketing line, The Next Generation of Castersmiths provides a sense of purpose for all of us at Algood. It is our mission and we aim to live up to it every single day.

30
Apr
2014

Casters make my world go round

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.