Seco Tools Wins Workforce Honor
Oct. 26, 2012
By Sarah A. Webster
Editor in Chief
For the fourth year in a row, Corp! Magazine today named Seco Tools one of “Metropolitan Detroit’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For,” an honor that comes by providing a highly motivating and rewarding work experience to employees.
I had the pleasure of visiting the North American headquarters of Sweden-based Seco Tools and its technical center in Troy last week.
Seco opened its bright and modern 81,000-square-foot building in suburban Metro Detroit in July of 2008 – right before the US financial markets tanked and the global economy plunged into the Great Recession.
But things were looking good for Seco then and they are looking even better now for the provider of cutting tool solutions. The company engineers, sells and supports a range of manufacturing products for milling, turning, holemaking and holding.
Seco’s technical center showcases top-of-the-line five-axis machines from Mazak, DMG/Mori Seiki, Grob and Haas. That’s so customers can see how products work right on the spot. Seco also does regular training at its facilities.
The company has had the benefit, hard-earned, of being extremely diversified by geography and industry – with a focus on aerospace and defense, automotive, energy and medical -- and that has made all the difference in its financial health.
Bob Goulding, Manager of Engineering at Seco, told me the company expects double-digit year-over-year growth this year, on top of 31% growth last year. Because of these big gains, Seco achieved its post-recession goals, originally set for 2014, very early, in 2011.
While there are global concerns that make the 2013 economic outlook somewhat uncertain, Goulding said the future at Seco appears “very positive.”
Seco’s consistently strong performance has also made the firm attractive to others. A year ago, Sandvik AB, which is also based in Sweden and was already Seco’s majority shareholder, sought to acquire the remainder of Seco’s shares. As of Feb. 1, Sandvik held approximately 99.4% of the shares and 99.8% of the votes in Seco Tools.
The move brought Seco fully into the fold of Sandvik’s so-called Sandvik Machining Solutions or SMS, along with other brands such as Sandvik Coromant, Walter and Safety.
At the time, Sandvik said that Seco Tools’ management would remain in place and that the companies would optimize product development, production technology and supply chain capabilities. That’s pretty much how it’s worked out, too.
“It’s proven very positive,” said Goulding, who noted that the firms share many back-room costs such as purchasing and distribution.
As I walked around and talked to the team there, I was struck by how upbeat everybody seemed. It was downright infectious. It didn’t seem to be just the new facility or the strong business growth either. It seemed to be those strengths, as well as its people. For several years now, and in several publications, such as Corp! and the Detroit Free Press, Seco Tools has also been voted by its 100-plus employees as one of the best companies to work for in Metro Detroit.
To see an interview with Michael Parker, Seco Tools' Director Marketing & Product Development, click here.
Contact Sarah A. Webster: email@example.com.