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Friday

September 2014

19

Two businesses outgrow their quarters

Growing business creates need for more space

Business is good for two local manufacturers that have recently outgrown their spaces.

Meyers Electric and Farris Automated Systems will both be moving into new buildings that can better suit their growing business' needs.

"It's not a bad problem to have," said William Meyers of Meyers Electric Inc.

Meyers Electric

From Wales to Delafield

Meyers Electric has left Wales and is already settled in at S13 W33752 Highway 18, Delafield. It has already owned that property for years and is just now getting to use it.

The company focuses on residential electrical services and on fire alarm systems, elevator installations and parking lot lighting. It also installs industrial machines and sells conservative, eco-friendly Harman stoves. The family-owned business, celebrating its 50th year, has wired homes, senior housing centers, public libraries, churches and both private and public school systems.

Meyers Electric is also active in skills training programs such as Project Lead the Way, ABC apprenticeships and nearby Kettle Moraine schools.

"I try to make sure that every one of my guys has an apprentice under him, somebody who's learning," Meyers said.

Meyers Electric Inc. is moving out of 570 AJ Allen Circle, Wales, where it has been for more than 15 years. It recently sold the space to Farris Automated Systems of Hartland; Meyers said he looks forward to more office space.

"When I started, it was just me and two other employees in this empty building (at AJ Allen Circle). We had no idea we'd have so many people that we'd fill that building and need a new one," Meyers said.

Now, Meyers maintains about 20 full-time workers (and around 60 when projects are available) plus some administrative positions. He's looking to add at least one new full-time administrative position at the new location. The goal is to have better customer service with more support staff at the helm. Meyers is also looking to update the computers and servers.

The company created a few jobs for the community during the relocation, too, by hiring local contractors.

"I try to help employ the local people here. From paving to plumbing, there were a lot of jobs (at the new Highway 18 location). I try to share a piece of the pie," Meyers said.

Farris Automated Systems

From Hartland to Wales

Farris Automated Systems, meanwhile, is moving into Meyers Electrics' former building, relocating from Hartland to 570 AJ Allen Circle. It's roughly two times bigger than their older space, from about 7,000 square feet to 14,000. It already has its offices moved there and intend to be fully functional on Monday.

"We really had outgrown that space. We were working out of two bays, which were separated in the middle, and had to go outside to get to the other one," Cathy Brenny, office manager, said.

The move was made possible by a loan through the Wisconsin Small Business Association and Mid America Bank. A Pewaukee commercial real estate company, Judson & Associates, helped facilitate the move.

"Mid America coordinated everything really well between all the parties involved … That's pretty much why we were able to move," said owner Mark Johansen.

Farris Automated Systems designs and manufactures custom automated industrial machinery and equipment. Its clients are in the heavy equipment, agricultural equipment, power equipment, medical, appliance, automotive and home product industries. Some of its current customers include Allied Locke, Caterpillar, Honda Power Equipment, J&L Fiber Services, John Deere, Sara Lee, Toyota and Trek Diagnostic.

The Wales Planning Commission approved the company's plans for AJ Allen Circle in August.

"(The Wales Planning Commission) was great to work with. They came up to Hartland to visit our business and understand us," Johansen said.

Farris Automated Systems could hire between three and five full-time positions in 2013, according to Johansen. It typically looks for mechanical engineers, programmers, skilled assembly workers and machinists.

"The skills set that we're looking for are pretty specific and hard to fill," Brenny said.

That's why it has worked with students from Arrowhead High School, Waukesha County Technical College and the University of Wisconsin system. Brenny said that these students really are assets to the community; Farris plans to continue similar training programs.

"There is a very good program at Arrowhead, with STEM and Project Lead the Way. They do a great job preparing kids for college and technical schools," Johansen said.

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