COPLEY, Ohio—The president of tire equipment maker Scantland Industries Inc. has completed a management buyout at the tire equipment manufacturing firm, giving him controlling interest in the company.
Scantland announced Jan. 20 that Brian Weber, who´s been president since February 2003, now owns the majority of the company; he said it´s about 56 percent. He´s been with Scantland since 1981 when he worked in the machine assembly department and subsequently moved up to purchasing manager, then vice president.
Weber was named president by the Scantland board of directors in 2003 after the death of his father-in-law, company founder and President Joe Scantland, who started the company in 1976. Weber is married to Scantland´s daughter, Trish.
As majority owner, Weber wants to continue the progress Scantland has made in the past couple of years, with improved revenues and a refocus on its tire building machinery roots. The company´s recent growth has been driven by the development of machinery for some newer markets, like aircraft and off-the-road tire building, he said.
"We´ve been getting into some bigger-end equipment and increased our research and development," Weber said. "We have a lot more products in several areas, and that´s helped our sales."
When the economic doldrums of the late 1990s and early 2000s hit the equipment market, Scantland decided to diversify into areas other than the tire manufacturing machinery—for example, hydraulic and seat testing machines for the automotive industry—but those never worked out, Weber said.
"We spent time developing products and hoped to sell five or six more of them, but it didn´t happen," he said. "And because we were dedicated to projects outside of our core industry, it cost us some customers."
After Weber took over as president, he decided it was time to re-establish Scantland as a tire manufacturing equipment specialist. "We hit the road, and got back to what we do best," he said. "Many customers have been ecstatic that we´re back."
In addition to developing and making new products, the company also has upgraded its existing equipment to meet updated sizing specifications.
Weber estimated the company has 18 different models of first-stage radial tire-building machines for a variety of applications.
Scantland—which employs 12 at its Copley site—also has streamlined its manufacturing processes, cut costs and eliminated waste, and instituted financial controls to better manage its cash flow. "We were fat, and we needed to get back to reality," he said. "We´ve also updated our (computer-assisted design) and become more automated in all departments."
For the future, Weber wants to continue to emphasize more product development; the Copley-based firm is in the midst of designing a second-stage tire building machine.
He also would like to construct a new facility for the operation because it has outgrown the 18,000-sq.-ft. site it´s resided in since 1986.
"We have plans to expand, though it may be a couple of years down the road," he said. "We need room for storage and the sub-assembly we do, and to have room to build the larger-size machines."
In conjunction with the buyout, Weber also invested with JP Morgan Chase Bank for recapitalization so the company can continue to grow. Scantland now is in a "significantly enhanced position" to build on its recent success, he said.
He hopes for 10- to 15-percent annual growth, but also knows it won´t come easily. "It´s still a tough business," Weber said. "Going out and getting the work is still the key."