SEVILLE, Ohio—Blair Rubber Co., like most rubber product manufacturers, is constantly evolving.
The difference is Blair is doing it both physically and mentally.
The physical side came to fruition in June when the firm completed a 50,000-sq.-ft. addition to its facility in Seville, including 40,000 square feet of production and warehouse space and increasing the size of its maintenance shop.
It also added a new training room, the Michael Burkholder Training Center, named after the firm's late sales manager, who died in May 2015.
The company just launched a revised website, www.blairrubber.com, complete with new tools to assist end users of rubber linings, the firm's primary product line. It includes a revamped engineering manual, video tutorials, specification sheets, installation guidelines and material safety data sheet documents.
But the company's mental evolution, a focus on internal continuous improvement and employee engagement, began in 2012 and never really ends. That was the core message President Dave Jentzsch delivered to visitors from the Association of Rubber Products Manufacturers, which the firm hosted on an ARPM tour event July 12.
“It's all part of how we're able to change, move forward and progress,” Jentzsch said. “It's been reported that 44 percent of executives say they're disappointed with their employees. They're unengaged, they're uncommitted. The old leadership model where there's this leader in charge and everybody follows is dead. Anyone that tries to do that now, their organization is going to collapse. It's just a matter of time.”