1) When was J&E Companies established
The original company was established in October 1972 by Jack and Eberhard Engel (J&E). They were toolmakers who decided to expand into the metal stamping business. Later, they added other fabrication capabilities plus welding, painting and assembly.
Eberhard Engel bought out his brother in 1988, who, in turn, sold the business to an investor group led by Mike Hansen and Brian O’Crowley in 1996.
J&E Manufacturing acquired Earll Manufacturing of Bloomington, Minnesota, in August 1999. Earll Manufacturing was a sheet metal fabricator established in 1942. The Earll personnel and equipment were consolidated into J&E’s Lakeville, Minnesota, facility in late September 1999.
J&E Manufacturing acquired Ideal Coatings, located in Amery, Wisconsin, in January 2004. Ideal Coatings (now J&E Coatings) is a small-batch paint and assembly facility that has its own customer base which includes J&E Manufacturing.
Two machine shops (Tooling Die-Namics, Inc. of Delano, Minnesota, and Apollo Precision, Inc. of Plymouth, Minnesota) were acquired in July 2005. They were founded in 1980 and 1969 respectively. They were merged together to become J&E Precision Machining.
The sheet metal fabrication operations of Bolt Industries, L.L.C. (formerly Nybo Industries), located in Shakopee, Minnesota, was acquired in June 2006. This facility complimented Lakeville’s capabilities while also adding redundancy to this segment of the business.
Harmony Engineering Corporation in Minneapolis was acquired in December 2006. The machining operations were moved to Plymouth, Minnesota, and merged into a J&E Precision Machining facility. Harmony’s fabrication business was distributed between the Lakeville and Shakopee facilities. Subsequently, in late 2009, Harmony’s machining equipment and personnel were relocated and made part of the Shakopee operation as a cost-reduction response to the economic downturn when the Plymouth lease was up.
WMW Machinery Company, a precision-machining business, was acquired in June 2008. The operation was in Osseo, Minnesota, and became part of J&E Precision Machining in-place. The economic downturn in the subsequent year caused Osseo’s largest customer to bring its work in-house, leading to the eventual closure of this facility, and its consolidation into the Delano operation.
Douglas Metals, Inc. of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, was acquired in February 2015. The business was relocated to the Lakeville and Shakopee operations in April 2015.
Autonetic Industries of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, was acquired in May 2015. This screw machine business was left in place and became a part of J&E Precision Machining. The facility was closed and the equipment and personnel transferred to the Shakopee operation as a cost-reduction measure in September 2017.
Leaf Industries of Plymouth, Minnesota, was acquired in March 2017. Leaf is a sheet metal fabricator with identical capabilities to those at J&E Lakeville but with an entirely different customer base. The addition of this operation increased J&E Manufacturing’s annual sales volume by 67% and added considerable shop and managerial talent.
2) Who owns J&E Companies?
J&E Manufacturing Co. is a privately-owned S-Corporation. The majority of the shares are held by the CEO. Management and a single, outside individual own the balance of the stock.
3) What products or services does J&E Manufacturing sell?
The J&E Companies is a group of custom manufacturers of sheet metal fabrications, stampings and machined components. In addition, they have welding, metal spinning, assembly plus powder and liquid painting capabilities.
Please refer to the company website at jecompanies.com for more information about our business.
4) What is J&E’s geographic market area?
J&E Manufacturing provides custom components to businesses located in approximately 35 states in the USA and Puerto Rico. Currently, a significant portion of these sales come from the upper Midwest.
5) How does J&E market its products and services?
Sales representatives generated 24% of all revenue in Fiscal Year 2019. J&E Manufacturing develops and maintains the balance of its business through word-of-mouth and by the efforts of its internal sales staff.
6) What are the current sizes of J&E’s facilities? Do you lease or own?
The J&E Companies own the Lakeville (57,000 sf), Shakopee (60,000 sf) and Amery (10,000 sf) buildings. Sufficient land area currently exists to expand these operations if warranted.
J&E leases the Plymouth (84,000 sf) and Delano (15,250 sf) properties. The lease terms are 10 years (with 8 remaining) and annual renewals respectively.
7) What is the reason for J&E’s growth over the past 24 years?
J&E Manufacturing has consistently invested in new technology, equipment and quality programs long-term to remain competitive in the industries served. The acquisition of related businesses has also contributed significantly to its growth.
8) Has there been any change in J&E’s activities, new products, etc.?
J&E Manufacturing has broadened its capabilities over the years to offer a single-service solution for customers requiring metal components and assemblies.
9)a What are J&E’s competitive advantages?
J&E Manufacturing is in a very competitive industry where four variables are equally important: price, quality, delivery and service. We keep focused on meeting these customer needs in an environment where lead times are shrinking and treat our personnel well, therefore turnover is minimal. Also, J&E has and will continue to invest in equipment, quality assurance, engineering technology and computer systems to improve productivity.
These actions provide J&E with a competitive advantage, versus those who are not responding in kind to today’s business requirements to ensure success.
9)b How does J&E’s volume compare to others?
At present, we believe that J&E Manufacturing is well above the average size in its industry.
10) Who are J&E’s major suppliers?
Our major suppliers are primarily well-established, local, raw material, hardware, paint and plating vendors.
11) What are some of the major industries served?
- Refrigeration Equipment
- Office Equipment
- Camera Mounting Systems
- Motion Control Technologies
- Micro Electronics Manufacturing
- Aerospace / Defense
- Medical Technology
- Construction Equipment
- Hydraulics and Fluid Handling
12) What percentage of business is done with your five largest customers?
- 2019 FY 36.3%
- 2018 FY 37.9%
- 2017 FY 34.2%
- 2016 FY 30.8%
- 2015 FY 35.2%
13) Is J&E business or products seasonal?
The business is not seasonal, although November and December sales vary slightly.
14) What are the industry’s trends?
Change and continuous improvements are a way of life. Single-source shopping (reduced vendor bases) and shorter supply chains are gaining in popularity.