Central States Manufacturing, Inc. of Lowell, Arkansas has been in business since 1988.
The company employs 517 people, and specializes in buying large steel rolls, cutting them down, and selling the material in smaller, more refined pieces – for commercial/residential construction, and agricultural use.
Central States has been growing rapidly, and has been profitable for years. Last year, sales for Central States reached $266 million – nearly tripling their profits over the past 10 years. Though the company doesn’t possess any secrets or exclusive innovative technology, their workers have been able to save up an astonishing retirement savings.
One of those workers is Aaron King, a 60-year-old truck driver, and employee for 23 years. King has managed to save up $1.25 million in his company retirement account. – He plans to retire next year.
Marcus Headrick, a 33-year-old production supervisor is another example. He has managed to save $250,000 in his company retirement account. Headrick has nine children, and has been working for Central States since he was 17 years old.
According to owner Rick Carpenter, the key to the company’s success is employee ownership, and an open-book approach to management. At Central States, workers don’t just become owners – and the employees are taught good business practices.
Through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan which was put in place in 2011, Central States is 100% worker-owned (there are currently over 400 employee-owners). The employees of Central States have been privy to company financial status updates, salary disclosure, and operating statistics for years.
Carpenter also credits the company’s adherence to their business model, “Right On Time, Every Time”, and their ability to provide excellent customer service.
Central State’s revenue per employee stands at an impressive $515,000. They deliver on time at a 98.78% rate, and their error count stands at .34%.
According to driver Aaron King, he hasn’t been late for a delivery on his twice-weekly, 10-stop, 1,000-mile route in years – excluding a truck breakdown.
It sounds like Central States Manufacturing, Inc. is doing something right! – What do you think?