Industrial design student donates functional objects that she made for HGR’s newly renovated offices

Brenna Truax industrail design student donation

You may have read the blog written by former Walsh Jesuit High School Student and current University of Cincinnati Industrial Design Student Brenna Truax’s visit to HGR for scrap materials. Then, we did a blog about some of the desk organizers that she was in the process of creating for our newly renovated sales and administrative office. They are finished! She delivered them on August 15 before going back to school. We love them and are calling dibs on them already. Check them out next time you are in the office. In addition to desk organizers, she created a coat rack and a planter with items from HGR. Thank you, Brenna and good luck in your sophomore year! I know that we will see more of you.

Brenna Truax industrial design items donated to HGR Industrial Surplus

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR’s Expediting Department

HGR Industrial Surplus' third-shift expediting department

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jeff Newcomb, HGR’s third-shift expediting supervisor)

What does your department do?

On third-shift Expediting, we have many different duties. We have a short meeting each day to go over the plan for the night. Generally, we start by pulling all orders to be prepped by the Shipping Department. After that, we pull a list of items that are within the criteria for “scrap.” Once we have that done, we pull all sold items from the floor to the Sold Section. This is a relatively new process to free more space on the floor while making it easier to pull orders by having them in one, central location. Then, we work on different projects, such as consolidating items on skids, straightening aisles, and working to make everything neat and orderly. This makes it easier for customers to find and purchase items. We also go over to the Incoming Department and look at what will be inventoried first. After seeing what has been set up by the second-shift Receiving Department, we go back into the showroom and make room in the appropriate aisles. This makes it easier for first shift to clear the new inventory to the floor. Overall, we are the “behind the scene” group and do many different things to make sure that the other departments can navigate their day as smoothly as possible – all to create the best experience for the customer. After all, that’s what it’s all about!

How many people work in your department, and what are their roles?

We have a very small crew of three people, including myself. Don Batson is my second in command and has more than 11 years of experience here at HGR. He steps into my role when I am out. Jeff Baker has only been with us a bit over one year but has brought much experience and new insight to help with various projects. We work as a team and help each other to get our goals accomplished each day.

What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?

First, a positive attitude and a great pride in your work. A willingness to learn while being flexible within each task. We definitely are a team! Because of the qualifications, we are able to accomplish a great deal of work in a day.

What do you like most about your department?

The best thing about this department would be the “get it done” outlook each person brings to each task. I have a great crew. There aren’t all of the other distractions. That helps people to focus. Only working Monday through Thursday nights would be another great part. We only work five days one week per month for the Saturday sale.

What challenges has your department faced, and how have you overcome them?

Our department has undergone many changes since it began in 2010. When it began, we received and unloaded trucks and set up the wall to be inventoried in the morning. We no longer do that at all. Since that time, we have expanded HGR from 11 aisles to 14 then 19. Most of the products moved were done at night to help keep the normal, day-shift routine as painless as possible. We have fluctuated to as many as five people to as few as two. We also, for a while, would go out of town and rig out jobs to be brought back to HGR. We no longer do that, either. We have had people move on to other destinations and some move to other departments to fill a need for the company, from pulling shipping orders to moving entire sections of showroom to new locations. We take on each task as it comes and consciously work toward a better flow for HGR and our customers.

What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?

I feel that continuous improvement would be handled by a more one-on-one training session for new hires. This is something that we are working on now. The better prepared that an employee is, the more confident and efficient he or she will be. We are always doing more training even with long-term employees to keep skills sharp.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

The overall environment at HGR is ever changing. With new faces and new improvements on the building, it is a continuous effort to make HGR the best place for both customers and employees. The owners and officers have proven that they will do whatever it takes to make this happen.

What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?

As always, these are ever changing, and we need to do a great job at rolling with the times. The shift in what we buy and sell is based on supply and demand. We do our best to provide an opportunity for our customers to get the best deal on anything that we have while we also continue to keep up with the recycling end to ensure that we don’t go backwards on an item.

Grammar tips: Run-ons, comma splices, fused sentences

Run-on sentence meme

“Run-ons, comma, splices, and fused sentences,” according to the Purdue Online Writing Lab, “are all names given to compound sentences [two independent sentences joined together] that are not punctuated correctly.”

For instance: They shopped in Aisle 1 and filled their cart, they paid the salesperson immediately. Two independent sentences were “spliced” incorrectly with a comma.

There are three ways to correctly punctuate this sentence.

    1. You can separate them with a period and make them independent sentences: They shopped in Aisle 1 and filled their cart. They paid the salesperson immediately.
    2. You can make them into a compound sentence by using a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet): They shopped in Aisle 1 and filled their cart, and they paid the salesperson immediately.
  • You can use a semicolon with a connecting word other than one of the coordinating conjunctions, or you can use a semicolon if you do not have a connecting word (notice that the previous sentence is a compound sentence punctuated correctly using a coordinating conjunction and a comma): They shopped in Aisle 1 and filled their cart; then, they paid the salesperson immediately. OR They shopped in Aisle 1 and filled their cart; they paid the salesperson immediately.

 

For fun and practice, you can take a little quiz here, courtesy of Capital Community College. How did you do?

SPACES’ artists shop for materials at HGR Industrial Surplus

SPACES in September 2014 by Jake Beckman, photo by Jerry Mann
SPACES in September 2014 by Jake Beckman, photo by Jerry Mann

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Bruce Edwards, SPACES World Artist Program coordinator)

I am always amazed by the seemingly endless inventiveness of artists. They seem to get inspiration from so many different things. Some find excitement in the natural environment, others in a fantastic world. The expressions are equally varied and exciting. In Cleveland and in my experience with SPACES, a non-profit art organization, many find rich inspiration for their artwork in the fading industrial landscape of Cleveland. Often the artists will arrive from foreign lands and other cities and are drawn immediately to the large warehouses and manufacturing centers, and of course the steel mills with their stacks spitting fire over the downtown skyline. When the artists arrive to work at SPACES as part of the residency, HGR Industrial Surplus often comes up as a resource for material and inspiration.

I have been in Cleveland since the early 90s and have helped many artists gather material for their work in lots of places within the industrial areas. I have gone with artists through the steel mills and collected taconite balls and slag, I have gone to old warehouses with photographers looking for unique kinds of space and light. And I have gone to HGR where I have spent hours with artists going up and down the aisles looking at the various machinery and parts that are there for the taking.

I first heard about HGR many years ago when a fellow artist Dana Depew suggested that I go there for some pulleys needed for a project. He said that there were bins filled with everything that I could want. He was not wrong. Dana makes all kinds of intricate constructions from found parts and industrial debris; so, he would know. He works as a curator for the Slavic Village art initiative “Rooms To Let” that draws attention to the abandoned homes in that neighborhood by allowing artists to take over a house and fill it with installations. He also has owned his own gallery and shown many young up-and-coming artists in this region. Dana was a long-time board member of SPACES and helped a whole lot of artists make connections in Cleveland that helped them make their work.

Bruno by Dana Depew, courtesy of the artist
Bruno by Dana Depew, courtesy of the artist

When Jake Beckman came to Cleveland for a residency at SPACES, he had an Idea to illustrate the power and beauty of labor. We set him up in a warehouse space not far from The Powerhouse on the west side of downtown where Old School Salvage was located. He immediately set out to find as much material as he could that would allow him to explore the rich interaction between production and labor. He went to HGR and collected rollers and pulleys and some belting, servos. You name it; he gathered it up. For Jake, it was one-stop shopping. Although Jake lives and works in Philly, he returns to Cleveland often and goes to HGR each time to see what he can take back with him. Jake’s entire practice has revolved around the industrial landscape.

Excised by Jake Beckman, courtesy of the artist
Excised by Jake Beckman, courtesy of the artist

In the mid-90s, Laila Voss collected tons of material for a project as part of Urban Evidence, an expansive show that was on display at the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Center for Contemporary Art, and SPACES. Voss, who now is the executive director of Art House Inc. in the near west side of Cleveland and a current board member of SPACES, has been making large-scale multi-media installations throughout her career — most recently showing at ARTNeo, a museum of Northeast Ohio. At one point, needing some material that would work for a projection screen and to build a replica of a water tower, she found what she needed at HGR, along with a slow-moving motor that would operate a part of the installation. Return trips to HGR are not uncommon for Laila.

Chaotic Symphony: The Catch-All Net by Laila Voss, courtesy of the artist
Chaotic Symphony: The Catch-All Net by Laila Voss, courtesy of the artist
Natural Forces by Laila Voss, courtesy of the artist
Natural Forces by Laila Voss, courtesy of the artist

Very often, the artists that I work with find that the people of Cleveland are helpful and friendly and willing to give their time and energy to help make a project happen. I love that I can send an artist to HGR and have them come back with big smiles having been inspired by the variety of machine and parts that are available and the openness of the staff to help them locate every odd bit of thing that an artist is looking for. Most often, the artist will return to pick up just one more thing that will help him or her outfit his or her studio or for some crazy-looking thing that will be just perfect for a project.

Artist’s work made from scuba tanks and cylinders

Patrick Andrews PSA Custom Creations

  (Courtesy of Guest Blogger Patrick Andrews, PSA Custom Creations)

Learning how to weld underwater might not be the traditional start of a fabricator or artist, but that was the route I took. As a U.S. Army engineer diver, I frequently worked in rather interesting conditions, but this only helped me to develop a greater ability to accomplish my work with the items and tools at hand.

Much of my art is made by recycling or re-purposing material. When I look at a piece of material, I try to see not what it is, but what it can become. I started out making bells and art with nothing more than an idea, a dry cut saw, and a MIG welder. To acquire more scuba tanks and cylinders, I have travelled to dive shops and scrap yards from Washington, DC, to Norfolk, Virginia, and many shops in-between. I also have received many cylinders from people that I meet at craft shows who want to re-purpose a tank rather than throw it away.

I have been able to sell quite a bit of my art online at Etsy, and a few pieces on CustomMade.com and Amazon Handmade. A little more than half of my sales so far have been at arts and craft shows and through word of mouth. These first years have allowed me to improve my techniques, develop my unique style and decide on the market niche that I am trying to fill.

During the last five years, I have poured nearly all of my profits back into my shop to acquire more tools. My tools now range from a large 1947 DoAll vertical bandsaw to a lathe, Bridgeport mill, 16-gauge stomp shear, slip roller, and two years ago, I purchased a new TIG welder. I have used online auctions, Craigslist and word of mouth to get to the point where I am close to having the set up that I want. A company like HGR helps me to target the specific tools I now want.

Time management is very important to me. When I’m not working at my full-time government job or making a piece of art, I manage my business. Like many one-person businesses, the time I spend in the shop working on a new project is only half of what I spend on this business. Managing online inventory, updating my website, creating videos, bookkeeping, attending art shows, etc, all bite into the time I have left.

See more at www.psacustomcreations.com.

Pat Andrews PSA Custom Creations lamp shelfPatrick Andrews PSA Custom Creations wall artPatrick Andrews PSA Custom Creations large bells and yard art

Enter HGR’s August 2017 “guess what it is” Facebook contest

tool holder

Head to our Facebook page to guess what piece of equipment or machinery is pictured. To participate you MUST meet the following three criteria: like our Facebook page, share the post, and add your guess in the comments section. Those who guess correctly and meet these criteria will be entered into a random drawing to receive a free HGR T-shirt or other cool items.

Click here to enter your guess on our Facebook page by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, August 18, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

Have you visited our front offices lately?

HGR's new spacious sales office

If not, you’re in for a surprise; so come by for a visit if you’re in the area. If you have stopped in recently, you may have been one of the people walking through the office who exclaimed, “Wow, this place has changed. How spacious. Cool tables.”

Turner Construction is putting the finishing touches on the front-office renovation. The entire area was gutted and rebuilt. We now have a large, welcoming reception desk, more room to move and amazing sales desks made by Jason Wein of Cleveland Art. There are new and larger restrooms, additional offices for staff, a nice conference room, and a new customer lounge and showroom entrance.

We’re still working on the art and furnishings, but you’ll notice that we went with an industrial design to stay in alignment with our business model and the history of the facility.

We want to thank you for your patience during the renovation, especially with trekking to Aisle 6 for the bathrooms. Don’t feel bad, the sales staff was in the same boat.

Some of the best times to visit include sale days on the second Saturday and fourth Thursday of every month or during our Wednesday free lunch (cookout in the summer and pizza the rest of the year).

We hope to see you soon!

HGR's new sales desks by Jason Wein of Cleveland Art

Cuyahoga Community College’s Manufacturing Center of Excellence works to fill the skills gap

Tri-C manufacturing center of excellence

In June, I met with Alicia Booker, vice president of manufacturing, and Alethea Ganaway, program manager additive manufacturing & Ideation Station, of Cuyahoga Community College’s Workforce, Community and Economic Development division at the Metro Campus. Booker says, “We take a manufacturing systems approach and not a product approach. We don’t just focus occupationally on the need to fill a gap then three months later the need arises again due to churn.”

For this team, it’s all about workforce development and creating a skilled workforce. More than 3,500 students are attending the workforce programs, including youth, adults interested in a career transitions, students who already have a degree but are returning to upgrade skills, older adults interested in a second career, employees who need additional training for their current role, and job seekers interested in starting a career.

Booker moved to Ohio two years ago from Pennsylvania to accept the position. Ganaway was moved from Tri-C’s robotics program to additive manufacturing in order to write the grant to fund the program. Now, two years later, the fruits of their labor are paying off in the Manufacturing Center of Excellence (MCoE).

Booker says, “We offer a unique brand of training – short-term through two-year degree plus transfer opportunities. Classes are offered in environments that meet the needs of the students and customers — day, evening, weekend, and bootcamp formats, full- and part-time training, and now we can offer onsite training through the Citizens Bank Mobile Training Unit. Our programs are comprehensive, offering exploration and career exposure to students as young as eight years old through our Nuts & Bolts Academy, middle and high school visits (via the mobile unit), and our college credit plus K-12 initiative.”

This is what the impressively outfitted MCoE contains:Tri-C manufacturing center of excellence scanner

  1. A shop that houses CNC equipment
  2. An integrated systems line with Fanuc robots that launched in June 2017 (Students can become a certified production technician in eight weeks, including program automation, PLCs, and visual inspection for quality control.)
  3. A 3D printing lab that houses a Faro scanner and two printers that can print biomedical-grade devices
  4. A PLC training line with both Allen-Bradley and Siemens systems that launched In August 2017 (Students can earn an international certification for Siemens Mechatronics Systems, mainly used by European companies, since there are more than 400 German companies in northeast Ohio, while Allen-Bradley is more common in The United States. Some companies, such as Ford, use both systems in different portions of the plant. The training line includes a PLC station with hydraulic and pneumatic boards and a robotic arm.)
  5. A rover for virtual-reality training and integrated gaming
  6. A Fab Lab, a maker space for community and international collaboration (it houses a classroom; a Techno CNC router; an embroidery machine; a small mill for engraving, heat presses for T-shirts, hats and mugs; a laser engraver; and a vinyl cutter.)
  7. A mobile unit that can go to businesses, events and schools for teaching and demonstration opportunities in a nine-county area that launched in February 2017 (The trailer fits 10 students and instructors; is WiFi, laptop and software equipped; has its own generator; has plugs for different amperages; and can be deployed with electrical, welding, CNC, mechanics and 3D printing equipment. The lab already has been deployed to the 2017 IndustryWeek Manufacturing & Technology Conference & Expo, a workforce summit, Crestwood Local Schools, and Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland.)

According to Ganaway, “The Additive Manufacturing program includes not only 3D printing, but we teach students how to reverse engineer parts, 2D and 3D design, 3D scanning, inspection and other technologies related to additive manufacturing.  Additive manufacturing is not just related to manufacturing; it includes other disciplines, as well, such as medical.  Some of the projects include 3D printing prosthetics for veterans at the VA who are disabled.”

The college offers training by which students can earn college credits and industry certifications. In the welding training, they learn MIG, TIG, and stick welding. Right Skills Now affords students with CNC training in manual and automated machining. They train on Haas CNC mills and lathes, and on Bridgeport manual machines. The 3D/additive manufacturing training is in digital design, and students receive training in multiple 3D printing technologies, including the use of 3D printers, scanners, and other equipment available through the Ideation Station where they can work with a techno router, laser engraver, etc. In Mechatronics, students learn techniques in mechanical, electrical, computerization, and gain an understanding of how these systems work together. Finally, as a certified production technician, students are prepared to begin career opportunities in manufacturing and earn four industry certifications in areas of safety, manufacturing processes and production. This is a hybrid training program that includes training on the integrated systems training equipment to prepare them for occupations in material handling, assembly and production.

To stay connected to industry, the program has several advisory committees made up of industry professionals from the welding, machining, electrical, mechanical, 3D printing and transportation sectors. They also have specific employer-based programs, including First Energy, Swagelok and ArcelorMittal, who have advised the college on customized programs that lead to employment with their companies. Local businesses, such as Cleveland Job Corps, Cleveland Municipal School District, Towards Employment, Boys & Girls Club, Ohio Means Jobs, Ford, General Motors, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, NASA, Arconic, Charter Steel, and others, utilize the program’s services.

The program, says Booker, helps to meet the growing demand for a skilled workforce by “working to strengthen the region by supporting the existing efforts of our partners and by addressing the needs we hear from employers for a skilled workforce. We provide a quick response for new skills by developing new programs and training modalities. We also are working with schools and youth-serving organizations to enhance the talent pipeline that industry needs.” She continues by sharing that the most common challenge that she sees manufacturing facing is “the alignment of skills — commonly referred to as the skills gap. The impact of technology on the industry is also a challenge as industry works to keep up with the growth of technology, and we (as a training institution) work to keep up with the projected needs for skilled workers.”

Tri-C manufacturing center of excellence mechatronics

Grammar tips: Capitalization

Leonardo DiCaprio capitalization meme

We’ve all seen it and done it in email: gone capitalization crazy. Often, people make many words proper nouns and capitalize things that shouldn’t be. Job titles, for example. WHAT, you say, shouldn’t my job title always be capitalized? Nope. If you’re curious about why, read on. If not, just keep on capitalizing whatever looks good.

When to capitalize

  1. The first word of a sentence: She can’t remember people’s names very well.
  2. Proper nouns and proper adjectives that go with them: Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge
  3. THIS IS A BIG ONE IN WORK EMAIL: Job titles, or any title, when used BEFORE a name, but not an occupation or a job title used after a name:
    1. Head Chef Barry Butterball or Barry Butterball, head chef, makes great appetizers.
    2. My Aunt Mary always brings good gifts or Mary, my aunt, buys gifts.
    3. Everyone supported Governor Smith or Everyone supports Joe Smith, governor of Ohio.
    4. Marketing Manager Angela Bowen or Angela Bowen, marketing manager
    5. Jackie works as a videographer.
    6. The governor attended the conference.
    7. The marketing manager updated the website.
  4. Relatives’ names when used in place of a person’s name: My Mom likes the beach.
  5. Nicknames that serve as a name: I took Junior to the fair.
  6. Geographical regions but not the points of the compass: We live in the Northeast, which is north of Tennessee.
  7. The first word in a quotation: Joey said, “The repairman is always late.”
  8. Course titles but not subjects:
    1. He took Drawing 101 because he is majoring in art.
    2. He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
  9. Names of gods, religious figures and holy books: Buddha, Moses, the Koran
  10. Seasons if used in a title but not when used generally: He took a course Spring semester but he plans to take a break during winter.
  11. The first, last and important words in a title. Articles, short prepositions and coordinating conjunctions (an, to, and) are not important words: HGR Is Having a Sale
  12. And other things you probably have figured out: book titles (Moby Dick), places (Brazil, Cleveland, Eiffel Tower, Kent State University), nationalities (German), historical periods and events (the Renaissance, World War I), names of groups and sports teams (the Kiwanis, Cleveland Indians), companies (Nike, Apple), the word “I,” names of planets (the Moon, Earth), street names (Euclid Avenue), days/months/holidays (Friday, July, Christmas), abbreviations (FBI, HGR)

One rule of thumb is to capitalize proper nouns, which are the names of specific people, places, organizations and sometimes things.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer spotlight with Mike Metzger

HGR Buyer Mike Metzger with his son

When did you start with HGR and why?

In 2006, I was working three jobs, and on the side I’d buy air dryers and small compressors from one of the sales guys at HGR, and beat him up on prices regularly. Turns out, Brian Krueger (HGR’s CEO) had recently become an owner, and he needed more salesmen. He gave me a shot at an interview, and shortly after running around for three different employers, I found myself working for one.

What is your territory, and what do you do on a daily basis?

I cover the farthest southeast corner of the U.S. — Georgia, South Carolina, most of Alabama, half of Tennessee, and western North Carolina. If anything ever happens in Florida, I tend to handle those, as well.

What do you like most about your job?

I can set my own schedule and don’t have to be at the same place every day. Exploring such a huge area can be an adventure.

What’s your greatest challenge?

The part I like most is also my biggest challenge. It is a huge, spread out area that I cover. I have a three-year-old at home. I am trying to balance the importance of seeing as much of him as I can, while also being on the road looking at deals to better provide for him. It is a constant juggling act.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

While some strange things have happened when driving around the Deep South as a buyer and some interesting people came through the door when I was a salesman, I’d have to say the most important moment was making the jump from Sales to Buy. My wife hated her job, hated the drive through Cleveland in the winter months, and we were suffering because of it. In a morning sales meeting, Ron Tiedman (HGR’s COO) mentioned that HGR was still trying to hire a Georgia resident to become a buyer for HGR. I called my wife around lunch and asked how she’d feel about me taking a stab at a huge change for us. We never spoke about moving before that call. She agreed that nothing would probably come from it, but it wouldn’t hurt anything to ask about having HGR ship me southerly. I spoke to Rick Affrica (HGR’s chief purchasing officer) that afternoon, since he was visiting the office. I had never spoken with him more than a few sentences before then. Turns out, management was into the idea. A few months later we were listing our house. My environment, job, and life all changed do to a “what the heck, we’ll see if this works” type of decision.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I mostly like playing games with family and friends. Video games, board games, whatever. Been kicking my brother’s butt in Injustice 2 fairly regularly. And of course, spending time with Jameson, my son. He is an amazing little guy. A bit of a jerk sometimes, but I am told that it is a passing thing. Until 12 or so. Then it comes back.

Who is your hero or greatest influence/inspiration, and why?

Wojtek the Soldier Bear. Look him up. One of the biggest badasses in history. AS to why, I have to say, “LOOK HIM UP.”

Private Wojtek the Soldier Bear

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR’s Expediting Department

Expediting Department

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Herm Bailey, HGR’s expediting supervisor)

What does your department do?

As expeditors, we assist all departments. For the Showroom, we will do outs that customers are picking up, pull truck orders and help where needed. For Incoming/Receiving, we clear walls to make room for new items, help offload incoming trucks, set up walls and help run any scrap. For Scrap, we pull, re-itemize and scrap. We also do miscellaneous project work and storage.

How many people work in your department?

There currently are two people in our department, including myself.

What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?

A willingness to adapt as our daily jobs may change quickly, a strong work ethic and a positive attitude

What do you like most about your department?

It’s not boring because it can change as the day goes on.

What challenges has your department faced, and how have you overcome them?

While being a small crew, we are always giving input to one another. Communication is key.

What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?

The only changes have been in the way that we transport larger items.

What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?

More suggestions and advice to be even safer in our operations

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

Fast-paced

What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?

Lower-value items need to be moved quickly since they take up valuable floor space. Sold items need to be picked up as soon as is possible by the customer to keep the items from being damaged by moving surrounding items. The longer something sits, the less value that we can get for it.

HGR partnering in two live and online auctions: July 27 and Aug. 1

auction gavel

Click here for more information, including a catalog of available items, on our two auctions that are being held on July 27 and Aug. 1. We are partnering with Heritage Global Partners for the Impax Laboratories auction and with Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers for the Custom Machine Builder auction.

When is making and selling products not enough?

waiter and waitress

In manufacturing, we all make and/or sell. That’s a given. But, what differentiates us from the competition? Yes, price, but also those value-added intangibles, including customer service. Remember the days when business was based on service? As business gets more fast-paced and we have to do more with less, often quantity triumphs over quality. We are whipping and cranking it out. “Git er done” has become a catch phrase. But, what about the little things? Often, a live person doesn’t answer the phone anymore. It’s all been automated. But when the customer does reach a human being, how is he or she treated? Are customers made to feel like a burden? Something to be processed so we can move on to the next task, or do we invest in them?

Think about the last time you went out to eat at a sit-down restaurant. You are going out so that you don’t have to cook or clean up and can relax and chat while someone else does the heavy lifting. You want to be taken care of, right? You leave a tip based on how attentive the service is from when you walk in the door. Were you greeted? Seated quickly? Brought a menu? How long did it take for someone to bring you water and take your order? How long until your order came? Was it hot? Did they get the order right if you made substitutions? Did they refill your glass? Was the restroom clean? How long did it take to get the check? Were your leftovers packed properly? Every step in the total experience matters in making a final impression upon you, the customer. We evaluate the quality of the transaction based upon criteria that we set up for each experience. We all “expect” certain things in certain situations in order to feel satisfied.

What do your customers expect of you other than selling them a thingamajig? Do you deliver? What might you do differently? What processes have you implemented that might help others? What changes have you made to improve the customer experience?

 

HGR held a sales-desk design contest, and the winner is…

This spring, HGR’s front office have been torn up with contractors coming and going. Turner Construction quickly gutted and rebuilt HGR’s sales offices to better serve customers. Now, there’s more room, a better flow, a nicer look and feel to the place but the same people you’ve come to depend on.

So, we have a new office with a slick industrial design but with the old, beat-up furniture. What to do about it? Have a contest. Three local industrial furniture designers submitted their amazing prototypes for our Sales staff’s desks: 3 Barn Doors from Avon, Hans Noble Design Co. from Cleveland, and Cleveland Art from Cleveland.

Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors says, “We wanted to try to pull in the rustic industrial vibe while still implementing a clean, smooth, finished top. It’s almost a mix of rustic/industrial with a hint of modern.”

The sales staff voted on the three designs. Cleveland Art’s submission was selected and is in the process of being built. Congrats to all three entrants. The designs were each slick, beautiful, functional and totally HGR. It was a tough choice. All three designers are winners.

Hans Noble Design Co. desk submission for HGR contest
Hans Noble Design Co.
3 Barn Doors desk submission for HGR desk contest
3 Barn Doors
Cleveland Art submission for HGR desk contest
Cleveland Art

Grammar tips: Hyphens

Spider-Man hyphen meme

Even worse than commas and apostrophes, hyphens are a punctuation mark that most people forget to use. You do need to use them in some numbers, between some adjectives and nouns, and after prefixes. Here’s the low down on when!

  • When a number modifies or describes a noun or shows a range
    1. The five-story house or The house has five stories.
    2. An eight-hour work day or He works eight hours per day.
    3. The 10-year-old boy rode his bicycle or The bicycle rider is 10 years old.
    4. Exception: Do not hyphenate percentages or money: 4 percent raise or $30 office copay
    5. You can find the information that you need on pages 5-8.
  • When two adjectives that proceed a noun form a compound adjective that modifies that noun, especially when leaving the hyphen out can cause a change in meaning
    1. He is a long-term employee or He has worked here long term.
    2. She has a much-admired work ethic.
    3. She was worried about the violent-weather alert. (It’s alerting you to violent weather. But without the hyphen, you would be saying the alert is violent. It’s a violent weather alert. It might beat you up.)
    4. Exception: When a modifying word is an adverb (happily married man, individually packaged donuts)
    5. Exception: When some words, over time, become compound (e-mail to email or coffee-house to coffeehouse)
  • With prefixes that need hyphens
    1. I want to re-read the book.
    2. Her ex-landlord returned the deposit.
    3. He had a mullet in the mid-1980s.
    4. I’m enjoying this spring-like weather.
  • And in other rules, including fractions (one-third of the runners), proper nouns (Golden Globe nominee), numbers 21 to 99 (eighty-eight)
  • When in doubt, look it up. Sometimes, it’s just a judgment call or a stylistic requirement, like with Rolls-Royce or Spider-Man

Industrial art student makes functional office organizers for HGR with scrap materials

Brenna Truax desk organizer

Last month, you may have read the blog about Brenna Truax’s visit to HGR to get some materials that she needed for an industrial art project. She’s currently a sophomore at University of Cincinnati and graduated from Walsh Jesuit High School. This is what she’s done so far — desk organizers and a coat rack.

Now that HGR’s sales office renovation is nearly done, you just may see these on some desks the next time that you visit! Thanks, Brenna, for sharing your talent. They are beautiful.

Brenna Truax desk organizerBrenna Truax desk organizerBrenna Truax desk organizerBrenna Truax coat rack

 

 

 

Grammar tips: Commas

Comma meme

A comma is often the most misused punctuation mark. When we don’t know where they belong, we tend to leave them out or stick them in sentences where they shouldn’t go.

Here’s the down and dirty on commas and some quick tips to help you out. With examples, of course!

Did you know the presence or absence of a comma can change the meaning of the sentence?

  • Let’s eat Grandma should be Let’s eat, Grandma. (What, or who, is for dinner?)
  • Most of the time travelers worry about their luggage should be Most of the time, travelers worry about their luggage. (Who’s worrying about the luggage?)
  • We’re going to learn to cut and paste kids should be We’re going to learn to cut and paste, kids.
  • I love my parents, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie should be I love my parents, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie. (Are celebrities my parents?)
  • We order merchandise and sell products OR We order, merchandise and sell products.

When should (and shouldn’t) we use commas?

  1. In numbers (other than years, addresses and page numbers)
    1. YES: He owns 2,800 baseball cards.
    2. YES: The machine weighs 13, 567 pounds.
  2. In direct address
    1. YES: Mary, you really helped me today.
  3. Dates with a day listed
    1. YES: On June 19, 2017, HGR had an Aisle 1 flash sale.
    2. But, NOT between the month and year with no day: In June 2017, HGR had a flash sale.
  4. When listing places
    1. YES: He is from Atlanta, Georgia, but moved to Cleveland, Ohio, when he graduated from high school.
  5. In lists containing three or more items, unless there are commas used within the list and not before the last item in the list unless it needs the comma to be understood
    1. Simple series: He likes welding, machining and woodworking.
    2. Comma needed before last item since it all belongs together: For lunch she likes to eat salad, soup, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
    3. Semicolons needed because there are commas within some items in the series: On weekends, I do my chores; sleep in; read books, the newspaper and Facebook posts; and go shopping.
  6. With multiple adjectives that modify the same noun
    1. YES: It was a hot, frustrating, dangerous trip. (All adjectives modify “trip.”)
    2. NO: He bought the boy a bright red balloon. (The balloon isn’t smart/bright. The balloon is bright red.)
  7. With adjectives where the order is interchangeable
    1. YES: He is a smart, kind child OR He is a kind, smart child.
    2. NO: We stayed at an expensive summer resort because you couldn’t say, We stayed at a summer expensive resort.
  8. Setting off nonessential information
    1. NO: Dumas’ novel The Three Musketeers was one of my favorites. (No commas since Dumas wrote more than one novel. We need the information in the sentence to tell us which one.)
    2. YES: Dumas’ first novel, Captain Paul, does not interest me. (Since he only had one first novel, the name is not essential.)
    3. YES: Gina, marketing communications specialist, writes great grammar tips. (My title doesn’t matter to understanding the sentence.
    4. YES: Your work has been, quite honestly, outstanding. (The interrupting words aren’t necessary to the meaning of the sentence.)
  9. In compound sentences joining two independent sentences together with and, but, or, nor, yet, so and for when they are used as coordinating conjunctions. (See, you need to know your parts of speech and how they function in a sentence!)
    1. YES: She came to work, but she went home sick.
    2. YES: Are you going to the party, or are you staying home?
    3. YES: The dog wanted all my attention, and the cat was jealous.
    4. NOT in simple sentence that do not combine two independent sentences:
      1. She purchased the car but did not get it rustproofed.
      2. Are you mowing the lawn or painting the window frames this weekend?
  10. In complex sentences that have an independent clause (or sentence) and a dependent clause that is not a complete sentence, if it comes before the independent clause:
    1. If you are tired, you should take a nap OR You should take a nap if you are tired.
    2. Because of the power outage, we went home early OR We went home early because of the power outage.
  11. In a compound-complex sentence: Because of the power outage, I went home early, and, because I was tired, I took a nap.
  12. To set off a quote
    1. He said, “She is an asset to the company.”
    2. “Please,” Mary asked, “could you pick up lunch for me?”

If you prefer learning by video, here’s a good one on YouTube about “How to use commas correctly.”

Q & A with furniture designer and F*SHO Founder Jason Radcliffe

Cradle cradenza by Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel

What was the first piece of furniture that you created in 2005?

I built quite a few pieces for friends — things like tables and what not, but the awning I built for a friend’s house in Tremont really stands out the most. It was the first time I realized that I could create and make things useful and functional.

What got you interested in furniture?

Functionally, I needed a desk. I like functional art and things that have a use. Also, I visited my the furniture store where my friend worked, and a customer wanted stainless table with a glass top for a party but if they ordered one for her, it wouldn’t have arrived in time. My friend said, “Here’s my friend who makes furniture. He can make it for you in less than six weeks.” Four days later, she had a stainless-steel frame with a glass top which was the start of my business. My friend asked for two pieces in three sizes, and it just took off.

What did you do as a career prior to your business at 44 Steel?

Welding and fabrication, which I still do, and the furniture business is similar in that I change industrial items into shapes that work.

How and why did the F*SHO come into existence in 2009?

In 2008, I had shown my first pieces of furniture in a solo gallery exhibit then I planned to go to New York for Design Week because I wanted to see what people thought of my work but it cost $5,000 for a booth. I decided that wasn’t affordable. In January 2009, the coordinator from ICFF, part of Design Week, emailed me offering 4’ x 10’ booth for $1600, and I took it. I took the Mousedesk that’s on my website there and kept hearing, “You’re from Cleveland? There’s nothing going on in Cleveland.” When I got back form New York, I had a conversation with five of my furniture friends about what New York was saying about Cleveland. We all decided to give New York a big middle finger and put our own show together and so it came to be. I got five friends together, and we did the show at 78th Street Studios. We had 350 people show up. The next year we needed a bigger space. F*SHO is a contemporary furniture show featuring work by local designers, furniture makers and students from the Cleveland Institute of Art.

How many exhibitors and attendees do you usually have?

In 2016, we had 30 exhibitors and 3,000 attendees. Most of the visitors are from Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo.

How are the locations for the moving show selected?

I drive around or someone offers. We are going to continue moving it to different locations until 2019, then we’re handing it off to someone else to pick up the torch.

How do you market the show?

We’ve had articles in Fresh Water Cleveland and The Cleveland Plain Dealer, an interview on Kickin’ It with Kenny and NPR’s Around Noon, word of mouth and social media. People like its style, the romantic feel of only one night and if you’re not there you missed it for the year. It’s a five-hour guerilla show that’s always on a Friday night in September from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. SoHo does the food. We have beer and a coffee bar. Everything is free to the public though we do suggest donations/tips to offset the costs of the food and beer. There’s only a $50 exhibitor fee because we believe in getting us all together, and some new designers don’t have the money.

How and when did you hear about HGR?

I work for my father’s business, Berrington Pumps & Systems, and they are a customer. Then, I made a chair for Ingenuity Festival and a competition called “Chair and Tell.” My dad helped to film the entire process, from walking through HGR buying materials to the fabrication and finishing.

What kinds of things have you bought at HGR?

Mostly stuff for Berrington, not 44 Steel and the furniture business — pumps, parts, filters, storage bins. Then I get to take home scrap and salvage from the business.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working or making furniture?

My wife and I enjoy riding bikes, travel (most recently to Peru), our dog, being outdoors, boating on the lake, and skiing and snowboarding in Colorado.

Which artists inspire you?

Jean Prouvé (French), Pierre Koenig (American) and Viktor Schreckengost (American). Their bodies of work are astounding and groundbreaking, especially Schreckengost!

What was a unique opportunity that you’ve had?

In 2014, two months after Amanda and I were married, I left the business in her hands to go to California to film a furniture-maker reality TV show and competition on SPIKE that was hosted by Hip Hop Artist Common. It aired in 2015. It’s been an exciting journey.

How did you learn to be a furniture designer and maker?

I’m self taught! I found styles and materials that suited what I liked and then started putting it all together. I was always thinking about how I would want to use a desk or a cabinet or a credenza, and that is where my personal fingerprint comes from. If you look at the furniture designers here in Cleveland, we all use similar materials, but we all have our own look and idea of how those materials fit together.

 

Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel in his welding gear

Machinery designer and die maker by day, mad scientist the rest of the time

 

restored high school chandelier
Restored chandelier at Cleveland Heights High School

(Courtesy of HGR Customer and Guest Blogger Christopher Palda)

Christopher Palda

How I became an HGR customer

I heard of HGR Industrial Surplus mainly from word of mouth. I used to deal with McKean Machinery where my boss sent me until it was bought by a New York firm and they got rid of the odds and end. As a result, they lost some customers. Many people that buy the little stuff at HGR see the large ticket items and send others they know who need these items. Employees left McKean to start HGR; so, it was a natural transition. You’ll see some of the things I’ve bought at HGR mentioned in the story below.

Recently, my workplace bought a MIG welder at HGR for the construction of Dan T. Moore Company’s plastic extrusion and rolling machine that is the size of a room. It’s for extruding plastic and rolling it into film. What they had at the welding supply store was not what we needed. We required a 100-percent duty cycle machine that could run all day long and found one at HGR.

What I do for work

I’m a die maker and do die repair, hydraulics, welding, machine tool wiring, basically an industrial maintenance technician who handles anything electrical, hydraulic and mechanical. I work for Mahar Spar Industries. A spar is the main strut in a sailboat, and the founder’s name is Mike Mahar. He started out making spars and sailboat masts in his garage in his spare time, and the business evolved from that point. Many ask me the origin of that unique name. I’ve been there for 20 years, and prior to that I was at NASA Glenn Research Center doing composite metallurgy research for jet engine applications and at the same time on a joint project working at Cleveland State University doing metallurgical research in the chemical engineering department where I built the metallurgy lab.

Some of the things I’ve built

One of the items that I am proud of that mostly came from HGR is a hyperbaric chamber. My doctor said that it would be helpful for my health to use one, but medical insurance wouldn’t cover treatments for this off-label use that was proposed; so, I came to HGR and built my own from used air compressor parts for pennies on the dollar. A new one for medical purposes costs $75,000. They usually are purchased by hospitals and medical facilities to treat diabetic patients with wounds that won’t heal, necrotizing fasciitis, carbon monoxide and cyanide poisoning, and scuba diving accidents and are used in clinical studies and trials to increase brain function in people with autism and a few other applications. I am a diver, but luckily haven’t had an accident yet and have not had to use it for that purpose. It cost me about $4,000 to build mine. By dumb luck I found a medical air compressor at HGR normally used in a dental office for the chamber along with a $1,200 medical oxygen regulator for $15 that just needed to be rebuilt. It basically functions as an isolation chamber, and you breathe pure oxygen through a mask as the oxygen regulator increases its output by using the chamber pressure as a reference point.

compressor tank from HGR before it was converted into a hyperbaric chamber
compressor tank from HGR before it was converted into a hyperbaric chamber
hyperbaric chamber side view
outside of completed hyperbaric chamber
inside of handmade hyperbaric chamber made from surplus at HGR Industrial Surplus
inside of finished hyperbaric chamber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bike trail cutting machine
bike trail cutting machine

We do projects for the Dan T. Moore Company, who also is an HGR customer. Dan believes Cleveland doesn’t have enough bike trails; so, he dropped off a small bulldozer and wanted it converted into a bike trail cutting machine. With our custom attachment it became something that looked like a bulldozer, meat grinder, snow blower hybrid. Some of the hydraulic parts came from HGR. He also wanted to build a steel mill in Bolivia at one point in the past, and we were doing a mockup of the process. We needed a large blower. His people were going everywhere else looking for stuff. I found one at HGR that looked and roared like a jet engine that was 125hp, and it worked great!

bakery oven
bakery oven

Additionally, I do maintenance work at a bakery that has a huge electric oven made in Italy that you can’t get parts for; so, you have to manufacture the parts yourself. Its internal electric flash boiler caramelizes the bread giving it that hard crust by explosively filling the deck with wet steam at the beginning of each bake cycle. The original boiler could not keep up and self-destructed. I copied the basic design with some improvements and made one five times larger. Some of its parts came from HGR.

I also work for Whitney Stained Glass Studio doing artistic metalwork restoration and conservation along with fabricating window frames. Projects include the windows at Stan Hywet Hall and the restoration of the outside stained glass lamps for St. James Catholic Church in Lakewood after a bird built a nest in it. The owner turned it on, and it caught on fire, which melted the solder. I had to strip the patina to fix it, which is considered a no no because it was covered in plastic. I said, “Watch me age this thing 100 years in minutes.” I stuck it in bleach and salt water and put power to it like in a plating operation and totally corroded the thing in 40 minutes.

welder from HGR
TIG welder from HGR

To put the hyperbaric chamber together, I needed to purchase a large TIG stick welder. I found a Miller at HGR for a fraction of the cost of a new one. It didn’t work and needed a little TLC, but if I buy it and it doesn’t work out it’s nice to know I can return it within 30 days. I got it for the cost of the copper scrap, gave it a bath, found a simple control issue and brought it back from the dead. It pulls 105 amps at 240 when I’m welding heavy aluminum. I would turn it on and watch the neighbor’s lights dim. Is the problem 2B solved or not to be? That’s the question. A trip down HGR’s Aisle 2B for some capacitors solved the problem, and the neighbor’s lights didn’t dim anymore. The effect is like pouring a glass of beer. You want the beer but not the foam. These capacitors get rid of the electrical equivalent of the foam.

You know the big speaker in the opening scene of Back to the Future? I said to a friend, “Cool, let’s build one.” A 5-hp stereo system was born! The neighbor would call me for requests when I fired it up in the summer while he was cutting his lawn as long as I played his stuff. The neighbors didn’t like heavy metal, and that’s when the heavy metal station Z Rock was on the air and when I hit the heavy-metal stage in my development.

Building a fire-breathing dragon for the play “Reluctant Dragon” at a children’s theater in 1985 was a blast. When I adapted an old CO2 fire extinguisher and put red lights in the mouth and eyes, it worked first rate. My electronics business in my parent’s basement when I was 10 or 11 aided in paying for this lunacy.

broken chandelier
mangled chandelier prior to restoration

Cleveland Heights High Schools auditorium has huge 300-pound chandeliers. One of them dropped about 35 feet while they were trying to change the light bulbs and smashed into smithereens — a mangled, twisted mess. Redoing all the artistic metal work was a challenge while many others at Whitney Stained Glass restored the stained glass globes.

Near-death experiences

Back in the caveman days, there were only five TV stations. You had to have a movie projector to watch movies. My dad got two 35mm machines from a drive-in that went out of business and modified the optics to work in a house. We had a movie theater in our basement. I was born with mechanical ability, but I learned and worked with my dad who also was handy and was a self-taught mechanical and electrical and hydraulic engineer. He designed tooling and stamping dies along with pollution control in power plants. I could set up and operate these machines as a kid, and when my dad took off the TV back to work on it I saw that there was what looked like a small roll of film inside the that I thought had the Bugs Bunny cartoons on it. He yelled, “Don’t touch that! That is the fly back transformer and has 15,000 volts on it!’

He fixed the TV but left back off. One day, while I was watching it, the picture got odd. I realized the cat was inside. When I went to grab the cat so she would not get hurt, she jumped out and my hands landed on the flyback transformer and lit up blue. Afterward, I felt like lightning had hit me. I woke 15 minutes later across the room and had a revelation — that’s why it’s called a flyback transformer because when you grab one that is what you do!

Christopher Palda as a child working on a car
Christopher Palda as a child working on a car

Another time, as a little kid in the car at the gas station, I asked my mom why the man had a garden hose and was putting water in the car. Mom said it was gas but she wished it was water because it’s cheaper. At home, I put five gallons of water in the car to save mom money after I noticed the spout on the lawn mower gas can fit the end of the garden hose. We ended up stranded the next time we drove it.

I’ve had eight various experiments with electricity. It’s amazing that I’m still alive. I wondered how a vacuum cleaner worked. My dad explained the process of how it worked starting with electrons moving in the cord. I had to find out what an electron looked like; so, I opened up paper clips and was determined to go to the outlet and pull one out. I had two paper clips, one in each side. When they touched, there was a fiery explosion that burned my hands. I got to see a lot of electrons!

My vaporizer broke when I was sick. My dad fixed it by making a new part on his lathe. I saw how it opened up when he took it apart. When everyone was gone, I took it apart while it was plugged in and threw handfuls of salt at it with water to watch the explosions. The power main want “bang” as everything went dark in the house. A voice from downstairs yelled, “Christopher, what did you do now?”

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR’s Shipping Department

HGR's Shripping Department on a ship

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Doug Cannon, HGR’s transportation coordinator)

What does your department do?

Our department works in concert with the sales team and customers who require shipping services. We provide a shipping cost that we honor, and then proceed with the preparation and logistics of transportation when the opportunity is granted. We network with outside providers, such as a 3PL, specialized trucking brokers, LTL carriers, private long-haul carriers and local delivery services. They are, in turn, the marketing partners that complete the final leg of the sale. We select the appropriate mode of transportation as dictated by the nature of the products being shipped and the receiving capacity of the customer.

How many people work in your department, and what are their roles?

There are six employees in our group. Collectively, we all serve the goal of safely and economically transporting products to their ultimate destination in a timely manner. Doug Cannon and Dan Farris help to guide the sales staff on selling transportation and then executing the arrangements. Donovan Barton, Audley Wright and Dane Ferrell serve as custom carpentry designers for surplus. They build crates and pallets customized for the items being shipped by applying their creativity to condense the footprint and thus decrease the cost. Their skill sets are impressive. Jim Gubics is the LTL coordinator for shipments leaving on common carriers. He is the gatekeeper for ensuring these orders are accurate prior to leaving the building. Jim also works in several software programs where he updates in-house information, as well as emailing our customers their tracking numbers. He communicates with LTL dispatchers and drivers and loads them, as well.

What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?

HGR buys and sells thousands of different items. They come in a great variety of weights and dimensions. So, success in our department requires individuals to possess many qualities. “Attention to detail” tops the list as no compromise. Then, to achieve success, we need to be highly organized, flexible, communicate well, and exercise imagination and creativity to provide the best solution to each purchase. No two shipments are the same; so, cookie-cutter solutions are far and few between.

What do you like most about your department?

The mutual understanding and respect the group has for each other and the tasks at hand. We genuinely like each other and the company we work to keep.

What challenges has your department faced, and how have you overcome them?

One of our biggest challenges occurred several years ago when HGR totally revamped the process by which it does international trade. This has had a large impact on shipping. We now devote extensive amounts of time on export compliance issues as we work under the guidelines of the Department of Commerce – Bureau of Industry and Security. The purpose is to protect The United States’ security and interests. The focal point at HGR is to identify machinery that could have “dual purpose” and to screen the international buyers to verify that they are not on our government’s “denied parties list.” Dan Farris has spearheaded this facet of shipping responsibilities and has served as both a mentor to Sales and a guardian to HGR and our community.

What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?

Changes have been made in the way we service our sales staff, our customers and our community. Processes have been implemented to ensure our sales staff is provided with a transportation quote for every sales transaction that is not a customer pickup. We even provide quotes for items not sold, where customers are simply shopping and trying to determine their total “all-in” costs. These services are of tremendous convenience to the customer and help them to make a more informed decision. We take care to quote accurately and honor all quotes. Changes in international export help us to make sure we make our country a safer place to live.

What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?

The future is today. Every employee in our group is dedicated to continuous improvement. It is one of HGR’s core values. We don’t rest on yesterday’s success, and know that we are only as good as we are today.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

The Euclid, Ohio, facility is a beehive of activity! A collection of 70 employees perform specific roles while networking with other departments to achieve our end goal. It is a setting of perpetual communication among employees, both verbally and electronically. In the forefront is a revolving carousel of industrial surplus entering the building to be inventoried, displayed on our showroom floor, sold, and loaded on a myriad of outbound vehicles, trailers and containers.

What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?

Primarily, I view HGR as the liaison for vendors that possess material assets and for those that seek them at an economical cost. HGR provides the service of immediate asset recovery to its vendors and spares them the distraction and expense of seeking an interested end user, as well as the logistics of the transfer. Buyers around the world can visit our showroom or browse our website and economically secure machinery, parts and unique items not found elsewhere. By virtue of its business model, HGR is a participant in the world’s interest of recycling.

Local photographer has an eye for urban decay

Model at HGR for Steve Bivens Photography

Collinwood Photographer Stephen Bivens stopped by HGR’s offices on May 23 for a Q&A and to conduct a photo shoot with his model, Felissa. He chose HGR for the juxtaposition between elegant and industrial/urban. He will be using the photos on his new website and social media.

Tell us about your style of photography.

I’m interested in industrial spaces, old bridges, urban decay, condemned houses or vacant houses. I learned on film and in black and white. I still tend to shoot that way. I send my film away to be developed. I have a studio in my home but I do not have my own darkroom.

How did you hear about HGR?

I talked to Industrial Artist Larry Fielder of Rust, Dust & Other 4-Letter Words when I was looking for an industrial space in which to shoot models. He’s an HGR customer and suggested the location.

When did you seriously get interested in photography?

About 12 years ago I bought a 35mm pocket camera with film and started taking pictures of people. People thought it was cool and began to pay me to take their portraits. I started reading books and buying cameras.

What brought you to Collinwood?

I worked in Tampa for Progressive in sales and marketing. I was promoted and moved to the headquarters in Cleveland. At first, I lived in Mayfield Village close to the office. My then-girlfriend, now-wife lived in Collinwood. We used to go to a coffee shop and an art gallery there. We volunteered to be sitters in the gallery to keep it open for visitors. The area is really cooperative with artists, and the artists are cooperative with sharing locations, methods and secret sources. After I left Progressive, we moved back to Florida to follow my ex-wife and kids, but when they moved out West, we moved back to Collinwood.

Who have you photographed?

I got in with a group of artists and bands then did tour photography, mostly hip hop and rock. To do so, I had to take vacations from work. About five years ago, I left Progressive to do photography full time. For three months, I had no work then slowly it picked up. To supplement my income, I shot portraits. I take photos at The Beachland Ballroom and drive to regional concerts now. I shoot the photos for the bands to use promotionally. I’ve worked with local businesses such as Six Shooters Coffee and at The Crossfit Games.

Who is the most memorable person that you have shot?

I was LeBron James’ party photographer during his rookie year. I also loved shooting Alternative/Folk/Country Artist Jessica Lea Mayfield.

What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t shooting photos?

I’m a former Marine. I like to shoot guns, too. I love music and concerts, especially grunge.

Model at HGR for Steve Bivens Photographyblack and white photo by Stephen Bivens Photography at HGR Industrial Surpluscolor photo of aisle at HGR Industrial Surplus by Stephen Bivens PHotographyModel in front of graffitt at HGRPhotos provided courtesy of Stephen Bivens Photography

Hot dogs and hamburgers return to HGR

graill cookout of hot dogs and hamburgers

On June 7, Chef George Carter, HGR employee Jesse Carter’s brother, will be grilling hot dogs and hamburgers for our traditional free cookout for HGR customers every Wednesday this summer from 11-1. Chef Carter worked for more than 40 years as a chef for Holiday Inn and still works nights as a chef at The Cleveland Improv. Stop in to say hello to him and grab a hot dog or hamburger while you shop.

 

Grammar tips: Apostrophes

Grumpy Cat apostrophe meme

Did you know that Aug. 16 is International Apostrophe Day? We’re celebrating early because we all could use a little grammar refresher to dust off the cobwebs that have accumulated since grade school.

HGR’s Marketing Department decided to create a regular grammar tip for our employees on common grammar errors that we see in written and email communications. As the resident writer/blogger, I decided, “Why not share that info with our customers and help everyone become more effective communicators?”

Let’s get to it! Apostrophes are a lot like commas and hyphens in the sense that they are a mark of punctuation that many people do not know how to use properly; so, we throw them in where they don’t belong and leave them out where they do belong. Usually, this happens when forming plural words or when showing possession, but I see it with contractions.

Here are some examples:

  • We are implementing managements new goals. (need an apostrophe in management’s to show it is possessive; whose goal is it? It’s management’s goal.)
  • We are one of the best company’s to work for. (companies not company’s since this word is plural not possessive; you would say, “We follow the company’s employee handbook.”)
  • Who’s goal is it? (wrong word; should be whose since “who’s” means who is)
  • Having perfect attendance deserves it’s own reward or Spring is on it’s way. (its not it’s since it’s is a contraction meaning “it is.”)
  • You’re valuables are safe in the locker. (wrong word; “you’re is a contraction meaning “you are” while “your” is a possessive pronoun showing who the valuables belong to)
  • Lets clock out for break. (apostrophe needed in the contraction for “let us” to form “let’s”)

You get the idea! You may think these examples are obvious, but they are actual examples that I have seen in the past. To avoid these mistakes and sound more professional in your (not you’re) writing, here are some rules of thumb when NOT to use an apostrophe:

  • In possessive pronouns (whose, ours, yours, his, hers, its, theirs)
  • In nouns that are plural but not possessive (CDs, 100s, 1960s)
  • In verbs that end in –s (marks, sees, finds)

Another tip: Make sure that you’re using the correct word in your writing because often they’re misused when you confuse their with they’re and you’re with your or it’s with its.

Close encounters of a deer kind at HGR Industrial Surplus

deer

 

If you’ve been to HGR, you know that you can find anything in our 500,000-square-feet showroom, but did you know that we’ve had deer?

Chuck Leonard, receiving supervisor, who has been with HGR for 19 years – since the beginning – told the story of a day about 17 years ago when two deer came into the showroom through the front bay door. They were running around like crazy and leaping over equipment. Employees saw one deer leave but could not locate the other one.

Three days later, Herman Bailey, receiving supervisor, went to move a plastic storage tank. When he bumped it with his tow motor, the lost deer leapt out. Herman says, “I flew backwards on my tow motor. The deer was panicking and running wild and jumping over stuff. It ran out the back by Dock Doors 9 & 10. They probably came from the woods across the street by Euclid Creek.”

Back then, there were about 15 employees. Now, we have over 100, but no deer.

In 19 years of business, our employees and customers have lots of stories to tell. Have you ever had a close encounter with wildlife in your home or office?

 

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR’s Receiving Department

HGR's Receiving Department
L to R: Dwayne Maggard, Chuck Leonard and Eric Sims

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Chuck Leonard, HGR’s receiving supervisor and an original HGR employee)

What does your department do?

Our department is basically where the ball starts rolling for each item we purchase. Our job is to unload everything in a safe manner when it comes in on a van trailer or a flatbed trailer. Once unloaded, we set each item along on a wall to be photographed and given an inventory number so that the item can be advertised on our website and displayed for customers out on our showroom floor.

How many people work in your department, and what are their roles?

I have two employees that work in my department and, at times, a third when required, depending on the trucking schedule. Their job consists of unloading items in a safe manner. Once unloaded, they have to prep each item to be set up along the wall to be inventoried. This task can be involved depending on the item. Once pictured and priced the item is moved by forklift to our designated “new arrivals” area. This process repeats itself throughout the day. We try to inventory 400 items each day between two shifts.

What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?

The job requires you to be fairly skilled on a forklift, since you’re not just moving pallets around all day. Machinery can be very unbalanced, which makes it dangerous, especially when you’re dealing with machines that can weigh up to 40,000 pounds. You have to be able to work at a fairly quick, but safe, pace. There are a lot of smaller items that come in that require sorting through. I’m here to tell you, it’s not as easy as we make it look — just ask some of the salespeople and management who’ve gotten on a forklift.

What do you like most about your department?

I like the fact that my department works well together as a team; everyone knows his role. I like that we are dealing with different items, and we are not just moving pallets all day long. I also like the challenge of lifting bigger, heavier pieces that require rigging/chaining. I’ve been here for 19 years; so, there’s not much that I haven’t seen, but I like the occasional surprises.

What challenges has your department faced and how have you overcome them?

I guess our challenge in our department is space — having enough wall space to set up as many items as possible. The more space, the more items, and the more we sell, the more money we bring in. We have gotten more creative with using curtains as a wall, and recently the new office space in the back has freed more space. We can never have too much space though.

What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?

The biggest change in our department, and for all of the company for that matter, has been safety. We can never be too safe.

What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?

This is just probably wishful thinking on my part but if there was a way to know and control on a daily basis what’s coming in. There are days when we are overwhelmed with what’s coming. Another continuous improvement would to be make sure every piece moved is done so without damaging it.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

HGR’s environment is very customer and employee friendly. There’s a reason I’ve been here for 19 years. I think everyone just wants to be treated fairly, and I truly have been during my time here.

What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?

When I interviewed for the job at McKean about 20 years ago, I was totally clueless about everything. I remember walking through an unorganized warehouse of machinery thinking, “Is there really a market for this kind of stuff? Will I still have a job in a couple of years?” Fast forward 20 years, and the answer is a resounding YES! We seem to be economy foolproof. No matter how good or bad the economy is doing there has always been a market for HGR. I see a lot of items come in through Receiving and say to myself, “No chance in hell that’s going to sell.” Lo and behold, I’m walking through the showroom and see a sold tag on it to my astonishment. So the old saying truly is: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Euclid High School Senior awarded 2017 HGR Industrial Surplus S.T.E.M. scholarship

HGR's human resources manager awarding scholarship to Euclid High School senior

Last night at Euclid High School’s Senior Awards Ceremony, Tina Dick, HGR’s human resources manager, presented Senior Connor Hoffman with HGR’s 2017 S.T.E.M. scholarship that will go toward his first year of college at the University of Cincinnati to pursue a degree in information technology. Connor was not able to be present due to competing in a CISCO Networking Academy National Competition in Florida. A representative from the high school accepted on his behalf.

Upon hearing of Connor’s accomplishment, his teacher Bob Torrelli, Science Department chair, says, “His potential is off the charts. He scored a perfect 36 on the science ACT! That is not easy to do.”

Connor is captain of both the robotics and soccer teams at Euclid High School and an officer of its National Honor Society chapter. In his senior year, he was in AP honors classes at Euclid High School and enrolled in college classes through Lake Erie College In his scholarship application, Connor says, ” Ever since I was young, I had a desire to learn how things work. When one of my toys would break I would open it up and try to see what made it tick. As I got older, this desire to understand the inner workings of things extended to other areas. It led me to join my school’s robotics club where I was able to learn many new things. I learned a lot about machining and assembling parts, as well as designing those parts using computer-assisted design. This desire to learn how things work also led me to enroll in my school’s Cisco Networking program which has set me on my current career path.”

Congratulations Connor, and good luck in college.

New sandwich shop opens in Euclid

Sammich ribbon cutting
l to r: Sheila Gibbons, Euclid Chamber of Commerce; Randy Carter, Sammich’s owner; Kirsten Holzheimer Gail, Euclid mayor; Camille Maxwell, executive director, Northeast Shores Development Corporation

On May 8, 2017, The City of Euclid, Euclid Chamber of Commerce and Northeast Shores Development Corporation hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of Sammich, 651 E. 185th Street, Cleveland. Mayor Holzheimer Gail opened the ceremonies with a few words about the ongoing 185th-corridor improvements followed by Camille Maxwell, executive director of Northeast Shores, and Sheila Gibbons, executive director of Euclid Chamber of Commerce. Randy Carter, Sammich’s owner and owner of Jack Flaps breakfast and luncheon bistros, says, “We are proud to support the neighborhood and help the community grow to make it a better place for everyone.”

After the ribbon cutting, members of the community started ordering sandwiches. Um, I mean sammiches. And, these aren’t your average sammich. Definitely not Subway. Carter uses local, fresh ingredients and cures and smokes his own meats in-house, including house-made sausage. I tried the HOT pickled vegetables with cucumber, celery, Spanish onion and carrots, as well as the cucumber salad made with Spanish onion, red bell pepper and dill. My sandwich was Sammich’s version of Vietnamese bahn mi called Cung Le. Since I don’t eat bread, they made mine as a lettuce wrap. It was amazing — huge and full of Vietnamese sausage, roast pork, cilantro, fresh-sliced jalepenos — seeds and all — and house-made kimchi. The sandwiches are wrapped in butcher paper and usually served on fresh-baked Orlando hoagies. I was going to take a picture of my food but I was so busy wolfing it down that I forgot. So, how’s this for testimony as to how good it was?

Sammich leftovers

HGR stands out from the crowd at 2017 Ceramics Expo

HGR booth at 2017 Ceramics Expo

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Matt Williams, HGR’s chief marketing officer)

HGR Industrial Surplus recently had the opportunity to exhibit at the Ceramics Expo at the I-X Center in Cleveland for several days. Nestled among shiny, new, three-dimensional printers and exhibits displaying new advances in technology were a couple of old pieces of equipment, including an oven and a piece of air handling equipment. Being different and standing out from the crowd can work to a company’s advantage when it comes to marketing, and HGR’s booth was certainly a different look.

Over three days, Matt Williams, HGR’s chief marketing officer, and Mike Paoletto, one of HGR’s buyers, greeted a steady stream of traffic from current and former customers and vendors as well as from industry professionals who were drawn in by the odd juxtaposition of old equipment at an exposition featuring state-of-the-art processes and machinery. But these industry professionals almost immediately divined why a company like HGR would exhibit at their convention. HGR is in the business of helping companies at every stage grow and transform their businesses. HGR holds a special place in the business ecosystem where it interacts with large, publicly traded multinationals that are transforming their businesses, as well as with nascent startups that are capital constrained, for whom acquiring used and surplus equipment is fundamental to their early success.

The three-day exposition was a great success for HGR. Mike Paoletto reconnected with several vendors who he hadn’t seen for a while–some of whom had moved on to different roles and different companies. While the questions directed at Mike and Matt were as varied as the types of equipment inventoried in HGR’s 12-acre warehouse and showroom in Euclid, Ohio, nearly every conversation started with some observation about the stack of ginormous pens sitting on HGR’s table. Invariably, the engineers at the conference wanted to know why we had such large pens. Our response? “Well, you’re asking us about our pens, aren’t you?”

Large HGR pen giveaway at Ceramics Expo

Enter to win HGR’s May 2017 “guess what it is” Facebook contest

HGR guess what it is contest image May 2017

Last month, we must have gone too hard on you; so, we decided to make it a tiny bit easier this month for you to guess what piece of equipment or machinery is pictured. To participate you MUST meet the following criteria: like our Facebook page, share the post, and add your guess in the comments section. Those who guess correctly and meet these criteria will be entered into a random drawing to receive a free HGR T-shirt.

Click here to enter your guess on our Facebook page by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 18, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

An HGR customer makes art by painting metal

Bob McNulty paintings

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Joe Powell, HGR’s graphic designer)

On the corner of Detroit Ave. and Marlowe Ave., in historic Lakewood, Ohio, sits a unique furniture shop called Empty Nest. The owner is a long-time customer of HGR Industrial Surplus and an emerging artist. Bob McNulty studied sculpture with Gene Kangas and photography with Misumi Hayashi at Cleveland State University before traveling the world as a sailmaker and boat captain. After being in the boat industry for 25 years, he left the field in 2008 to pursue other ventures, including opening a furniture store. It was in that line of work when he was introduced to industrial furniture. Being intrigued by it, he started to network within the community. Then in 2010, he decided to pursue art full time and brand his own style of industrial chic.

McNulty was fascinated by the distressed look of the industrial movement and wanted to push it further. By applying 5 to 12 coats of paint and using various techniques to remove the layers, the colors beneath began to show Bob a picture. He started to mix geometric shapes and free-flowing designs to create paintings that are as fascinating to touch as they are to look at. You can feel the textures of the layers and see the dimensions. Pictures do not justify their beauty. Bob McNulty, the artist, was born.

I looked around at the different pieces in his art opening on April 29, 2017. Some reminded me of topographical maps of rural towns, while others had a molecular feel to them. The majority of the pieces were made from items bought at HGR, where Bob says, “It was like a candy store” the first time he walked in. He now makes art full time, which keeps him busy. Each painting takes two to three weeks from start to finish, which allows time for application of all the layers. You can see his work at Empty Nest, 14423 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, Ohio.

Bob McNulty

Euclid High School’s Robotics Team made us proud at the 2017 AWT RoboBots Competition!

Euclid High School Robotics Team RoboBot battle bot

Congratulations to Euclid High Schools’s Robotics Team “The Untouchables” and their battle bot “Eliot Ness” for making it to the fourth round of the 2017 AWT RoboBots Competition on Apr. 29 at Lakeland Community College. We are very proud of you and grateful for the opportunity to sponsor an amazing group of students. You all are winners to us! HGR’s employees showed up the day before the competition at work in their team shirts to show our support.

RoboBot 2017 T-shirt

Future looks bright for AWT RoboBots contestants

Euclid High School Robotics Team at 2017 AWT RoboBots

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Joe Powell, HGR’s graphic designer)

It was a gloomy overcast day out at Lakeland Community College for the 2017 AWT RoboBots Competition, but the future looks bright for the students on “The Untouchables” robotics team at Euclid High School. They worked all year at perfecting their weapon, and with early tests it looked like it paid off. The Untouchables were in the pit making last second adjustments while awaiting their match. They looked nervous but eager to see their bot in action.

The morning’s matches began with big hits and fast finishes. The weapons were causing a lot of damage and some matches were over after the first hit. It was Euclid’s turn to step into the octagon. Their weapon looked as impressive in their first match as it did in the test runs. As the bots charged each other, The Untouchables’ weapon struck the first blow hitting the team from Perry, Ohio, hard and disabling their weapon. After a few more hits, Perry was sent scrambling around to try and recover without a weapon. Unfortunately, the drive system for Euclid started to fail, and their mobility was slowed to a plodding stumble. They could hit Perry hard enough to knock them out, but couldn’t move enough to target them. Perry took advantage of this by maneuvering around them and eventually pinning Euclid to the side a few times, earning them points from the judges. Even when Euclid used their one release, Perry was able to use their agility to once again pin The Untouchables. That proved to be too much for the team from Euclid, and they lost a judge’s decision in the first round, which sent them to the consolation bracket.

They were disappointed in the pit. Their weapon could do the job, but moving was an issue and needed remedied. They all jumped on a task and got to work immediately. Time was an issue with the next round beginning in 20 minutes. They had to recharge and make improvements on the fly. Before you knew it, the announcer was calling Euclid to the set-up and weigh-in table. They tested the movement, and it seemed to have improved some, but not to the point they had hoped. It was do-or-die time for The Untouchables.

Their next opponent was a team from Pennsylvania, and Euclid wanted to show what their bot was made of. From the start, the bot wasn’t moving how they wanted it to; so, they planned their attack around their inability to move. The other team worked hard to move around them and hit Euclid hard with their weapon, which sent Euclid’s bot up in the air. When it landed, however, Euclid’s weapon made contact with their gear and knocked their weapon offline. The Pennsylvania team tried to maintain the aggression and pin The Untouchables, which resulted in a few points from the judges. There were just seconds to go when the Pennsylvania team tried to approach one last time. It proved to be their undoing. Euclid’s weapon caught the other team’s bot hard and sent it through the air for a last-second knockout in dramatic fashion. The Untouchables would live to fight another round.

The stage turned to the JuniorBots Competition which gave Euclid over an hour to work on their bot. Coming off their exciting victory, they wanted to get the bot back into the best shape for their next match. Euclid won on a forfeit due to the power failure of the other bot. They needed to win a few more to battle back into the finals bracket, and their next match was a tough one against Kirtland.

Kirtland‘s bot was fast and compact. The weapon was similar to Euclid’s but smaller and more direct in its attack. From the start, Euclid still was moving slowly but adapting well with a defensive strategy. Kirtland was moving around Euclid as if it were testing their defenses. After a few small hits, Kirtland went in for the kill. Euclid took the first few shots like a champ, but their weapon couldn’t lay a good hit on the faster, more agile bot. The Untouchables bot was fighting, but pieces were being torn from it by the other team’s weapon, and its bot was so low to the ground, Euclid couldn’t lift it when it did make contact. As buzzer went off and its bot lay in pieces, The Untouchables day was over.

As I walked out at the end of the day and looked at the sky, it was still gloomy and overcast without a single ray of sun. As I look to the future of Euclid High School robotics, it looks very bright. They have a weapon to be reckoned with and small improvements to be made to the drive system. When it all comes together, I may be writing this same article next year, with a very different outcome.

This year’s winners were repeat champions from 2016, The A-Tech Machinists from Ashtabula. They defeated Beaumont in the final round to go undefeated for the regional bracket and are on their way to the state finals. As a reward, they received the $500 scholarship from HGR Industrial Surplus, which I presented to the winning team.

A-Tech Machinists winning $500 scholarship from HGR Industrial Surplus at 2017 AWT RoboBots

Are you going to the Ceramics Expo in Cleveland?

Ceramics Expo Logo

 

If you are, we’ll be there, too. Stop by Booth 905 from April 25-27, 2017, to see three pieces of equipment that we’ll have on display and pick up some cool swag, including coasters, lanyards, dispensers and BIG @$$ HGR pens. You can chat with one of our buyers, Mike Paoletto, our Chief Marketing Officer Matt Williams and some of our salespeople. We’re there because we buy ceramics and glass equipment from companies that are selling their lines for an upgrade and looking to recover assets.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer spotlight with Bob Buerger

HGR buyer Bob BuergerWhen did you start with HGR and why?

2004, but I moved into the buyer role in 2014. My friends and I were at a Hell’s Angels dry poker run for Ronald McDonald House. One stop was a local bar called Stingers near HGR. Since it was the last stop, we thought we’d have a beer and ended up meeting Mike Lima, HGR’s shipping manager at the time, who said they were looking for someone in the incoming department. I applied, and they hired me. I also used to shop at McKean and HGR for years, especially on Wednesdays when we could have a free lunch and shop. I thought it was the neatest place. There’s no other place I’ve come across like HGR with its enormous size, its magnitude and what it does — even in all my travels now.

What were you doing before HGR?

I managed a metal finishing and plating company and was familiar with most of Mike Paoletto’s customers that he’s bought from. I like machinery and woodworking and have always been around it.

What is your territory, and what do you do on a daily basis?

Southern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Kentucky, 75 percent of Tennessee, northwestern Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. I live about 30 minutes from Memphis.

Monday is office day to get caught up. On average, I am away from the house overnight 1.5 days per week. I travel from company to company looking at equipment and purchase what we can, which is about 15 percent of what we look at, on average. I see about three businesses per day but have seen up to six.

What do you like most about your job?

Meeting new people and new companies. At HGR, I saw all this equipment coming in but never saw it in operation, but now I go to huge manufacturing companies and get to see extrusion lines and robots in action and realize, “Oh, that’s how it’s made.” Every day is new in learning, and the job is fascinating.

What’s your greatest challenge?

The technology. I am not a computer person. When I first took this job, the only experience that I had was as an inventory clerk at HGR putting in information. And, I had a flip phone. The owners of HGR took a huge leap of faith giving me this position. Brian said, “Let’s give this guy a chance. He’s a good worker and always on time.” I was never late once and lived 30 minutes away. Even Rick had to teach me how to copy and paste.

When did you start with HGR and why?

2004, but I moved into the buyer role in 2014. My friends and I were at a Hell’s Angels dry poker run for Ronald McDonald House. One stop was a local bar called Stingers near HGR. Since it was the last stop, we thought we’d have a beer and ended up meeting Mike Lima, HGR’s shipping manager at the time, who said they were looking for someone in the incoming department. I applied, and they hired me. I also used to shop at McKean and HGR for years, especially on Wednesdays when we could have a free lunch and shop. I thought it was the neatest place. There’s no other place I’ve come across like HGR with its enormous size, its magnitude and what it does — even in all my travels now.

What were you doing before HGR?

I managed a metal finishing and plating company and was familiar with most of Mike Paoletto’s customers that he’s bought from. I like machinery and woodworking and have always been around it.

What is your territory, and what do you do on a daily basis?

Southern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Kentucky, 75 percent of Tennessee, northwestern Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. I live about 30 minutes from Memphis.

Monday is office day to get caught up. On average, I am away from the house overnight 1.5 days per week. I travel from company to company looking at equipment and purchase what we can, which is about 15 percent of what we look at, on average. I see about three businesses per day but have seen up to six.

What do you like most about your job?

Meeting new people and new companies. At HGR, I saw all this equipment coming in but never saw it in operation, but now I go to huge manufacturing companies and get to see extrusion lines and robots in action and realize, “Oh, that’s how it’s made.” Every day is new in learning, and the job is fascinating.

What’s your greatest challenge?

The technology. I am not a computer person. When I first took this job, the only experience that I had was as an inventory clerk at HGR putting in information. And, I had a flip phone. The owners of HGR took a huge leap of faith giving me this position. Brian said, “Let’s give this guy a chance. He’s a good worker and always on time.” I was never late once and lived 30 minutes away. Even Rick had to teach me how to copy and paste.

What’s your favorite place to eat when you are on the road?

My favorite place to eat with the best burgers is Abe’s Grill in Mississippi. It’s 100 years old with 10-15 seats.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

My wife and I bought a house that was owned by a single mom who thought duct tape fixed everything; so, I spend a lot of my free time working on the house and outside in the yard. My wife said that she would really like a pool; so, we put an in-ground pool in last year.

Who is your hero or greatest influence/inspiration, and why?

My mom and dad. Mom because she gave me a great sense of humor. She taught me to laugh at myself. Dad because he gave me a great work ethic. He was a foreman at Ford Brookpark Foundry for more than 25 years. He’d leave for work at 5:30 a.m. in a white shirt and come home with a grey shirt. He had a stretch of about 150 days where he worked every day with no time off. He also is a combat Marine Corp. veteran who served in Korea. He taught me that if you work hard in life you get benefits.

Anything I missed that you want the rest of the team to know?

At HGR, if you give 100 percent and work hard, ownership will recognize you when a position becomes available. They’re always open to give someone a chance.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

My wife and I bought a house that was owned by a single mom who thought duct tape fixed everything; so, I spend a lot of my free time working on the house and outside in the yard. My wife said that she would really like a pool; so, we put an in-ground pool in last year.

Who is your hero or greatest influence/inspiration, and why?

My mom and dad. Mom because she gave me a great sense of humor. She taught me to laugh at myself. Dad because he gave me a great work ethic. He was a foreman at Ford Brookpark Foundry for more than 25 years. He’d leave for work at 5:30 a.m. in a white shirt and come home with a grey shirt. He had a stretch of about 150 days where he worked every day with no time off. He also is a combat Marine Corp. veteran who served in Korea. He taught me that if you work hard in life you get benefits.

Anything else that you want everyone to know?

At HGR, if you give 100 percent and work hard, ownership will recognize you when a position becomes available. They’re always open to give someone a chance.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer spotlight with Jason Arnett

HGR Buyer Jason Arnett

When did you start with HGR and why?

June 2014. I was intrigued by the opportunity to have a multi-state territory and had a background in sales but this was different being on the buyer side rather than the sales side.

What were you doing before HGR?

Medical, equipment and specialty lumber sales

What is your territory, and what do you do on a daily basis?

The Midatlantic (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina)

Monday is spent in the office following up on offers and getting the schedule together, getting your appointments set for the week. The rest of the week is out on appointments and looking at equipment, taking pictures, and setting expectations with customers. The deals are sent through Dataflo and the offer goes out to the customer. Then, we follow up on offers, sometimes on Mondays and sometimes in the car driving between appointments. I spend one to two overnights per week out on the road.

What do you like most about your job?

I like being in front of the customers and interacting with them in person, basically, the whole process of the inspection.

What’s your greatest challenge?

Convincing some of the customers that they would do better selling to HGR as opposed to scrapping the equipment. It goes back to setting expectations and helping them to understand that we don’t offer retail pricing because we are an industrial reseller of used equipment.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

The HGR volleyball tournament in January with another buyer and Founder Paul Betori singing karaoke. It was memorable.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

Cooking on the BBQ and smoking meat with a charcoal or wood fire.

Who is your hero or greatest influence/inspiration, and why?

My dad. He inspires by always giving 110% effort in everything he’s done. He runs marathons. He went back to law school in his early 40s and now works as a lobbyist. Recently, he wasn’t able to meet me for lunch because he was meeting with a congressman!

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR’s Inbound Logistics Department

HGR's receiving department
Bryan and Eric

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Bryan Korecz, HGR’s inbound logistics manager)

What does your department do?

The Inbound Logistics Department is in constant contact with HGR’s vendors. We do not have much contact with customers who purchase items from HGR. After a buyer has made a purchase from a vendor we are in contact with the vendors until all items have been picked up. We ensure that the buying and shipping process goes smoothly for them and that they have a good experience and sell to HGR in the future. A day in the life would be 75-100 phone calls and email with vendors, trucking companies, dispatchers, buyers and then making it all come together so that the offloading of the equipment goes smooth here at HGR

How many people work in your department, and what are their roles?

My department is myself and Eric Karaba. He handles seven of the buyers, while I handle six and any purchases made by two of our owners, Rick Affrica and Brian Krueger.

What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?

Patience. In this line of work, things will go wrong, and problems will come up. It happens all the time, and you just have to roll with it and adjust. Multitasking as well as being able to solve problems quickly.

What do you like most about your department?

I like that we play an integral role in the HGR “supply chain” process. I like that every day can be different, as well.

What challenges has your department faced and how have you overcome them?

We face challenges every day. You just have to learn from previous experiences and apply that knowledge to anything that will come up in the future.

What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?

Two years ago, this department didn’t exist. We had an outside company do it for us, and we wanted to take control of it to better service our vendors and make the process smoother.

What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?

We are in the process of implementing a process to ensure that equipment gets to HGR faster (so we can sell if faster) and more efficiently.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

I think it is a pretty relaxed environment. We are able to get our work done.

What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?

Before I came here I didn’t know much about the manufacturing industry. My experience was solely in shipping. During the course of the last two years, I have learned what certain machines are, what they are used for and what items HGR has success with.

Learn about the history of slo-pitch softball, which started in Cleveland, at the hall of fame and museum

History of start of softball at Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and Museum

In 1985, The Greater Cleveland Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame began inducting members into the hall at its annual banquet. This continues to be the case today. But, in 1997, Founder Buddy Langdon and his partner had an idea for a hall of fame and museum in order to share the history of softball with the public. Originally, they planned to make it a mobile exhibit that could travel around the country by bus. Later, they approached the Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum, then located in what is now the Shore Cultural Centre in Euclid, Ohio, to pitch the idea that both museums be housed in the historic, former Euclid City Hall building that the city had planned to condemn and demolish.

In 1998, both museums set up shop at 605 E. 222nd St., Euclid, Ohio. The softball hall of fame decided that Euclid was a central location between the furthermost east and west sides, and the city had teams that played in the biggest and best leagues. The museum is a nonprofit that is funded through ticket sales from its induction banquet, donations from visitors and an annual raffle fundraiser.

When I visited, I learned so much about the sport and the history of the area. The first slo-pitch team was formed in Cleveland in 1939 by the Jewish Recreation Commission. As Curator Rich Yonakor explains, “Since they celebrated the Sabbath on Saturday, it was something for them to do socially on Sundays. They decided to make the ball bigger and slower since everyone was not able to hit a baseball. Gambling occurred, as the community placed bets on the outcome of games. They decided to open the games up to the public.” One of the first softballs was made at a YMCA by taping up a ball of socks.

By the 1960s and early 1970s, there were 280 local teams competing in a single elimination tournament to go on to the world championship. Later, the tournaments changed to double elimination, and instead of one champion, one team comes out of every governing body and league. In 1975, Cleveland’s Pyramid Café team won the first world championship for the city. In softball’s heyday, most teams were sponsored by bars, restaurants and the unions within companies. HGR Sales Associate Andrew Pringle’s grandfather, Douglas Pringle, played softball in the 1960s and was inducted into the hall with his team.

Many people don’t know the difference between fast pitch and slo-pitch. Women’s fast pitch is played at the high school and college level where the pitcher winds up and throws the ball hard and fast in a straight line. The pitcher also is six feet closer to home plate. In slo-pitch, the ball is lobbed in an arch of 10 feet to 16 feet, depending on the governing body. Most have a rule of 10 to 12 feet. There are a multitude of governing bodies, and each has different rules regarding the type of bat used and the pitching arc.

Rich Yonakor at Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and MuseumToday, the sport has experienced a decline in popularity that Yonakor attributes to the electronic age where people are not getting out to play sports as much. He says the materials have changed dramatically and that “often the equipment is doing all of the work for them, not like in the old days when it was about competition and exercise. No one got hurt, and they all went out afterwards.” Now, the ball is harder; therefore, players can hit it further and over the fence for more home runs. The leagues have actually had to limit the number of home runs in a game on this account.

If you are a sports enthusiast, which you must be if you got to this point in the blog, when you stop to visit the museum, you can talk softball, baseball, basketball AND football with Yonakor. Does that name sound familiar? Yep, he’s the son of football legend John Yonakor, a member of the 1946-1950 All-American Football Conference Cleveland Browns. His father took him to every Browns home game from when Yonakor was four until he was 17. John Yonakor was originally drafted into the NFL Philadelphia Eagles, but Paul Brown offered to pay him more, $9,500 per year as opposed to $7,500. He also played in Canada for a year, with the New York Yanks for a year and with the Washington Redskins for a couple of years. His son, Rich, was recruited six years ago to assist Langdon in running the museum. When Langdon passed away, Yonakor took over. Rich Yonakor played NBA basketball for the San Antonio Spurs and then professional basketball for overseas teams, including Italy, France and Belgium, for a few years. He also was the softball director for the City of Euclid.

 

the main room at Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and Museum part of the Hall of Fame wall at the Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and Museum penants and shirts at the Slo-Pitch Hall of Fame and Museum

 

What do a Chicago crime boss and EHS’ competitors at the AWT RoboBots competition have in common?

Euclid High School robotics team working on its battle bot

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Bob Torrelli, Euclid High School’s Science Department chair and Robotics Team coach)

They are going down!

We had a very successful meeting in March at SC Industries. The robot is totally together and all that’s left to do is shed 0.15 pounds and practice driving and using the weapon.

The Euclid High School Robotics Team has been relentless in solving the gear ratio problem between the motor and the weapon shaft. We finally got it resolved while we did work on the robot during spring break. So, without any other unforeseen problems, we will be ready to test it out this week at Fredon in the cage. We need to solder some specific connections onto the new 12-volt batteries, hook the electronics together, and attach the armor. We have about four weeks to test it and make sure it is competition ready for the 2017 RoboBots Battle on Apr. 29 at Lakeland Community College.

Our team name still is The Untouchables, and our robot’s name is Elliott Ness.

HGR Industrial Surplus is one of the team’s sponsors.

Enter to win HGR’s April 2017 “guess what it is” Facebook contest

spot welder sweat valve for HGR Facebook contest

Last month, we went too easy on you; so, we decided to make it a little harder this month to guess what piece of equipment or machinery is pictured. To participate, like our Facebook page, share the post, and add your guess in the comments section. Those who guess correctly and meet these criteria will be entered into a random drawing to receive a free HGR T-shirt.

Click here to enter your guess on our Facebook page by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 14, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

April is National Welding Month!

welder with shield and sparks

In support of the American Welding Society, we’re celebrating all the talented, hardworking welders who make many of the objects that we use and appreciate on a daily basis, especially those that get us where we need to go. Welding was discovered in the 1800s and has continued to make strides. Consider a career in welding and talk to your local community college or trade school, or let us know if you are a welder and what you weld. Thank you, welders!

If you’re looking for welding equipment, HGR Industrial Surplus has affordable new and used items to fit out your weld shop.

Pardon our dust

construction workers on renovation site for HGR demolitionHGR is gutting and rebuilding our front entrance, restrooms and sales office to better serve our customers. The construction work is being done at night while we are closed, but you will notice some changes in the next four months. We’ll be moving our desks around to accommodate the work being done, and the front restrooms are closed; so, customers will need to use the restrooms in Aisle 6 or in our back offices if you are unable to navigate the stairs to the restrooms.

Please excuse the shuffle while we make amazing improvements. You still can count on the same great products, service and prices.

Thanks!

Sheffield Bronze’s founder: from printer to paint-powder distributor, car salesman, auto lessor, and finally paint manufacturer by 1927

Mel Hart, president of Sheffield Bronze

Mel Hart, president of Sheffield Bronze Paint Corp., 17814 S. Waterloo Rd., Cleveland, is a self-made man with captivating stories to tell about the history of Cleveland and of his family, especially his grandfather, Abe Gross, the founder of Sheffield Bronze.

In the 1920s, Hart’s grandfather worked for Star Printing as an apprentice printer and lived with his parents and siblings in a rooming house on Scovill Ave. When Star Printing’s owner died, Gross was only a teenager. But, he bought the company from the owner’s wife by making payments over time. Star Printing was a prominent printer that made laundry tickets, Hanna parking garage tickets, and labels, among other items. One of the jobs Star Printing took, on a handshake, was to print labels for bronze powder, used to make copper, gold, brass and silver paint.

When he went to collect the payment for the labels, the owner of the company admitted that he was going out of business. To pay for the labels, he turned over the labels, cans and powder to Gross. A business was born in 1927. The bronze powder sold well; so, he bought more powder from England to package and resell, while continuing to run his printing business. He decided that he wanted to sell aluminum powder (pulverized aluminum scrap that is used to make aluminum paint) and contacted Alcoa. This powder was used to make paint for the World War II effort and for many purposes, including pipes, window and door screens that were painted aluminum.

At this time, fine steel was being produced in Sheffield, England, to make Sheffield knives and other steel items. The name “Sheffield” became synonymous with fine steel then, eventually, came to encompass all fine metal. Gross took the name for his paint-manufacturing company, and Sheffield Bronze Paint Corp. was born.

The company was moved from the original location of Star Printing on E. 55th to another location at E. 55th and Woodland Ave. It moved again to Lakeview Rd. and Euclid Ave. In 1949, Gross bought the land where the company still is located in Collinwood because it was inexpensive due to being next to the railroad tracks but convenient for the company since it would receive shipments of paint cans by train.

Unfortunately, one year later, he passed away, and his two sons took over. One year later, on the same day, their sister, Hart’s mother, passed away when he was 13 years old. Hart had worked with her after school in the restaurant that she owned, Hickory House, 7804 Carnegie Ave., Cleveland. He moved in with his father (his parents had divorced when he was two) who sold cars and began to work with him. They sold the restaurant to The Lancer Steakhouse. The building was lost in a fire and torn down in 2009.

Hart’s uncle, Sanford Gross, said to him, “If you can sell cars, you can sell paint” and asked Hart to work for him. Hart took a chance and hoped for a future. When each of his uncles passed away in 1998 and 2008, he bought out their shares from his aunts. Through the years, he had worked his way up in the company from selling paint, to running the plant, to purchasing, to general manager to sales manager and, finally, to president. Hart says, “I have to know how to do everything in order to train people.”

Sheffield Bronze employs 14-20 people. It produces decorative metallic paints (gold, silver, bronze, copper) that are sold to paint manufacturers and through paint distributors to hardware stores and paint stores, including Ace, True Value, ALLPRO and Sherwin-Williams. The paints are purchased by home owners, contractors, architects, and interior designers for use in touching up porcelain and cast-iron stoves, chalkboard paint on walls for children, paint tints, on church domes, such as St. Theodosius in Tremont, roof canopies, carousels (Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel housed at the Western Reserve Historical Society), and ornate ceilings and trim, including the theaters in Playhouse Square.

A lab technician, fillers, labelers, packagers, and shipping, receiving and office staff work for Sheffield Bronze. The raw materials come in to Shipping, are taken by elevator upstairs where they are manufactured. The pigments come down through gravity feed tubes into mixers that grind the pigment to fine, uniform dust, which is then used to make the paint. Hart has purchased some of his equipment, including a heat sealer, paint tanks and filling equipment, locally, from HGR Industrial Surplus.

Hart says, “My biggest challenge is finding the right customers that are quality, like Sherwin-Williams. They are human, understanding and make a great team.” To be a successful manufacturer, he says Sheffield Bronze takes in an order today and gets it out tomorrow. It handles small volume that other manufacturers don’t want to handle. He continues to keep the company at its current size so that he has a niche market that other larger companies cannot duplicate.

Through the years, he’s had to change his business model. The company used to call on small hardware and paint stores and had reps throughout the country. He shifted to a distributor model; therefore, the company no longer sells direct to consumers. He shares other industry challenges: “It’s a problem for the little guy because there are less and less people to sell to. The big guys get bigger, and the small guys are out of business. So, I need to be a help to the big guys, not a competitor or a hindrance.” He also says that salaries are up, and he can’t hire someone to do his job at what he makes; so, he may end up having to sell the business when it’s time to retire in a few years.

Outside of work, when he was younger, Hart loved boating and motorcycling. He used to ride his motorcycle through the Cleveland Metroparks from Chagrin Falls to Valley View with only two traffic lights then take the old trail to Peninsula and have lunch. He also used to horseback ride around Shaker Lakes and groom horses at the 107th Cavalry Regiment’s stables, as well as at Sleepy Hollow Stable in the “country” on SOM Center Road and the Cleveland Police Mounted Unit.

 

Euclid High School Robotics Team’s battle bot build update

Euclid High School robotics students working at a drill press
Euclid High School robotics students working at a drill press

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Bob Torrelli, Science Department chair and Robotics Team coach, Euclid High School)

Heading into competition Apr. 29 at the Alliance for Working Together’s RoboBots competition at Lakeland Community College, Euclid High School’s team and coach are hard at work. The frame and the armor are complete. The wheels are on, and the skids are mounted in the front. The weapon and axle are being finalized this week and, hopefully, mounted. We will then mount and attach the motor for the weapon. We need to make sure we have the correct fly wheels and belts. Then we need to run the inside electronics. We are continually doing quality inspections before proceeding to the next step so that the robot holds up this year in competition. We should be complete in about two more weeks, then five to six weeks of testing and tweaking.

The students asked for one of the titanium rail holes to be enlarged, and Gary (pictured in photo) gave them a lesson on what it takes to properly enlarge the hole evenly and proportionally. They also gained experience using a band saw, a jigsaw and many other tools that they had never explored before.

Go Team Euclid! HGR Industrial Surplus is a sponsor for Euclid High School’s team and encourages youth to choose careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, including manufacturing, welding, machining and other high-tech trades.

Enter to win HGR’s “Guess what it is” Facebook contest

HGR's Guess what it is Facebook contest photo

Do you know which piece of equipment in our showroom this close-up photo is of? If so, enter our March “Guess What It Is Contest!” You can find anything at HGR, including this. But what is it? Click here to enter your guess on our Facebook page by midnight, Monday, March 13. If your guess is correct, you’ll have a be entered into a random drawing to win a special HGR T-shirt! The winner will be announced here on our blog and on Facebook.

HGR offers $2,000 STEM scholarship to Euclid High School senior

HGR Industrial Surplus Scholarship Application

2017 HGR Industrial Surplus STEM Scholarship

HGR Industrial Surplus Inc. annually awards a scholarship to a high school senior who has been accepted by an institution of higher education for the next academic year to pursue a degree or certification in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math) field. This includes, but is not limited to, the fields of engineering, engineering technology, electrical, mechanical, welding, manufacturing, or construction. This year, one student from Euclid High School will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship.

Scholarship guidelines are as follows:
1. The applicant must be active in any facet of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math).
2. The applicant must be in good academic standing at his or her high school.
3. The applicant should be a senior.
4. The applicant must be accepted into an institution of higher education or a trade or technical school for the next academic year.
5. Financial need will be considered.

Those applying for the HGR Industrial Surplus scholarship should submit the following materials when applying:
1. A completed scholarship application.
2. A 350-word autobiography.
3. A 350-word statement explaining why this scholarship is important to you, including your financial need.
4. A minimum of one letter of reference. Up to three letters of reference will be accepted. Letters of reference should be from teachers, counselors, coaches, employers, mentors, etc. rather than from family or friends.
5. Scholarship Submission Deadline: All materials should be submitted here by April 15, 2017.

Euclid’s goal: Make the city a first-choice suburban location

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Paula Maggio, PR specialist with HGR Industrial Surplus)

The goal of Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail is to make Euclid a first-choice suburban location, a goal that she shared at Tizzano’s Party Center on Feb. 22 during the State of the City Address hosted by the Euclid Chamber of Commerce.

Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail gives the 2017 State of the City Address during the Euclid Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Tizzano’s Party Center on Feb. 22.

Key items required to turn that goal into a reality include: growing the business base by building strong relationships with the business community and continuing city-business partnerships, making safety a priority, and improving services to residents — all things that are in progress now, according to the mayor.

Planning with public input

To this end, Mayor Holzheimer Gail said the city began updating its community master plan last year and is creating a steering committee that will include public input. The city will complete the planning process in 2017 by outlining goals and objectives and identifying the resources needed to realize them.

The next meeting regarding the process is April 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Central Middle School, and the public is invited.

Improving housing

“The City of Euclid is committed to improving its existing housing stock,” she said. A housing operations plan has been developed to strengthen rental compliance. In addition, the city is conducting a housing inventory.

Potential home buyers are receiving help, too. Down payment assistance is available to eligible homeowners, as well as a Heritage Home Loan Program.

All of this helped median single family home prices increase by 20 percent in 2016, the fifth year in a row they have increased, according to the mayor.

Full house

Tizzano’s was full for the mayor’s address, with guests meeting, mingling, and networking before and after her speech.

Kacie Armstrong, director of the Euclid Public Library, shared information about the library’s new acquisitions with the guests at her table during the Euclid Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Feb. 22.
Euclid Chamber of Commerce events are about networking — and Kristina Swann of Quality Ribbons and Supplies made the rounds before lunch was served.
Ann Miller and Sheila Gibbons, executive director of the Euclid Chamber of Commerce, checked in guests at the Feb. 22 luncheon.

 

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR’s eBay Auctions Department

HGR eBay Auction Department

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Fred Holmes, HGR’s eBay Auctions Department supervisor)

What does your department do?

eBay Auctions Department lists and sells small, high-value items with strong market demand, Our department is expected to find the hidden treasures in Deals that could easily be missed.

How many people work in your department, and what are their roles?  

Five people. We have two full-time eBay clerks who inventory; one full-time UPS shipping person; one floater/teardown person who pulls parts from machines, helps in UPS and incoming; and a supervisor who tries to find the best items, fixes problems and coordinates with the customers.

What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?

You need to be very detail oriented, mechanical with strong typing skills and have an eye for value. We do Internet research, and you must be willing to learn every day.

What do you like most about your department?

Constant learning of different types of tech or machines and finding new items the we have never seen before.

What challenges has your department faced, and how have you overcome them?

We have a lot of challenges from eBay itself. eBay always is adapting and changing its website, and we must constantly improve to keep up with them. We have challenges with product flow and types of product, and we work together to figure out what we are selling.  The team has adapted by taking on more responsibilities, when needed.

What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?

Very little. There have been minor adjustments to our listing styles, but, overall, it’s stayed the same.

What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?

You can’t improve perfection! J We always are stressing the importance of accuracy and speed — always striving to be more efficient.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

It’s a work environment that gives you the flexibility to be your best. Everyone gets part of the profits, and everyone has opportunity to better himself/herself and the company.

What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?

It’s a valuable business for small companies to buy from and for large companies to liquidate assets. Recycling what we can’t sell is good for the environment and our natural resources.

2017 plans for HGR’s ongoing renovation and construction

hard hat with construction blueprintsWhat can you expect to see this year as we make ongoing improvements at our showroom for our customers and employees?

1.  Parking lot improvements

2. Landscaping

3. Façade improvements to back guest entrance

4. Creation of a back patio area for employees

5. Structural and roof improvements, with a new roof over Aisles 3, 7 and 8

6. Tenant-space improvements

And, drum roll, please!!!!!!

7. A completely remodeled and reconfigured front sales office with a new entrance and modern restrooms

Tips on getting a commercial-drone pilot’s license from a new pilot

pilot flying drone

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Joseph Powell, HGR’s graphic designer)

It was time. I stood patiently waiting for the flight instructor to direct me to the testing room where Zone Aviation at the Lorain County Regional Airport administers the Computer Assisted Testing Service (CATS) test. In my head I replayed the countless hours of YouTube videos that I watched and websites that I read on FAA regulations and airport procedures, including my favorites from Who is Matt Johnson, Remote Pilot 101 and Drone Attorney Johnathan Rupprecht. I pictured the cloud types and their impact on UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) and reminded myself of the differences between stable and unstable air. METARs (weather reports) were scrolling across my mental screen until the flight instructor directed me to my seat, and I began.

It had been months in the making. I was studying to take my Remote Pilot Certificate, which would allow me to fly a drone commercially for photography and videography purposes. The task was daunting, to say the least. For anyone interested in obtaining this certificate, heed my words: study, study, study. The FAA provides you with study materials in the form of giant manuals of procedures and regulations. Don’t discount the value of the knowledge inside. You will be shocked by the amount of information you are required to know. The same supplement that they use for the test is available online. There are no questions in there, but all of the charts and figures are the same ones used on the test. It will help you a great deal to make yourself familiar with them. There are unlimited resources online, and I recommend you use as many as you can. I also was interested to learn about the applications for commercial drones beyond military use for “spying.” They are used in fire, mountain, hiker and crash search-and-rescue missions and in the inspection of towers and railroad ties for maintenance and repair.

The test has a time limit of two hours and gives you 60 random questions. The test pulls questions from the recreational pilot’s database; so, the mix of regulations and airport procedures could be higher than those aimed at remote pilot operations. I flew through the first few questions. My study habits prepared me for this until I hit questions on material I hadn’t covered. I stopped and stared at the screen. There was more material out there that I had missed. On the matter of UAS I was confident, but airport traffic and identifying the plane position if they are midfield downwind RNWY13 was new to me. I didn’t panic, used the supplemental guide and was able to finish the test in a little more than an hour.

I looked over my answers on the computer screen, and I clicked on “complete test.: Another screen popped up saying, “Are you sure?” I clicked “yes” again and waited for my result, only to be greeted by one last chance to go over my answers before completing the test. On the last click, the bar moved back and forth symbolizing the calculating of the test score. I waited anxiously for what seemed to be five minutes, but was more like 30 seconds. I only needed to read the first line to know what the result was: “Congratulations on passing your Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate.”

Are you a blogger or social media junkie?

calling bloggers

 

Are you in the blogosphere? (HINT: You are if you’re here.) Are you active on social media? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Make some comments. Share it with your friends.

Also, we’d love to engage in conversations with our followers and customers on social media. Visit us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Finally,  we LOVE hosting guest bloggers and their areas of expertise! Send us a message if you’re interested.

 

HGR online auction reminder

Click here for more information on our online auction or here for the full auction catalog. We are partnering with Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers for a liquidation of Global Fabrication, Inc., in Dubois, PA. Inspection is Jan. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the live auction starting at 9 a.m. on Jan. 25.

HGR Online Auction Flyer for Jan. 25, 2017

Reminder: HGR is open one Saturday per month

HGR Industrial Surplus is open the second Saturday of each month from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

2017 dates:

  • January 14
  • February 11
  • March 11
  • April 8
  • May 13
  • June 10
  • July 8
  • August 12
  • September 9
  • October 7
  • November 11
  • December 9

*Dates are subject to change; so, please check back at this blog for updates, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or call our office to confirm at 216-486-4567.

clock

Happy Holidays! We will be open our normal hours during the holidays.

Blue holiday ornaments

 

Happy Holidays from everyone at HGR Industrial Surplus to you and yours! May the season be bright, peaceful and full of blessings.

Because Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day fall on weekends this year, we will be open as normal Monday through Friday both weeks from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You still have time for some gift shopping — for others or for yourself!

We’re closing early on Dec. 16

holiday office party with Santa hatsOn Dec. 16, HGR Industrial Surplus will be closing promptly at 3 p.m. so that our employees can have their holiday office party! Thank you for understanding and letting us spend some time together having some holiday spirit and sharing laughter and gifts. We are collecting nonperishable food donations from our employees to help out those in need. May you enjoy your holiday preparations this weekend and remember others during this season of giving.

 

An update on HGR’s 2015 manufacturing scholarship recipient

Jon Berkel Elyria Foundry
(photo courtesy of Elyria Foundry)

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jonathan Berkel, 2015 HGR Industrial Surplus Manufacturing Scholarship recipient)

Ever since I received the manufacturing scholarship from HGR Industrial Surplus in 2015 and graduated from Elyria High School and Lorain County JVS where I studied welding and fabrication, I have been furthering my education at Lorain County Community College to earn an associate of science degree. In fall 2017, I will be transferring to The Ohio State University to earn my bachelor’s degree in welding engineering.

For the past year and half at Lorain County Community College I have been taking classes in math, science, English and general education that will transfer to The Ohio State University. These courses will prepare me for future courses that I will take in order to pursue my degree.

While attending classes, I work part-time, and I work full-time when classes are not in session at Elyria Pattern Co., since I graduated high school as a welder and a pattern maker. I do a little bit of everything. I am working on some projects for Elyria Foundry. I also have been working on frames for the base of the patterns. These frames go on the base of the pattern to give the base stronger support.

I would like wish all the 2017 scholarship nominees good luck.

Jon Berkel welding
(Jonathan welding)

An update on HGR’s 2016 S.T.E.M. scholarship recipient, Tiffany Moore

woman high jumper

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Tiffany Moore, HGR Industrial Surplus’ 2016 S.T.E.M. scholarship recipient and Ohio Wesleyan freshman)

On Aug. 20, 2016, I said my goodbyes to my family and friends and set forth on a new chapter in my life. I was nervous but excited at the same time. So far, I have been in college for five months, and I have learned more than I could ever imagine. Some of my closest friends are from Ethiopia, West Africa, Pakistan, Tennessee, Chicago, and Boston. We have learned so much about each other and our different backgrounds and are still learning new things every day.

There is about a week left of the fall semester, and I have been doing a great job of staying on top of the college workload. The library has been my best friend. Sometimes, I stay there until 2 a.m. This semester, I took classes that would go toward my general requirements for graduation. Those include, French 110, Beginning Acting, English 105, Journalism 101, and UC 160 (required course for all freshman). I have enjoyed taking these classes and I am looking forward to my spring semester where I will be diving into computer science, French 111, Black World Studies, and Intro to Film.

My favorite class this semester is English. This class has helped me to become more confident in my writing for all of my classes. So far, I have written around 13 papers. That’s almost equivalent to the amount of papers I’ve written over my entire four years of high school. The class that has given me the most trouble is French. In high school I took three years of Spanish; so, I decided to try something different. Since, most of the students in my class has had experience with taking French, we get through the material pretty quickly. However, it takes me more time to retain all of the information. So, throughout the course of the semester I’ve gone to tutoring sessions and also linked up with a few students in my class to help get a better understanding of the material.

On top of being academically successful, I am also a member of the Ohio Wesleyan track and field team. We recently had our first meet in Cleveland at Case Western Reserve University. I participated in the women’s high jump and 200-meter dash. I love being a member of this team, and I am looking forward to seeing how our season turns out.

While being in college I had an opportunity to apply for a summer internship with Rockwell Automation. There are many other internships that I plan on applying for through Ohio Wesleyan that are geared toward computer science majors. I am happy that I chose to continue my education here at Ohio Wesleyan, and I am looking forward to spending my next three years here.

HGR unveils new offices

Euclid mayor and two HGR partners

On Oct. 20, HGR Industrial Surplus hosted an open house and luncheon for its partners, community leaders and long-time friends to unveil a more-than-$1.2-million renovation. If you’ve never been to the back of the building, now you have two reasons to drive around: to visit the NEO Sports Plant and the new operations offices for HGR.

The open house ran from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and included a self-guided tour of the space, a luncheon catered by Chick-fil-A, and a meet and greet with HGR’s partners and long-time customer Jason Wein of Cleveland Art who made the signage, art, lamps and furniture in the area. It’s worth a stop by just to see his work!

Some visitors included: Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail and City of Euclid Building Director Joe O’Donnell; Joe Barbaree, Northeast Shores Development Corporation; John Copic, publisher, The Euclid and Collinwood Observers; Charlie Sims, Sims Buick GMC; Sheila Gibbons, Euclid Chamber of Commerce; Audrey Holtzman and Superintendent Dr. Charles Smialek, Euclid City Schools; two Euclid Police Department officers; and our banking and insurance partners.

Next on the list of upgrades? A façade/entry improvement, landscaping and parking-lot resurfacing outside this new entrance at the back of the Euclid showroom facility.

Guests eating at Cleveland Art table

Microbrewed beer and Euclid: it’s all about the chemistry!

 

Moss Point Ale at Euclid Brewing Company(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Doug Fry, co-owner, Euclid Brewing Company)

Q: What did you do before you decided to start your own business?

A: Immediately prior to opening the brewery I was principal scientist in Process Chemistry at Ricerca Biosciences in Concord.  Before Ricerca, I worked as a chemist in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries for 10 years.  And prior to that I taught college chemistry in South Carolina. Kim, my wife and brewing-company partner, is director of communications at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights.

Q: Why did you and your wife decide to open a microbrewery?

Doug and Kim Fry of Euclid Brewing CompanyA: There were two main reasons I wanted to open the brewery.  The first was professional: I’ve worked for four different companies in my career, and each one of them had been sold at least once.  Every change in ownership led to layoffs and churning, which was very stressful for all employees.  I figured the only way I would have any job security in today’s economy would be if I started my own company.  The only marketable skills I had were making drugs, making chemicals, and making beer.  I figured starting a brewery would have fewer barriers than starting a pharmaceutical or chemical company. The second reason I wanted to start a brewery was more personal.  I didn’t want to be one of those people who reaches old age and regrets not having tried something risky in his or her life.  If I was going to start a brewery I couldn’t wait until retirement; I’d be too old to lift the 50-pound bags of malt!

Q: Why did you pick Euclid and your current location?

A: Kim and I have been Euclid residents since 2007.  We love the fact that we can walk to great restaurants, such as the Beach Club Bistro, Paragon, and Great Scott.  We’ve seen a lot of recent improvements in Euclid, and we wanted to be a part of that. We really wanted a location in a storefront in downtown Euclid because it would allow nearby residents to walk or ride their bikes to the tap room.  We hope customers will come from farther away, but we really wanted to focus on being a gathering place for the neighborhood. Locating the brewery in downtown Euclid also had a fringe benefit: My commute went from 19 miles one-way (when I worked in Concord) to less than a half mile!  I can walk or ride my bike to work now.

Q: How many beers do you offer? Styles?

A: Our goal is to always have six of our own beers on tap (We don’t plan to have any guest taps.).  A typical line-up would include a lighter beer style, such as a blonde or wheat beer; a pale ale and an IPA; a darker beer, such as an amber or stout; and a seasonal beer or two, for example a saison or pumpkin.

Q: Hours and do you offer food?

A: Currently our hours are Thursday 4-7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 4-8 p.m..  We might expand those hours as we learn more about our customers’ preferences.

Q: What is your brewing philosophy?

A: We prefer to brew traditional styles rather than more exotic beers.  There probably will never be a chili-containing beer on tap at EBC!  We also want to focus on sessionable beers (4-6% ABV) rather than higher-alcohol styles.  The recent elimination of the alcohol cap on beers in Ohio will not affect our beer lineup.

Q: Since I met you at HGR one year ago, how did you hear about HGR and what made you stop by?

A: I first heard of HGR from a coworker at Ricerca.  He knew I lived in Euclid and asked if I had ever been to HGR.  He was adamant that I should go and look around. The first time we went it was an epiphany.  I wanted to buy almost everything I saw, but Kim stopped me. It’s an amazing place! We’ve taken our daughter and son-in-law to HGR.  They own a design firm in California, and we had to drag our son-in-law out of there at closing time.

Q: What have you purchased here, if anything?

A: We purchased a butcher-block-top industrial table for Kim to use for her stained glass projects  a while back. When we were building the brewery, we looked for a low stand or table for our chiller in the brewery. We spoke to a sales rep who emailed us some options from time to time, but we ended up using cinder blocks!

Q: Anything else I missed that’s important and you would like to add?

A: I was a home brewer for approximately 10 years before starting EBC.  I was bitten by the brewing bug when our daughter bought me a Mr. Beer kit for my birthday.  I’ve always called Mr. Beer a gateway kit, the use of which leads to more and more spending on brewing equipment, and before you realize it you own a brewery!

Euclid Brewing Company storefront

 

With one click, you can subscribe to HGR Industrial Surplus’ product spotlight video playlist on YouTube

HGR Industrial Surplus' YouTube product spotlight video playlist

 

Every week, HGR uploads about 20 new walkaround videos on a variety of new inventory in our showroom. If you can’t make it to the showroom or want to take a better look at a piece of equipment before paying a visit, subscribe to our playlist by clicking the red “Subscribe” button in the upper right on YouTube. Then you can be notified about new videos as they are posted. We also do some fun viral videos to make our customers laugh, educational videos, sale videos and some from the leadership of our company. You can find everything HGR on our YouTube channel and on our website.

 

Meet HGR Frequent Shoppers Calvin and Harriet Haxton

stainless steel mixer pot
BEFORE: Stainless-steel mixer pot
dog food bin
AFTER: Dog food bin

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger and HGR Customer Harriet Haxton)

In the word’s of Harriet about her and her husband’s most recent purchase:

“Calvin says you’re always interested in seeing what people do with the stuff they buy from you. Check out the pics of our most recent purchase. We call it the Lunar Lander Dog Food Bin. The first pic shows it in almost-original condition, with the exception of the position of the float. We like it sticking out of the top rather than hidden inside. Calvin added a Delrin stopper to the float tube so it hangs on the side of the bin while we’re scooping kibble. Pretty cool, eh?

Thanks for your patience with our many questions and keep up the good finds!”

We did a little Q&A. Here is more information about the Haxtons:

Q: How did you find out about HGR?

A: Calvin found HGR online through searching, searching, searching

Q: How long ago did you start shopping here, and why?

A: Calvin has been buying  tools from HGR for a couple of years for his job shop which uses old machine tools.  No CNC for him!  He even uses equipment of my grandfather’s from the early 20th century and late 19th.

Q: What types of items have you bought? What do you look for?

A: He wants stuff for the shop.  If he finds something weird, interesting or potentially useful for me, he shows it to me. Before the “Lunar Lander,” we got a stainless steel commercial kitchen floor cabinet.  Our house is a pre-1860s log house.  It has no built-in cabinets anywhere.  We have an old Hoosier, a six-foot steel commercial shelving unit and a very old one-piece enamel sink/drainboard for counter space and storage.  Now it’s considered “industrial chic” but we just like sturdy stuff that’s cheap and easy to clean.  Brand new commercial kitchen fixtures are horrendously expensive! Besides, finding something unexpected from you at a bargain price is great fun!

Q: I understand that you are from Maryland. Have you ever visited us in person?

A: Visiting you was on our agenda on our last visit to Ohio (in June).  Brake problems forced us to leave early.  But we still plan to some day!  We heat with wood; so, we don’t travel much in winter.

Q: What field do you work in?

A: I worked in the software industry for 23 years.  9/11 killed off most of my customers and the idea of dressing up and commuting long distances (95 miles and 2 hrs/day was typical) killed my incentive to stay in the industry.  So, I got a job at my local post office, and I’ve been a rural mail carrier ever since.  I am now part of my local community instead of just being a weekend visitor.

Q: Your email says “Haxton Ranch.” What kind of ranch do you have?

A: The name “Haxton Ranch” is a bit of a joke.  I’m from California, where folks have ranches, not farms.  The name is a permutation of Ranch Calvinian, which is a play on the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.  We’re not like that, but our minds work in flexible ways.  But we do have land, and I used to have two Tennessee Walking Horses (both mares).  Finances (the postal service does NOT pay as well as the software industry), a propensity to break bones more easily in old age, and an inability to just let my horses be pasture decoration all led me to let go of my childhood dream.  I did train and compete with my young mare and rode the older horse in all weather, terrain and venues.  Lots of fun, but horses are very expensive pets. Tell

(Since the Haxton’s shop online with the help of their sales rep, we asked them for a photo and got this selfie! Now we know what some of our long-distance customers look like. Harriet added the disclaimer that Calvin had just had surgery and hates having his picture taken; so, this photo is extra special. He was willing to do it for HGR! Thanks, Calvin.)  Calvin and Harriet Haxton

 

 

Makers Space for robotics, woodworking and metalworking in the works for Lodi Family Center

Kids playing pool at The Lodi Family Center

I met Rebecca Rak and Mike Gemmer when they were shopping at HGR to find equipment for a good cause: The Lodi Family Center, housed at its current location in 6,000 square feet in the former Lodi Elementary School since 2014. Mike’s background is in IT software and teaching. Rebecca’s is in social services.

This Medina County family center offers a safe social place where peoples’ needs can be assessed and met, including adult programming for those over 55, a food pantry, Project Learn, a personal-care shop for nonfood items, parent support services such as cooking and nutrition classes, a toy shop for kids where they can “purchase” items with coins earned for doing their homework and going to counseling sessions, a study hall, a craft room, a playroom with a puppet theater, 10 laptops and one desktop computer, and an auditorium with a screen and projector.

Coming soon to enhance the robotics and tech club is a Makers Space with a science room, lab and arena for robot battle-war challenges, a wood shop and a metalworking shop. Students will earn coins, as they do for the toy store, to buy supplies, such as aluminum and mother boards, to build robots. Also in the future is an Internet café.

To date, Rebecca and Mike have bought shopping carts, Bunn coffee makers, a paper shredder, cabinets, a dolly and a wind tunnel for the science lab from HGR.

According to Executive Director Rebecca Rak, she began the Lodi Family Center to fill a need in the community after working for 12 years for Family First’s resource center. She was trained in crisis intervention, stress management and as a victim advocate for battered women. She then worked as a liaison with county police departments to help bridge people and connect them with agencies, counselors and resources that can help them. She currently works part time as a dispatcher for the Brunswick City Police Department and the rest of her time at the center.

The family center served 1,404 people in 2015 and an average of 40-60 kids per day this summer. In one week this month, 42 families used the food pantry.

Where does the funding come from? Everything is donated with the exception of small grants that supplied the pool table, filing cabinet and television. There were 121 volunteers in 2015 who rotated to serve and support the center’s needs.

For more information, visit The Lodi Family Center’s Facebook page. The center is open Mondays and Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for adults, Monday through Thursday 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. for children up to high-school age and is available on Fridays to church, home schooling and community groups.

Reading room at The Lodi Family Center

HGR Industrial Surplus case study: Content marketing impacts organic SEO

Search engine optimization chart including link building

Ever wonder about the marketing value of a blog post for a company and how it can impact sales? Well, read on! Here’s just one example:

Bryan Korecz, HGR’s inbound logistics manager, received a request from one of our trucking companies. They, along with Ace Doran and Bennett International Group, were hosting their Third-Annual Driver Appreciation Day on Sept. 16 at A&H’s facility, 8500 Clinton Road, Brooklyn, Ohio. They were asking for a giveaway donation with HGR’s logo on it. The request was forwarded to the Marketing Department for fulfillment.

I contacted Andrea Cegledy, logistics manager at A&H. We provided them with 50 plastic folder/clipboards with HGR’s logo to be included in a duffel bag that A&H was giving to each driver. Andrea also invited me to the event so that I could blog about it here.

But, it didn’t stop there. I shared the post via Facebook and Twitter with A&H, Ace Doran and Bennett International Group (A&H is a subsidiary of those two larger companies). They all shared the post on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. We got new views, likes and followers from getting in front of their followers, who are exactly the demographic of HGR’s customers.

Then, I contacted all three companies and asked about backlinking from their websites to the blog post (basically, hosting a link on their websites to the blog on our website). A&H and Bennett did so. And, I linked from my blog to their websites to help with their organic SEO efforts.

Bennett is a global transportation company.  Its domain authority (DA) is 36. DA is a search engine ranking tool that awards a score of 1-100 based on three factors: age of the website, popularity and size. Our goal is to increase our DA, which was, as of Oct. 3, 30 by backlinking to our site from companies with higher DA. If we increase our DA, it will improve our site’s search engine optimization (SEO) so that we are found more easily and higher up on the page in a Google search for content that resides within our site, including key words and topics in our blog.

In addition to positively impacting our organic (unpaid) SEO efforts and our ranking, we get in front of potential new customers who will see our website, become aware of us, if they weren’t already or be reminded of us if they were aware, and, potentially, create new customers. Win-win!

 

Need pallet racks? HGR has a field of them!

Here’s Ken Bridgeport, HGR’s Eye in the Sky, reporting on the football-field-sized pileup of pallet racking outside of HGR Industrial Surplus in Euclid, Ohio:

We have pallet racking we’re looking to move; so, we created a pallet rack request page on our website. If you are interested in pallet racking and have size requirements, fill out the form, and we will assist you! It’s that easy.

And, these aren’t your average videos! Check out our tour guide to Pallet Racking Paradise as a scenic getaway vacation:

One of HGR’s inside sales reps mentors youth at Notre Dame College

diverse group of college students

 

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jason Lockett, HGR inside sales rep)

Q: Notre Dame of Ohio, correct? Your alma mater?

A: Yes, NDC is my alma, and I graduated in 2010 with a B.S. in marketing.

Q: How and why did the mentoring program get started?

A: Bill Leamon started this program three years ago. He’s a professor, as well. Bill is extremely passionate about helping others and is committed to grow this program outside of NDC and in other colleges/universities.

Q: Why did you get involved?

A: The pilot program was introduced at NDC last year, and it was a huge success. Our mentees were paired with professionals with similar backgrounds, personality traits and interests. Last year, there were 23 mentees with 20 mentors. Our mentors interacted with their mentees at least once per week to assist with various challenges, including but not limited to deciding majors, picking classes, managing time, part-time job assistance, managing money and the overall transition from high school to college.

Q: What does the group do? How does each mentor help its mentee or work with him/her, how often, in what ways?

A: The main goal is to help each student with the transition from high school to college in order to reduce the dropout rate during each student’s freshman year.

Q: How does the mentee get a mentor or become part of the program?

A: We receive recommendations from Admissions and academic advisors.

Q: Any interesting/inspiring stories from last year’s experience?

A: Overall, it was a great experience for everyone, and we plan on expanding schools in the near future. Also, we are trying to get donors for scholarships for our students.

Q: In your opinion, what is the importance of education or training?

A: The program started three years ago, and I joined last year. Studies show that first-generation college students that come from low-income families have the highest possibility of dropping out of college within their first year. The largest success of this group is the scholarship due to the structure provided by the athletic program. This program was created with a few goals in mind:

  1. To provide mentorship to incoming college students
  2. To provide leadership opportunities to upperclassman that are committed to help
  3. To reduce the dropout rate of college students in their first year
  4. To break and create cycles within families where the older siblings are acquiring college degrees
  5. To create leaders within families to be not only an example, but the pioneer to promote higher education

Firefighters teach elementary-school children about fire prevention

Silhouette of two firefighters fighting blazing fire and timber

The Firefighter Phil Program brings free fire-safety lessons into elementary schools nationwide since 1975 to teach K-4 schoolchildren the functions and roles of the fire department, actions they can take to prevent fires in the home, and actions to take if a fire occurs. This is accomplished via a 30-minute, entertaining, school-assembly program using magic, games, songs, jokes and puppets to teach children about fire safety and prevention, fire drills, escape plans, 911, fire hazards, kitchen safety, smoke alarms, stop – drop –roll, get out & stay out, stay low & go, two ways out, and respect for authority figures.

One of Firefighter Phil’s animal pals stops by to teach the lessons with a member of the local fire department. To reinforce what students learned in the live presentation, each child is given a grade-specific activity book to take home. The program is made possible through advertisements in the activity book that are purchased by the local business community, including HGR Industrial Surplus. In addition to the satisfaction of helping teach children fire safety and potentially save lives, the businesses receive a certificate of appreciation signed by the fire chief.

This year, Assistant Chief Anderson of the Euclid Fire Department or one of his Euclid firefighters will visit Arbor Elementary School, Bluestone Elementary School, Chardon Hills Elementary School, Our Lady of the Lake School, Shoreview Elementary School and Saints Robert & William Catholic School in honor of National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 9-15 and present to 1,700 students.

 

Euclid Fire Department shield patch

Machine-tool company retrofits equipment for Amish use

Amish farmer

HGR Frequent Shopper Steve Timothy works full time as a millwright at Charter Steel. Sullivan Machine Tooling is his “side job” that he started in 2013 to build as his future retirement job. It all started in 2009 when he bought a 1977 Lincoln Electric doghouse welder, his “newest” piece of equipment, to make repairs for himself. Since he lives in Sullivan, Ohio, a heavily Amish community, his Amish neighbors knew he could weld and asked him to fix farm implements for them. That’s when he started doing repair work. Sometimes, rather than repairing a piece of equipment, it was easier to buy it from HGR and haul it home. So, Timothy began to buy equipment, fix and resell it, as well as haul equipment for the Amish in his community.

Since Amish do not use electricity, they adapt all electrical shop equipment to run off a line shaft with a belt drive. Some of the most common pieces of equipment that Sullivan Machine Tool has adapted include lathes, drill presses that carpenters and metal workers use, and pantographs designed to engrave jewelry that they convert into finish sanders for carpentry use with a rotary orbital head fit into a column with a moveable arm. Timothy says he has used a drill press for the same thing. In an Amish shop, a diesel engine powers a line shaft that runs the length of the shop under the floor and runs on V-belts. Diesel fuel is used because it is more efficient than gasoline.

In Timothy’s shop, he has a 1926 South Bend lathe, a 1937 South Bend lathe, a 1954 Bridgeport mill, a 1954 Cincinnati Bickford drill press that he bought from HGR, a small press and a car lift, plus all the machinery he is converting and tools in a 26-feet-by-30-feet pole barn. He transports equipment he purchases in an F450 dump truck and trailer with a moveable gantry crane and engine hoist.

He says that an Amish machine shop down the road runs a 17,000-pound shear (purchased from HGR), an ironworker, a press brake, lathes and a radial arm drill press, all nonelectrical. It has a tub on the roof to collect rainwater that is gravity-fed into a faucet sink since only well water with a pump would be used. A sawmill in his town uses a $20,000, three-sided planer for flooring and molding. It can plane flat surfaces, profiles and relief cuts. The planer had separate motors but the owner built belt drives and uses a diesel engine to drive the line shaft.

Sullivan Machine Tool does not advertise in local newspapers or online. All of his business is in the Sullivan and Homerville area and done by word of mouth as one person tells another person during their Sunday socials.

When shopping HGR, Timothy watches and purchase online unless there is something he needs to come up in order to check the condition. Then he makes the trip to transport an entire truckload at once. Currently, he has his eye on two gear hobbing machines that he will either use to make his own gears or sell to his Amish customers. The units are not complete; so, he is trying to solve the problem as to how to complete them to make them functional. He purchased a tool grinder with no attachments, pulled the motor off, and mounted a shaft for a drill press. He enjoys repurposing equipment for use as something other than what it was intended.

Timothy lives on 2.5 acres with his wife. His father-in-law lives on the property next door. He has a daughter who is a vet tech and a son who is a business major at The University of Akron. This man loves to keep busy and says he probably never will retire. Do you have a side job? Are a hobbyist? How do you feel about “retirement?”

 

Old things not wanted by one person become another’s treasure

Inside of antique mall

It’s funny how blogs come about. Like much business that takes place, it’s often word of mouth. Someone who knows someone who knows someone. So, this story starts when I attending a Euclid Chamber of Commerce committee meeting to organize its Amazing-Race-style scavenger hunt taking place on Sept. 9 (read this blog about how to register). Sheila Gibbons, chamber president, mentions an antique mall, Antiques & Uniques, Wickliffe, Ohio, that she likes to browse through because I had mentioned an item that I was looking for and had asked if there were any resale or thrift stores in the area (I live in Medina County and drive to Euclid for work; so, I don’t know the area well.).

This mention bubbles around in my mind for a couple of weeks. Then, one day, I think how much like an antique store HGR is. Both take items that an owner no longer wants, needs or finds useful and tries to resell them so they can be recycled or upcycled and stay out of landfills. We both try to match the right product to the right customer. We have rows and rows of items. And, our customers come in to spend hours just looking. Sometimes they take something home, and sometimes they don’t. But we get new items all the time; so, people are repeat visitors.

I decided to take a trip to Antiques & Uniques and chat with Tom Berges, who co-owns the store with his wife, Barb. Berges says, “I was the part owner and managed an antique store in Painesville with other business partners. Eventually, I moved on to start my own business.” Antiques & Uniques opened April 2015 with full inventory. Berges says that he didn’t even need to advertise to find vendors. Many of his contacts and people that he had worked with in the past opened stalls in his store. He currently has 100 vendors, and about 200 people are waiting to get in. Business has been good.

But, the connection to HGR gets even weirder. Six degrees-of-separation weird. Berges happens to be an HGR customer. He walked me through the store and pointed out the carts, desks, tables, whiteboards, shelves and lockers that he has purchased to outfit the store. He also told me that many of his vendors shop at HGR. I was introduced to Rodney who has pallets in his stall. He also has a vintage metal locker that he purchased from HGR and cleaned up to resell. Then, I met Robin, the store manager, who used to own a warehouse and bought pallet racking and pallet jacks from HGR.

After all, business is cyclical. What have you purchased from HGR to reuse? How have you put it to use?

HGR Industrial Surplus - Antiques & Uniques relationship map

An HGR employee literally goes the extra mile to serve our customers

HGR employee Chuck Leonard

I heard through the grapevine that a couple of HGR employees commute 1.5 hours from the Erie, Pa., area to come to work! Whew, and I thought that my 34-mile, one-hour commute from Medina County was far. This just proves what a great place HGR is to work. Because of that, it attracts dedicated employees and who are willing to “go the extra mile” to keep us up and running on all cylinders.

One of those employees is Chuck Leonard. Here’s what he had to say about why he does what he does:

“I have been here since Day 1. I am one of the original employees who came from McKean Machinery. I am the receiving supervisor. We unload trucks, and I make sure everything gets set up to be inventoried. The reason I have stayed so long is I like who I work for — the owners. I’ve always been treated fair, and that’s very important to me. I’ve watched this company grow tremendously over the years and feel like I have contributed to get to where we are now. To set the record straight I don’t drive from Erie on a daily basis. I stay at my mother’s during the work week, which is still a 45-minute drive. I go home every Friday and drive in from Erie on Mondays. I’ve been doing it for so long its second nature.”

Thanks, Chuck, for 18 great years and, here’s to many more!

 

A&H Trucking hosts third-annual Driver Appreciation Day

Ice cream truck at A&H Trucking Driver Appreciation Day

Ever wonder how all the amazing items in HGR’s showroom get here? We don’t have our own big rigs, but we work with a number of riggers and trucking companies to make it all happen, from enclosed trailers and flatbeds to step decks. One of those companies is A&H Trucking, Parts & Repair, Brooklyn, Ohio. According to Bryan Korecz, HGR’s inbound logistics manager, “Anything we need, they usually have. They do a lot of the local stuff we buy and, occasionally, ship out items that we sell.”

On Sept. 16 from 12 to 4 p.m., A&H and Ace Doran Hauling & Rigging hosted its third-annual Driver Appreciation Day as part of National Driver Appreciation Week. About 40 drivers plus more than 30 customers, vendors and industry relationships (like HGR) stop in to have lunch provided by Famous Dave’s BBQ and an ice cream truck, play some cornhole and feel the love. Many of the vendors and industry contacts donate items for raffles and giveaways. The money raised in the raffle goes into a driver relief fund.

A&H was started by Bob Abernethy (now deceased) and Bill Hoag in 1981. At that time, the company did not own any of its trucks and used all owner-operator rigs. Now, A&H has 22 company trucks, uses 20 owner-operators, has a full-service truck repair shop and is a Vanguard trailer and tractor parts distributor. Its drivers are required to attend two safety meetings each year. The company is an agent for Ace Doran Hauling & Rigging in order to leverage a larger company’s safety, billing department, and insurance claims processing resources. It’s a family-owned-and-run enterprise. And, it feels like family.

I sat at a table with one of the company’s retired drivers who had a trucking accident a little over a year ago. While he was recovering, Bill took him and his family to dinner, checked on him and continues to invite him back to this event even though he’s no longer driving. This was the kind of event where you felt like you knew everyone and made friends with people who share common interests. I own a retired Thoroughbred racehorse. This driver’s dad used to breed and train Standardbreds at Northfield Park. A sales rep at Rush Truck Centers breeds and trains Thoroughbreds and races them at Thistledown. We may go on a trail ride!

And, like a lot of businesses that I run across, A&H happens to be a customer of HGR. Many items in its facility have come from our showroom, including its shelving units. HGR started working with A&H just three years ago when the company partnered with one of our carriers. They inherited us and have continued to do a great job.

Thanks A&H for trucking our equipment, inviting us to your event and for introducing me to new friends.

Owner Bill Hoag of A&H Trucking at Driver Appreciation Day
A&H Trucking’s Owner Bill Hoag on the right in the striped shirt

HGR’s Austin Call Center places first in the Austin Fit Challenge

Austin Fit Challenge HGR team photo

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Cynthia Vassaur, HGR’s call center manager) 

The Austin Fit Challenge was held on Sept. 10, 2016. This the second year that the HGR Call Center has participated, and while they were pleased with their fifth-place status last year, they are SUPER EXCITED to have earned first place in 2016.

The Austin Fit Challenge brings companies together from all over the city to compete. First, the companies are grouped by size. HGR Industrial Surplus falls into the Micro Division (small company). There were a total of seven teams in this division. Then each group is given a list of courses and each challenge within the course. Each course must be completed within the allotted time or participants do not earn points. The event is held at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas.

The team arrived at 8:30 a.m. for its 10 a.m. slot. This allowed for plenty of time to stretch, sign in, and to get mentally prepared. At 9:30 a.m., the team was called into action. The micro-division only allows for four members per course each time. The HGR employees broke into two groups of four. Cynthia’s son Mario was able to step in at the last minute and fill in for an HGR employee who was not able to make it. Cynthia’s daughter Olivia was the photographer/cheerleader. She ran back and forth between both HGR teams for photos and support.

Overall, everyone enjoyed the competition, camaraderie and the motivation of working together as team toward a common goal. Time to get ready for next year! Below is a sample of the courses.

Course 1 – 5-minute cap

Inverted Rows – 30 reps

Sandbag Slams – 80 (men 15lb/Female 10lb)

Push-ups – 80 reps

Kettlebell Swings – 80 (men 35lb/women 25lb)

Sit-ups – 80 reps

Burpees – 40 reps

Plank hold – 60 seconds

Course 2 – 6-minute cap

Agility

Power

Mystery course

Speed

Course 3 – best time

2-mile run

HGR's team doing push ups in the Austin Fit Challenge

Wish you had a leather couch covered in vintage car upholstery?

Euclid Heat Treating leather couch

In a prior blog and “Hit the Ground Running” column in The Euclid Observer and The Collinwood Observer, I mentioned how John E. Vanas of Euclid Heat Treating bought some interior leather upholstery from Ford Motor Company at HGR Industrial Surplus and used it to upholster a couch.

Vanas says, “Here is the couch we had covered with the saddle-colored interior upholstery from Ford. It was made in Cleveland by the Lincoln Lounge Company some time before 1964 when the company closed. From what I can tell, they were headquartered in the Williamson Building downtown. This building sat where the Key Tower now stands.”

Euclid Heat Treating Leather Couch

HGR had two teams in Euclid’s Amazing Race and was one of the stops

amazing-raceThe Euclid Chamber of Commerce brought The Amazing Race to Euclid, Ohio, and HELP Foundation hosted team registration and the post-race celebration at its Adult Day Support Program.

I was a member of the planning committee, and HGR sent two teams to compete as well as being one of the stops on the route. Here are photos of some of HGR’s participants:

HGR Amazing Race teams
One of HGR’s teams at the front table comprised of Beth, Kim, Tina and April with Smitty on the far left
HGR's Amazing Race Team
Joe and Smitty
HGR's Amazing Race team launching marshmallows
Beth launching marshmallows to April

Tina Dick, HGR’s human resources manager, recaps some of the stops in the race: “At soccer golf at Briardale Golf Course, April Quintiliano made a new friend named Rosie while Beth Hietanen and I kicked the ball down the green. Kim Todd did an amazing job climbing the rock wall. “Ain’t no mountain high enough” for KT. It also was interesting to hear that the Cleveland Rock Gym has been part of Euclid for more than 20 years. I lived in Euclid for close to 15 years and never knew it existed; my kids would have loved it! Our Lady of Lourdes National Shrine is as beautiful as ever and was probably the nicest surprise. I had been there but my teammates never had. The NEO Sports Plant looks amazing, and chair volleyball is a blast! It would be a great event for HGR staff. HGR’s amazing showroom was new for many participants. The gift baskets, pizza and subs were a great end at HELP Foundation. Euclid Chamber did an “amazing” job putting this together. Count me in next year. We had some challenges but our team finished!”

Joe Powell, HGR’s graphic designer, who was teamed with Steve “Smitty” Smith, says, “Smitty came up limping while sprinting to the first task at Atlas Cinemas. For the rest of the race he played navigator, and I took care of the events. I couldn’t hit a free throw to save my life, but instead moved back to the three-point line and made six in a row. We were neck and neck with another team for the last task, and I had to slide a la baseball style in front of them for a second-place finish. Overall, it was a fun experience, and I saw parts of Euclid that I will revisit in future because of this.

We know how to have some laughs at HGR

Jenga boxes in HGR office

 

Yes, one of our manager’s employees really did this!!! When your boss is a hoarder of empty boxes, and he is out of the office this is what happens.

The employee told him for weeks that she would do it. He all but dared her to when he was out. She let it go for a while and figured he would forget. He walked into this on a Monday morning.

If only we had gotten a picture of the look on his face! And, it’s not even April Fool’s Day. Have you ever played a practical joke on someone at work? Have you played Jenga before? I bet not with boxes.

 

Thoughts from Justin: Meet HGR Frequent Shopper Larry Raven

HGR Customer Larry Raven

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

Last month, you might remember that we interviewed Don Bartley, a frequent shopper at HGR. This time, we interviewed his friend, Larry Raven, who also is from Willoughby Hills, Ohio.

How did you hear about HGR?

To tell you the truth, it has been so long ago. It has been about eight years. Somebody probably told me about it; otherwise, I wouldn’t have known – oh wait! They were doing a lot of advertising on the TV. They were pretty good on the sports channel, and when I saw their advertisement, I knew I had to go.

What’s your favorite thing about HGR?

Being able to come down here, walk, meet people – instead of going to the mall to walk, I come here because it’s more interesting *laughs*.

So are you going to have lunch with us today?

Oh hell yes! That’s what I’m here for!

What do you usually buy here?

Over the years, I know I’m well over $50,000 that I’ve spent here already, and it’s just on a hobby. I was an aircraft mechanic for 20 years. And then I was a set-up man at a brush factory for 30 years. I’m a mechanic, so I’m going to look for anything mechanical. That’s what I like about HGR – here, I buy a lot of drills, reamers, that type of stuff. I don’t NEED anything, but like I said, it’s a hobby.

I just come in to look for different stuff. I try to upgrade what I have at home. Down in my basement, I have a lathe, a mill, drill press, and a band saw, and then back in the barn I’ve got another two horizontal saws.

What do you make?

I fix stuff up. Right now I’m working on lawnmowers. I got a friend of mine; he gave me two lawnmowers where the engines blew. By coming here, I met another guy who knows another guy – where he works, they bring in brand new stuff, except maybe they have a problem. So, I go in and buy the brand-spanking-new engines and put them in my lawnmowers. It’s got 23 horsepower; so, I just use it as a way to travel from my house to my barn!

But everything I do, it’s always mechanical. I’m building up my workshop back in the barn. Down in my basement I have my workshop for the wintertime. I’ve been retired for 10 years. All my free time goes straight to my projects when I’m not walking the aisles of HGR.

Thanks Larry, for being such a valuable customer. Enjoy your lunch!

Local businesses invest in each other

Four hands holding a house to represent good neighbors

HGR’s owners are dedicated to the Euclid community, including supporting other businesses, and they, in turn, support us. Our CMO sits on the board of the Euclid Chamber of Commerce, and I am on a committee to organize the chamber’s Amazing Race fundraiser taking place this Friday. I write the monthly “Hit the Ground Running” column in both The Euclid Observer and The Collinwood Observer to showcase area manufacturers, the products they make and their contributions to the workforce. We also are very involved with Euclid High School’s S.T.E.M. program and Robotics Club. In 2014, we bought our building and have invested in renovations and improvements.

To continue our support of the community, I have gone out and met with many amazing organizations and businesses in the area and blogged about many of them, such as HELP Foundation, The Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum, NEO Sports Plant, The Twelve Literary and Performing Arts Incubator, artists Jerry Schmidt and Larry Fielder of The Waterloo Arts District, Euclid Historical Society and Museum, Euclid Art Association, Euclid Beach Park Museum, and Our Lady of Lourdes National Shrine.

There are two other businesses that I recently discovered. One is newer; and one is an institution that has been in the neighborhood since the 1970s. If you are looking for a good cup of coffee in the area, where do you go? No Starbucks. I found myself driving to Speedway for a cup to go. Then, Tami Honkala of HELP Foundation told me about an Arabica tucked away in the back of a medical building off a side street. They have no website, no sign, no advertising. No one but the tenants of the medical building know they exist even though they have been at that location since 2012.

I headed over to the Euclid Office Plaza at Richmond Road and Euclid Avenue for a look. I met the owner, Ronny, and got excited that I could get a mocha or a latte. The only problem was: NO DECAF! I stopped drinking caffeine years ago and only order decaf espresso. They don’t have it. This is a coffee house that is not for sissies. They also have food, including a salad bar, and offer catering services.

The longstanding local health food store, Webers, at 18400 Euclid Avenue, is owned by Bill Weber and his daughter-in-law Clara Weber. They carry many of the products I regularly buy on Amazon and eBay. Clara even was willing to special order some products they didn’t have in stock. When I shared with her where I worked, she told me that they were HGR customers and had purchased a forklift that they regularly use to unload inventory from delivery trucks.

What comes around goes around. It’s always good practice to be a good neighbor.