What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Jason Olariu

When did you start with HGR, and why?

April 2018. I’ve known Rick Affrica, HGR’s chief purchasing officer, for a number of years and have done business with HGR during that time. I’ve always admired the company from the first time I learned the process, and I jumped at the opportunity to join the team.

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

I don’t really have a territory since my focus is to call on corporate-level contacts at multi-site companies throughout North America. I manage our efforts in supporting the resale needs of our large corporate customers, which can be summed up daily as “shaking hands and kissing babies.”

What do you like most about your job?

I love meeting new people and developing relationships. The broad reach of my role allows for me to create new connections on an almost daily basis, which is a huge motivator for me, both personally and professionally.

What’s your greatest challenge?

Coming from an automotive-manufacturing-focused sales background, I find “turning it off” after hours a challenge. Supporting the Big Three to avoid downtime for the better part of a decade has left me feeling the need to keep my phone near at all times, including at night, during family time – even on vacation!

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

Meeting the other buyers for the first time– quite a group of characters, and all good guys. Put them all in one house and give them a reality TV show.

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

Spending time with my family is my true joy – and thankfully, we all enjoy a lot of the same things. Other things that bring me joy are reading (science fiction and old pulp detective novels), film, and spending hours flipping through albums in old, out-of-the-way record stores.

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

Without sounding cliché, my father, Paul, has been the greatest inspiration in my life. He taught me that life is about the endless pursuit of knowledge, that you should never let those in your life feel as though they are not the most important person in the world to you, and that it’s okay to laugh at yourself. From as far back as I can remember, he told me he hoped that I grew up to be a better man than he was, though I doubt I will ever be.

Anything I missed that you want folks to know?

Getting to know the great team and strong culture within HGR reinforces my feeling that I’m where I need to be, and I’m proud to be part of it!

HGR’s last cookout of 2018

cookout hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill

Every Wednesday, HGR offers its customers free lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. In the summer, it’s a cookout. This year, we had grilled Italian sausage with grilled onions and peppers and hamburgers with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and chips. We even have relish, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce and mayo. If you love the cookout, get it while it’s hot. If you’ve never tried it, next week on Sept. 26 is your last chance until next year when the weather breaks. On Oct. 3, we switch to pizza during the colder months.

people taking pizza from a box

Get to Know HGR’s Obed Montejano

HGR's Obed Montejano

What is your job title?

I am a marketing administrator.

What are your job responsibilities on a day-to-day basis?

I make outbound calls to companies and try to get them to sell us their unused surplus items. I enter all the information I gather into our database, and when companies inform me that they want to sell their items I send it to the buyers.

What qualifications are needed to succeed in your role?

Be patient, a good listener, and keep HGR’s values in mind, of course.

What background or prior work experiences do you bring to the table?

Customer care. Prior to working here I worked for an electricity company in Houston, Texas. I dealt with all kinds of customers. Some were easier to deal with, and some were more difficult. It definitely helps when speaking with vendors.

How long have you been with HGR, and why?

Since August 1, 2016, so two years and a month. I really like working here. The environment is very peaceful, and everyone helps each other.

What amazing things are you doing in your personal life?

Currently, I’m trying to stay fit, go back to school soon and improve my credit so I can have a better future.

What can you tell us about your family?

They currently all live in Houston. Mom, dad, and two little brothers that aren’t so little anymore. They are the most supportive people I’ve ever known.

What is the most important thing in the world to you/what matters most?

My family and friends.

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connections: Gateway Retirement Community

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

SAVE THE DATE! Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at Gateway Retirement Community, 1 Gateway Dr., Euclid, Ohio, on Sept. 11 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. EST for a presentation and tour of the community over coffee and networking. Look for the signs directing you to the Gateway Manor Building.

There is no cost to attend.  Membership is not required.

Please register here.

Get to know HGR’s Lonnie Long

HGR accounting employee Lonnie Long

What is your job title?

I am an accounting assistant.

What are your job responsibilities on a day-to-day basis?

I do the daily cash reconciliation and monthly VISA reconciliation; cut consignment checks; send PayPal invoices for the salespeople; settle checks, credit card transactions, PayPal payments, and wire/debit payments; process and pay vendor/trucking invoices; create payroll bank transactions; sales taxes; sort through mail; and make change for the front desk. Outside of accounting, I sometimes help out in the Shipping Department.

What qualifications are needed to succeed in your role?

Accounting knowledge, time management/organizational skills, efficiency and accuracy, and the ability to communicate and work well with others.

What background or prior work experiences do you bring to the table?

I have an associate’s degree in accounting and a bachelor’s degree in business management, both from Bryant & Stratton College.

How long have you been with HGR, and why?

I have been with HGR for 10 years because it is a good place to work. I like the people here, and I’ve been given several opportunities to grow and reach my full potential.

What amazing things are you doing in your personal life?

I am editing one novel and writing another.

What can you tell us about your family?

My father has worked two full-time jobs for almost as long as I’ve been alive; I share his name and his appearance (uncannily so). My mother raised me and my brother to be decent people, and she always pushed us to be the best that we can be. My younger brother has a doctorate in pharmacy.

What is the most important thing in the world to you/what matters most?

My family. Getting my novels published. Striving to accomplish every goal that I set before myself. Being a good person, doing right by everyone, and making people laugh as often as is possible.

Q&A with Waterloo Arts Fest Artist-in-Residence Angela Oster

Artist Angela Oster

When did you know you were an artist?

I’ve always loved to draw and make things, but it took a while to consider myself an artist. I think it was after I developed the habit of drawing every day that I had the confidence to call myself an artist.

How did you get your training?

I have a BFA from The Cleveland Institute of Art and took vocational commercial art in high school. I also did a mentorship with Dan Krall, an illustrator and animator. I also practice a lot on my own.

What types of work do you create?

I mostly draw cartoons. My goal is to make them funny, weird, cute and kind. I also make small sculptures based on my drawings. I like to call them delicate monsters and wide eyed weirdies. In art school, I studied installation and performance art; so, I also am interested in interactive, public art. But the running theme is to invoke delight, whether it’s a cute drawing or a playful sculpture.

Angela Oster vampire cartoon

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by everything! Sometimes it’s a vintage greeting card or an old video clip of an animation or an antique broach. I’m a fan of so many artists and so many kinds of art, and it gets all mashed up into my drawings and sculpts. There is an impulse that happens.

What do you do when you are not creating art?

When I’m not creating art, I like to look at art in museums and galleries. I teach at BayArts and work part time at Ohio Citizen Action. I love to spend time with my family and friends, watch movies, swim, and go to flea markets and libraries.

Have you shopped at HGR for your work?

Yes! HGR is like a candy store for artists. There is so much raw material; it’s boundless and inspiring, and it’s affordable!

If so, what have you found and how have you used it?

I found some orange “High Voltage” tape to use in a public sculpture for Waterloo Arts. The tape was a turning point in the evolution of my idea for the sculpture, and that would not have happened without HGR.

How did you get involved as an artist-in-residence with Waterloo Arts Fest?

I have participated as a vendor for many years at the fest. I think it is so unique in that it’s a real neighborhood event. There are a lot of hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. This year, I was invited to do a residency, so I jumped at the chance.

Tell us about the project.

I built an “Orange Removal Machine” — a community sculpture that served as a voter registration booth and also helped gather objects for “A Color Removed” at SPACES Gallery. I built a giant, open structure out of hula hoops and covered it with orange tape. I asked people to bring me any orange objects: clothing, toys, sports equipment, household items, etc. The objects have been cataloged and displayed as part of Michael Rakowitz’s installation at SPACES, during FRONT International.

Angela Oster Orange Removal Machine concept drawingAngela Oster Orange Removal MachineAngela Oster Orange Removal MachineAngela Oster objects for A Color Removed

What’s next?

I’m organizing a pop-up group show at the Osterwitz Gallery located at 15615 Waterloo Road in Cleveland on Sept. 7. I gave 30 artists a “Ting-a-ling Tina” Doll, a tiny doll inside a tiny phone. Each artist can customize the doll, or make a new piece inspired by the doll. It should be a fun show!

Meet a local manufacturer of dental crowns, impants and dentures

Moskey Dental Laboratories

 

Rob Lash , president, Moskey Dental Laboratories(Q&A with Robert Lash, president, Moskey Dental Laboratories)

What is dental restoration?

A dental restoration replaces a tooth or teeth in a patient’s mouth. The dentist makes either an analog or digital impression and sends it to Moskey Dental Laboratories with a prescription for the type of restoration he/she wants.

What is your background? I see that you completed your undergraduate studies at Emory University and law school at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. How did you end up in dental restoration?

Despite my education, my family’s business was our dental lab since my grandfather started it in 1924. When my father’s partners left the business I joined to help him continue.

When, why and who started the business?

The name of my grandfather’s lab was Mutual Dental Lab. Over the years he, my father and uncle acquired other labs and merged with Moskey in the mid-60s. The name was changed to Moskey Mutual, and I dropped Mutual because too many people thought we were an insurance company.

Why did you select your current location?

Our first location was in Midtown at 71st and Euclid, and we were downtown after that until we had to move because we were located on the site of what is now Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena. We like Midtown due to the ease of access to the highways and public transportation.

Do patients come directly to you, or do the dentists place an order?

Patients will come to our lab for tough tooth shades and for quick repairs of removable restorations, but only at the direction of their dentist.

What is your favorite part of your job or most interesting moment? 

I know it sounds corny, but giving people their teeth back is very satisfying and important for the patient’s general health. Unfortunately, we don’t often see the results of our work in patients’ mouths, but we appreciate when dentists send us pictures of a happy patient.

What is the greatest challenge in your industry?

Finding trained dental technicians. Last century there were many Eastern European immigrants in Northeast Ohio who were well-trained, and there were many dental technology programs available. Now, as far as I know, there are no such programs in Ohio.

How have things changed in your career, and what does the future of dental laboratories look like?

The future is here, and it’s digital — from the dentist’s office to our lab where we can design almost any restoration with a CAD program, and then manufacture that restoration by an additive (3D printing, laser sintering) process, or subtractive (milling).

digital milling of dentures at Moskey Dental Laboratories
digital milling of dentures at Moskey Dental Laboratories
digital milling of dentures at Moskey Dental Laboratories
digitally milled dentures

Why is restoration so expensive?

What we charge the dentist is not what the dentist charges the patient. With crowns and implants, there is often precious metal involved and expensive implant parts that are highly machined for optimum results. We have no control over the final cost, but I’d say the four years (plus for specialists) of post-graduate education, the yearly continuing education, and the many expenses of running a dental office certainly have a lot do with what the patient may consider an expensive restoration!

How did you know Christopher Palda, the HGR Industrial Surplus customer who put us in touch with you?

He does work for Stone Oven Bakery, which rents space in my building.

Has Christopher repaired or built items for you?

Yes, he’s repaired or attempted to repair numerous pieces of equipment for us.

What do you do when you are not running Moskey? 

Enjoying time with my wife, visiting my three kids who all live out of town, playing guitar in bands, road bicycle riding, sleep!

What inspires you?

The awesome beauty and power of nature.

What is the best advice that you would give to others?

Do something that brings you joy, whether that’s inside or outside of your career.

Summer art-camp students design and build wind chimes using reclaimed materials

Larry Fielder of Rust Dust & Other 4 Letter Words
Larry advising and ensuring safety

Waterloo Arts offered its annual Round Robin summer arts camp to children aged 6-13. The first session was held July 9-20 and the second session is July 23-Aug. 3. HGR Industrial Surplus was a sponsor because we are invested in S.T.E.A.M. education.

more raw materials Waterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter WordsWaterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words raw materials

On July 17, the students used repurposed, reclaimed and salvaged materials at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words to make wind chimes. Larry Fielder, owner, found 90% of the materials at Goodwill and The Salvation Army. Students used wire, drills and other hand tools to put together their metal and wood creations. It was amazing to watch the teamwork as they engineered and problem solved together to create functional and decorative objects.

Waterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter WordsWaterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter WordsWaterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter WordsWaterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter WordsWaterloo Arts Round Robin at Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words

An HGR customer shares her creative repurposing story

spools purchased at HGR Industrial Surplus and re-used as plant display stands

(Courtesy of an HGR customer who wishes to remain anonymous)

We are an HGR Industrial Surplus family. My husband first noticed your sign on a drive by the area. Since he has a manufacturing background, he stopped in to see what you were all about. That was about 15 years ago.

My first purchase, after a few foraging trips, was a roll of fabric to use as skirting for tables for my garden club’s flower show. We are still using that fabric today. One thing led to another, and some of the other purchases for the garden club include spools to stack for pedestals to put flower arrangements on, cardboard tubes for short pedestals, and coat racks to display hats. We also bought industrial aprons and gloves to repurpose for fundraisers. Aisle 1 is my place to shop; you never know what you’ll find.

My husband and I have a few HGR chairs that we use in our home. One was a Saturday morning breakfast special for only $2.50! We have a very nice bookcase in our dining room. I also have a great carrying case for my laptop computer.

Two of our grandsons and other visiting family members have been taken to HGR to see what we feel is one of Cleveland’s attractions.

Highland Heights Garden Club displays purchased at HGR Industrial Surplus

HGR Industrial Surplus continues green initiatives

recycling at HGR

As a recycling company that buys industrial surplus and resells it to put it back into service and keep it out of landfills, recycling is part of our culture. As our Controller Ed Kneitel says, “We want to be good stewards of our environment.” To that end, we have been shredding paper and donating it to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for cage bedding and animal enrichment. Our wooden skids and baled cardboard are picked up and recycled. We sell our used oil that is drained from equipment to someone who uses it to heat his building. During our renovation, we had energy-efficient lighting installed.

But, we decided to go one step further. We noticed that we were generating more than 85 gallons of plastic water bottles and 30-35 cases of aluminum pop cans per month and 200,000 pieces of paper per year. This week, we installed blue recycling bins for paper, plastic bottles and aluminum cans in both of our break rooms, the customer lounge and at individual desks. Now, our employees and customers can contribute to a more sustainable world.

Thanks for your participation when you visit HGR’s showroom!

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Ryan Usher

HGR Industrial Surplus Buyer Ryan Usher on inspection

(Q&A with one of HGR’s buyers, Ryan Usher)

When did you start with HGR, and why?        

I started in 2010 as a salesperson. It was my first job out of college.

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

My territory is Michigan, Northwest Ohio, and Northeast Indiana.  I visit companies in this area daily looking for equipment to buy. Most of my time is spent with companies here in Michigan where I live.

What do you like most about your job?

I enjoy being able to see how things are made — everything from cars to foods. There’s always something interesting waiting for me each day.

What’s your greatest challenge?

Staying on top of a busy monthly schedule

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

I would say working a booth for HGR at a local industrial art show in Lakewood, Ohio.

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

I like to play golf, go mountain biking and hang out on the lake.

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

My father. He worked hard to make a good life and always has great advice right when it was needed.

Euclid Chamber of Commerce accepting registration for 2018 golf outing

Euclid Chamber of Commerce golf outing

 

It’s time for the Annual Euclid Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing! Join us for a great day of golf with skill shots, skins games, giveaways and prizes starting at 10:30 a.m. on July 20 at Briardale Greens Golf Course.

All golfers receive lunch, beverages, golf with cart, one ticket to the 19th Hole BBQ, one entry to bocce roll contest, and one entry to darts contest. Single golfers will be assigned to a foursome.

Pre-purchase either mulligans or skins and receive the “String It Out” ($20 value). This 3-foot piece of string, can be used to improve a lie, sink a putt or move a putt. However, each time the string is brought into play, that length used must be cut off. When all the string is gone, it’s gone! (Mulligans: 2 per player $10 per player, $40 per foursome / Skins game $5 per player, $20 per foursome).

Not a golfer? Join us for the 19th Hole BBQ social from 4 – 6 p.m. and try your luck at games and prizes.

Please register here.

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Blake Hughes

HGR Industrial Surplus Buyer Blake Hughes with wife, daughter and dog
HGR Industrial Surplus Buyer Blake Hughes with wife, Kendra, daughter, Lennon, and dog, Ernie Banks

When did you start with HGR and why?

I started April 2016. Previously, I had worked in sales for AT&T and two steel companies. When I spoke with HGR’s human resources manager and learned more about the opportunity with HGR it seemed like a great fit.

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

My territory is Eastern Iowa, most of Illinois, and Northwestern Indiana. On a daily basis I travel to different manufacturing facilities to view and inspect their surplus machinery. In between visits I follow up with customers on offers we’ve made and attempt to close deals and buy the equipment.

What do you like most about your job?

Travelling and visiting different manufacturing plants. I’ve always had an interest in manufacturing and seeing how things are made. I like being on the road and meeting new people.

What’s your greatest challenge?

I’m still relatively new to the machinery industry; so, my biggest challenge so far has been learning all the different types of machinery and equipment that HGR purchases.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

Walking through HGR for the first time. It is hard to believe just how much equipment is going in and out of the facility on a daily basis. I tell customers all the time that if they get the chance they should take a trip to HGR. It’s a great place.

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

Hanging out with friends and family, traveling, golfing. My #1 hobby is watching the Chicago Cubs (sorry Indians fans).

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

My dad and my grandpa. Both have taught me through example how important it is to work hard and do things the right way. Being considerate and listening to your customers goes a long way in building relationships.

Anything I missed that you want everyone to know?

I’ve only been with HGR for just over two years but I have loved every moment of it. It’s a very good feeling to know the owners and employees all care about making the company improve on a daily basis. I look forward to continuing my career and being with HGR for a long time.

Local manufacturer’s bushings and precision-machined components used in mines all over the world

Tim Lining of SC Industries

Timothy Lining, vice president and general manager of SC Industries, Euclid, Ohio is the husband of the founder’s granddaughter, Karla. Karla’s grandfather, Karl Schulz, started the business in 1946 with two partners on Luther Ave. near East 72nd St., Cleveland. It was then called Skyway Machine Products. Later, they moved to St. Clair Ave. and then to Euclid in the 1960s because the entire family lived in the area and, eventually, his children graduated from Euclid High School. In 1973, Earl Lauridsen, the founder’s son-in-law and Tim’s father-in-law, joined the company and remains the current owner and president. In late 2003, Skyway Machine was shut down, and it was planned for the company to be liquidated because of the downturn and difficult economic conditions. However, in early 2004, new orders started to return, and a new business was formed called SC Industries to handle new orders. Tim joined the company in 2004 to temporarily “help out” in the shop and has been coming back ever since. In late 2007, Earl’s partner and brother-in-law Ralph Fross passed away. At that time, Tim took over the front office.

But, his experience in the industry predates his employment at SC Industries. He’s worked in molding and machining since 1991, is a skilled CNC programmer, earned his degree in business management in 2007 and has taken additional CNC classes at Lakeland Community College. When asked why he went into machining, he says, “I like to do things with my hands and build things. When I was younger, I had a part-time job in a shop on Saturdays and liked it and the computerized machines, as well as the new technology coming in. I said to myself, ‘I want to learn how to run one of those things.’” His current role at SC Industries involves estimating, engineering, raw materials purchase, order entry and customer communication.

SC Industries manufactures precision, hardened-metal bushings and pins that are used in off-road construction, mining, transportation, printing, packaging and other industries. The company’s machinists precision machine steel, bronze, stainless steel and other metals to create bushings — a bearing or metal lining for a round hole in which an axle revolves. In simpler terms, according to Tim, “When you see devices where something is rotating, turning, or has a bending elbow, there is a pin and bushing, so that the bushing wears out from the friction instead of the equipment’s arm assembly. Then, it can be pulled and replaced.” The company also inspects the raw materials, heat treating and finished components to make sure that they meet stringent industry standards.

One of SC Industries’ biggest customers is Caterpillar, but their bushings and pins are used all over the world in digging equipment and in haul trucks that move loads of sand, pay dirt for gold mining, and rocks to crushers. The loads weigh more than 250,000 pounds, and the trucks are used in mines in Africa, Australia, Tasmania, South America, Canada and the United States. These are not the dump trucks that you see driving down the road. The tires alone on these are taller than a person. These bushings have to be heavy duty and range in size from ¾” to 16” in diameter by 12” long.

mining truck

Twenty-five people keep the company running and orders going out, including administrative staff, a quality manager, a production manager, CNC machinists, grinding machine technicians, general labor and maintenance. Most of these employees have worked for SC Industries for many years. When Tim was asked what his greatest challenge is, he responds, as most manufacturers do, “Finding quality, new employees, but I’m willing to hire people with no experience and train them from the ground up in SC Industries’ way of doing things. We are fortunate to have a great bunch of employees.” He continues, “Years ago, the schools started pushing college prep and did away with vocational and technical training, but it’s coming back. In my son’s high school, he can take HVAC, CAD, CNC and four to five other technical trade courses as electives.”

With regard to the state of manufacturing in Ohio, he says, “Business is driven by the large OEMs (national or multinational companies). The success of small businesses depends on how they are doing, and right now they are all at full throttle. In the last year, orders have noticeably increased. When commodity pricing is driven down, mining grinds to a halt. So, certain policies help or hurt manufacturing, but we have a bright future now. In 2004, we had four or five CNC turning centers; today, we are up to about 15. One of our most recent additions gives us a nice jump in size capacity, and I’ve been told it’s one of the larger 4-axis turning centers in the area with capacity to turn 32 ½’ x 98” in length and more than 8” of Y-axis milling travel.”

In getting to know the man behind the machine, Tim was asked what inspires him. He says, “I’m a devout Christian who is inspired by Jesus, and I want to see God’s love lived out in people’s lives. The Golden Rule is how I treat my employees — the way that I want to be treated.” He also gives back to the community by machining the parts for Euclid High School’s Robotics Team’s competition battle bot, donating money to charitable organizations and being a member of the Euclid Chamber of Commerce.

He also cares about the environment. He invested in LED lights and air cleaners/mist collectors for the shop. He switched from heat blowers to radiant heat tubes that heat the equipment and walls more efficiently and make for a better environment for his employees.

Tim has three sons and his wife, Karla, of 21 years. He says, “I wear many hats, especially here at work, but I like to separate between the work and the home hats. On the work side, I generally enjoy what we do here, and since I used to run CNCs, I enjoy being around that and making things that make all of our lives better. On the family side, that is the reason I am passionate about work – to support and provide for them – but, I also am responsible to provide for their spiritual nurture and development. I also want that to come through in the way that we run our business.”

SC Industries sleeves in grind process
Sleeves in grind process

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Lunch by the Lake

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

Kick off the summer with lunch on June 21 from 12-1 p.m. on the terrace at Henn Mansion, 23131 Lakeshore Blvd., overlooking the lake. Bring your business cards for a chance to win a door prize (and, of course, to share with others).  Updated information on chamber member benefits and discount programs will be available. Please click here to register. The cost is $15 for members and $20 for non-members.

High school senior takes senior photos at HGR Industrial Surplus

John Willett senior picture at HGR Industrial Surplus

(Q&A with John Willett, Strongsville High School and Polaris Career Center graduating senior)

Where did you go to high school?

Strongsville High School and Polaris Career Center for precision CNC machining

Where are you future career plans?

I do not have college plans at this point.  I worked full time as a temp at Efficient Machine Products during summer 2017, returned through Polaris’ early placement program and am now working there full time.

What is your intended career path?

I want to become a CNC machinist.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not in school?

Tinkering and learning engineering, metal and woodworking through videos, especially about military application and armor. I don’t read much because it’s time consuming. I prefer to listen and watch videos. Currently, I watch a lot of gun and history-related content. I find the inner workings of guns to be fascinating.

How did you hear about HGR Industrial Surplus?

Through my step-dad who is an engineer for Ramco.

Why are you a customer?

I like the wide selection and varying things offered.  Great prices

What types of things have you bought at HGR and how have you used them?

Various.  My step-dad’s company buys and sells to HGR. I recently bought a blower fan and plan on making plate armor out of it.

What inspires you?

Creativity.  I have a lot of ideas that I like to explore in discussion and action. I pull most of my inspiration from video games, movies and YouTube.

What made you decide to do your senior pictures at HGR?

My mom asked me, and it was the first place I thought of. I also think it’s a neat place and would be something special for my photos.

John Willett senior picture at HGR Industrial SurplusJohn Willett senior picture at HGR Industrial SurplusJohn Willett senior picture at HGR Industrial Surplus

Community motorcycle garage owner invests in mobile shop for middle and high schoolers

Brian Schaffran of Skidmark Garage

(Q&A with Brian Schaffran, owner, Skidmark Garage, a community motorcycle garage)

When and why did you move back to Cleveland and buy your first motorcycle?

I moved back to Cleveland from Los Angeles in 2000 after going through a divorce and not being able to rent an apartment due to my abysmal credit. I was essentially homeless and moved from friend’s place to friend’s place for several months before biting the bullet and coming back home to live in my childhood bedroom and finish my teaching degree at CSU. On my way to school one morning in 2001, I spotted an old motorcycle for sale in some guy’s front yard. Like deep shag carpeting, it was 70’s ugly, but it beckoned. I had never owned a motorcycle up to that point, but for some reason I was drawn in immediately. I bought it, and because I knew nothing about it, I soon took it to the nearest Honda motorcycle dealer hoping to get it tuned up. Well, most dealerships won’t work on old bikes – and with good reason. When you fix something on an old bike, something else breaks soon afterward – something unrelated – and the timing of the next broken item points to the last person to work on it. So, a service department at a dealership begins losing its ass on having to fix and fix and fix because it all appears to be the dealership’s fault that things keep breaking.

What motorcycles do you now own?

Since buying that CB750, I have since acquired several more old Hondas – a CB350, a CX500, a Goldwing, a 1965 Dream, and a CB500. But who has time to work on a bike when trying to keep a business alive? Not only do I not work on other people’s motorcycles, but I don’t even work on my own. For starters, I am not allowed to work on anyone else’s motorcycle. Otherwise, Skidmark Garage can be reclassified as a traditional mechanic’s garage and subject to all kinds of city, county, and state regulations. Also, since I spend every waking moment trying to get the word out about this place, I not only have no time to fix my motorcycles, but I also have no time to ride. For the most part, I haven’t ridden in a good two or three years. I used to ride every day, rain or shine, from March until December. Back then, I needed it to remind me to enjoy life while working for The Man. Now, I’m The Man, and I don’t have that overwhelming urge to ride like I used to. I’m just as happy to see the members of Skidmark Garage ride out on something they built or fixed themselves.

What’s it been like to be a business owner?

Being a business owner means fighting to keep my dream a reality every single day. My girlfriend, Molly Vaughan, works very hard to keep me grounded and does her best to remind me that balance in one’s life is important. Skidmark’s published hours, as expansive as they may appear, are actually non-stop. It is a rare occasion these days to find nobody working on a motorcycle at any given hour of the day or night. This place is almost never empty of souls. I’ve poured my entire being into this business – a business that is so foreign to most that advertising is typically not possible. Owning this business has meant educating people about a business concept that simply does not exist in most Americans’ brains. Now that the concept is starting to catch on, traditional marketing might be able to actually do some good. I am here a LOT.

Why did you locate where you are now?

It’s important for Skidmark Garage to be located in the same building as other creatives and makers. Soulcraft Woodshop has virtually the same business model as Skidmark Garage (member-based and DIY), and we were in the same building previous to the current location. A few years ago, when Soulcraft spoke of putting together a collaborative that included Ingenuity Cleveland and ReBuilders Xchange, I insisted Skidmark be a part of it. This new location afforded Skidmark three times the square footage at a lower monthly rent than the previous location. The current owners of this building were sympathetic to all of our start-up statuses and seemed to buy into our effort for collaboration. Being in this building with so many creative people is important for those creative types. They feed off each other and help each other constantly. We’ve got quite the collection of oddballs in this building. I’m proud to be included, although I do not consider myself creative…at all.

Any plans for expansion?

Skidmark now has 10 fully stocked bays, but it will be 12 bays in another month or so. The membership plateaued at about 20 members for a year or two, and then doubled in the last few months since the motorcycle show at the IX Center in January. Climbing to 40 members has been eye opening with regard to space usage. There’s rarely more than 8 people working on their motorcycles at once, but if the trend continues, I may need to up the amount of bays to 14.

Where do you get items for your garage?

Key to the success of this place is access to used machinery, carts and shelving from HGR Industrial Surplus. When I opened Skidmark, I’d never heard of HGR. The guys from Soulcraft made me aware of it, and my outlook immediately changed. The tough thing about HGR is the tendency for me to drift toward hoarding. I want every machine in that place. I can convince myself that the members of Skidmark will benefit from an envelope-stuffing machine if you give me enough time. But with space being the premium here, shelving and carts are way more valuable than I would have ever guessed. I’m hoping to score a Bridgeport and a lathe sooner than later.

How do you deal with the disappearance of tools?

Years ago, when discussing my dream of opening a community motorcycle garage, EVERYONE’S first response was a question about how am I going to guard against theft of tools? So, I made plans to prevent it, plans to monitor everything, plans to replace stolen items…but none of it ever came to be. Nobody has ever stolen so much as a screwdriver from Skidmark Garage. The members feel ownership of everything in here and have no interest in stealing what they already feel is their own.

Do people help each other out?

The beauty of Skidmark Garage is the willingness of everyone to help each other. All members are expected to help and can expect to receive help. Between the Wi-Fi, the library of manuals that Clymer/Haynes donated, and the knowledge of the people in the garage, just about any problem can be solved. We have a few members here who are extremely knowledgeable about certain aspects of motorcycles, and even though they very well could ask for compensation for their assistance, they never do. It is a community in the truest sense of the word.

Are members allowed to bring guests or helpers with them?

I encourage members to bring their friends to help. Wrenching on a bike with a friend or two is a great way to hang out and be productive. It’s a great way to learn and meet other people. Some members bring their kids, some bring their spouse, some bring parents. The more the merrier.

Is there an insurance liability concern?

The liability on such a business was a huge concern – not only for Skidmark Garage, but for the other 40 community motorcycle garages around the world. Obviously, Soulcraft Woodshop had the same issue — What insurance company will insure all the tools AND the regular Joe off the street using potentially dangerous tools? Thankfully, Soulcraft found the perfect insurance company for them, and they were able to insure Skidmark, as well.

Has someone ever dropped a bike, not paid and not come back?

Since opening Skidmark in spring 2015, there have been a few people who have effectively abandoned their motorcycles. They are not reachable in any fashion; therefore, the bikes take up precious room, and I have no recourse. Maybe I’ll hang them from the ceiling just to get them out of the way. At this point, I don’t even want money from them. I just want the bikes gone.

I see that you offer beginner welding classes. What do students do in the classes?

Every month, Skidmark and Soulcraft jointly host a MIG welding workshop. So far, since the workshop is for beginners, nothing but scrap metal gets welded. Nobody is building any structures of any kind in that workshop, they’re mostly learning how to lay down a few different kind of welds. Recently, we’ve added a TIG welding workshop, which sold out before it was even advertised. MOTUL Oil is coming into Skidmark to offer free oil changes to the members of Skidmark, and during Fuel Cleveland there will be a few demonstrations/workshops in which to take part. I would really like to have a women’s only night that encourages the ladies to fix their own motorcycles and shows them not only the basics, but some of the more advanced functions and how to fix them when those systems fail. Women have not been encouraged to learn how to wrench on machines. This needs to change — not just for the survival of the motorcycle industry, but for the survival of everything. It’s crazy to say, but women are possibly this country’s largest untapped resource.

Skidmark Garage welding class

What inspires you?

I’m continually inspired by the process of learning. That feeling is life-changing. I did everything I could to get my students to experience it when I was a teacher, and I get all excited when I see someone in Skidmark Garage learning. More learning happens in Skidmark Garage than in ANY high school. Real and legitimate learning happens when you “do.” Sitting in a classroom forces a teacher to try and recreate the “doing” in order to wake up that internal motivation to learn. There are few things more difficult than trying to get kids to learn through abstract exercises. There is nothing abstract inside these walls. The learning, the doing, the experiencing, the community — it’s all real; it all matters; and it all makes a difference.

Any words of advice to motorcyclists?

If I could bend the ear of every motorcyclist on the planet, I would explain to them the importance of knowing your machine. When your car breaks down, you’re stranded. When your motorcycle breaks down, you might end up dumping it, and you are exposed to the elements once you have to stop. There are so many other factors that make motorcycling far more risky (and therefore rewarding) than driving a car. A motorcyclist, especially one riding a vintage motorcycle, MUST know how to troubleshoot and at least patch most issues to get him/her to the next safe spot. Every motorcyclist should know where the nearest community motorcycle garage is located, because the owners of these garages and their members are there to help.

What’s next?

My next move is to get a mobile shop class going. Through my non-profit, Skidmark CLE, I will be taking a large trailer to three high schools (or middle schools) per day, getting a dozen kids out to the trailer, and teaching them how to break down an entire motorcycle, take the engine apart, and then reassemble the whole thing. It will culminate in starting the motorcycle at the end of the semester. Shop class does not exist in most high schools, thanks to state-mandated testing. Too many kids are graduating from high school without being even close to well-rounded. The shop class is not intended to push the students toward a life of mechanics, rather it is to give them a real sense of learning — nothing abstract will happen in that trailer. They’ll learn how to use basic tools, how to use the metric system, how an internal combustion engine works, how to read an instruction manual, and how to work together as a team. I don’t think I can provide anything more important to these kids than giving them the confidence to manipulate a machine and to fix something that is broken. Once they experience real learning inside the Skidmark CLE mobile shop class, they’ll be eager to learn in other areas of their lives. I hope to have this program rolling by spring semester 2019. With this mobile shop class, the school does not need to invest in the tools, the classroom, or the teacher. I have a handful of schools willing to sign up; I just need more funders to make it possible. This program will have profound and long-lasting effects on Cleveland. Using the hands and the brains at the same time to accomplish real goals will positively change the life of every student that takes the class.

Skidmark Garage with bikes in the shop and customer working

 

Photos provided courtesy of Mark Adams Pictures

HGR’s 2017 scholarship recipient gives an update on his first year of college

HGR's 2017 STEM Scholarship Recipient Connor Hoffman

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Connor Hoffman, HGR Industrial Surplus 2017 S.T.E.M. Scholarship recipient)

Since last August, I have been enrolled at the University of Cincinnati. During my time in college I have learned a lot both academically and about myself. It was difficult adjustment to live on my own and take responsibility for all aspects of my life. I didn’t have anyone to tell me to go to class, or when to do work or study. That meant I had to take it upon myself to schedule those tasks. Eventually, I got all that stuff figured out.

I also met a lot of new people during my time in college. I made friends with people from around both Ohio and America, and even people from other countries.  It’s a big change, but a welcome one, to go somewhere that is so diverse. Another new experience was living with three other people. What I call “tennis shoes” they call “gym shoes,” which is pretty shocking.

Since I am pursuing a degree in Information Technology, I took a wide range of technology-related courses, such as database management, programing, networking, and information security. Since these classes are in a STEM field, they require problem-solving and analytical-thinking skills. Programming for example, allows for problems to be solved in a number of creative ways. Problem solving and troubleshooting also are useful in life, in addition to being helpful in STEM classes.

As part of my degree, I have to intern each summer at somewhere technology related. The job search was a long process, and I went to a lot of interviews, but, ultimately, this summer I will be working at Progressive Insurance as a help desk specialist. I am excited to get some real-world experience and to put my skills to the test.

HGR’s 2018 S.T.E.M. scholarship presented to Euclid High School senior

Evan Ritchey (center) accepting the 2018 HGR Industrial Surplus S.T.E.M. Scholarship with his parents
Evan Ritchey (center) accepting the 2018 HGR Industrial Surplus S.T.E.M. Scholarship with his parents

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Tina Dick, HGR’s human resources manager)

On Thursday, May 10, 2018, HGR had the honor of presenting the 2018 HGR Industrial Surplus S.T.E.M. Scholarship to Evan Ritchey, a Euclid High School senior.

The $2,000 HGR S.T.E.M. Scholarship is awarded to students who have a desire to receive a higher education in a science, technology, engineering or math field.

Evan received his scholarship at the Senior Awards Dinner at the Irish American Club held to honor more than 300 Euclid students in grades 8-12. While students in grades 8-11 were awarded medals for academic excellence, graduating seniors received scholarships from more than 41 organizations.

Evan, who also received seven other scholarships, will be attending Cleveland State University where he will pursue a degree in electrical engineering.

 

It’s time for another auction!

auction gavel

 

Auction Location

500,000-square-foot tool shop of Autolite

205 W. Jones Rd.

Fostoria, OH 44830

Auction Date – May 22 at 9 a.m.

Inspection Date – May 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Click here for a complete list of items and to register to bid.

Retired Cleveland Institute of Art industrial design instructor finds inspiration at Euclid City Council meetings

Richard Fiorelli Cleveland Institute of Art

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Richard Fiorelli, artist and retired instructor)

How did you first become involved with Cleveland Institute of Art?

When I was in fourth grade, I received a scholarship from Euclid’s Upson Elementary School to attend Saturday children’s art classes at Cleveland Institute of Art.

What is your best memory of CIA?

In fourth grade I discovered that the art school had a candy machine and a 10:30 a.m. morning break from the strenuous task of creating children’s art. I was pretty much hooked from that moment on.

Do you consider yourself an artist or a maker?

My Uncle Sam rightfully considers me to be a retired art teacher. I taught design for 32 years at Cleveland Institute of Art.

What types of materials do you use to create your art?

Pen and paper is all that I require to be quite content sketching…for now.

How did you find out about HGR Industrial Surplus?

I tagged along with CIA Students Matt Beckwith and Greg Martin on their spirited explorations throughout the vast interiors of HGR. They hit the ground running, and I followed along.

Why would you recommend HGR to other artists and makers?

To quote Greg Martin, “HGR is a candy store of unexpected materials awaiting a curious mind and creative spirit.”

What do you do when you are not creating art?

I love to read — most recently Tribe by Sebastian Junger, which was brought to my attention by Councilperson Christine McIntosh. Euclid Public Library is an inexhaustible resource.

Where do you create your work?

You can usually find me sketching at Euclid City Council meetings.

What inspires you?

Not what, but who. The Zen master of all things design is undoubtedly Ni Tram. Beyond Ni Tram there are of course Matt Beckwith and Greg Martin. Of special note is Frank Hoffert, a retired Euclid High School teacher, who first introduced me to Euclid City Council meetings 40 years ago. It has proven to be an inexhaustible resource for sketching from life.

Anything else that you would like to share?

Heed the advice of Councilperson Reverend Brian T. Moore regarding the importance of a conversation. You never know where it might lead.

Euclid City Council by Richard Fiorelli
Euclid City Council
portrait sketches by Richard Fiorelli
portrait sketches
Coffee with a Cop Euclid Policeman Edward Bonchak
Coffee with a Cop Euclid Policeman Edward Bonchak
self-portrait by Richard Fiorelli
self-portrait

Mark your calendars for the 2018 F*SHO at HGR Industrial Surplus

F*SHO

 

Back for a second time at HGR Industrial Surplus, but in a different space in the front of the building in our Incoming/Receiving area, we’ll be hosting Amanda and Jason Radcliffe’s F*SHO, a contemporary and industrial furniture design show, for one night on Sept. 14 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. It’s still free and put on courtesy of 44 Steel. There’s still beer and a DJ spinning some tunes. But, this year we will have a variety of food trucks so that the food doesn’t run out! Last year was such a success with more approximately 3,000 attendees that you won’t want to miss it. If you did, you can read about last year’s show here.

As more details become available, we’ll be posting them here on HGR’s blog and on our Facebook and Twitter sites. Stay tuned!

If you are interested in exhibiting at the show, contact Jason or Amanda at 44 Steel at info@44steel.com.

Goodbye pizza, hello cookout

cookout hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill

You know summer’s right around the corner when HGR puts away the pizza for the year and brings out the BBQ grill for hamburgers and Italian sausage! May 2 will be our first cookout of 2018. We’ll be grilling every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for our customers through the beginning of October, weather permitting. If we’re rained out, then we’ll bring lunch inside and have pizza instead. We’ll be welcoming a new chef this year; so, make sure to let us know how he’s doing.

It’s time for an HGR auction!

HGR Industrial Surplus May 2018 auctionAuction Location

4101 Venice Rd.

Sandusky, Ohio 44870

60 miles west of Cleveland

Auction Date – May 3 at 9 a.m.

Inspection Date – May 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Click here for a complete list of items and to bid.

AWT RoboBots sponsors support their team: Go Euclid High School Untouchables!

HGR Industrial Surplus wears Euclid High School RoboBots team shirts

SC Industries supports Euclid HIgh School RoboBots team
SC Industries
Beverage Machine & Fabricators
Beverage Machine & Fabricators
Euclid Heat Treating
Euclid Heat Treating
Gary Zagar of Zagar Inc
Zagar Inc.

 

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Brad Coates

HGR buyer Brad Coates
Serious Brad

When did you start with HGR and why?

My start date was October 2013.  After several conversations with Brian Krueger, CEO, I felt HGR had a vision for the future and growth. I wanted to be a part of that.  It was exciting to go into a territory that HGR hadn’t touched and make it my own.  When I got the call from him, I was on my first day as a sales rep with Sysco.  I told the guy I was in the car riding with what HGR does and offered me; he asked if we needed another buyer.

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

I cover Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri.  Mondays are my office day where I’m scheduling, following up on offers and getting ready for the week ahead.  Tuesday through Friday, I’m on the road looking at deals.  After a long day on the road, I work out, grab dinner then come a few hours on the computer.

What do you like most about your job?

I love everything about being a buyer.  I wake up every morning excited to see what the day is going to bring, what I’ll look at, people I’ll meet and hopefully the stuff I get to buy. I look forward to a long career with HGR.  Many of my personal friends are my customers. I’ve attended weddings, retirement parties, motorcycle rides, etc., plus the HGR departmental buyers’ meetings are pretty awesome.

What’s your greatest challenge?

The biggest challenge in my territory is the shipping cost.  Unfortunately, we have to walk away from several deals because it just doesn’t make sense to purchase and ship the surplus.  Obviously, other challenges present themselves with being on the road along with the home/work-life balance.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

Actually, walking into HGR for the first time!! We all have our road stories, but walking into a freezing cold, dark, dirty warehouse and thinking to myself “what in the hell did I get myself in to.”  I look back at that moment and feel very proud of our team of great people who have contributed to the growth of HGR and at how far we have come.

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

For 20+ years, I was a men’s college basketball official. After I retired, I needed something to fill that void.  So, now, I enjoy coaching my kids’ sports and being Dad.  Beyond that, playing guitar and getting my Harley (Merle Haggard) out on the open road with friends. I also have my own DJ company, which specializes in weddings, pool parties etc.

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

My grandfather, Cecil Bradley, was and is my greatest influence.  He always treated people, and ALL people, with respect and dignity.  He never met a stranger, and he taught me at a young age how to be a man.

Anything I missed that you want everyone to know?

I’ve never worked for a group of owners who put their employees before themselves.  Let’s all keep working together as a team to communicate, help one another, improve processes, and better ourselves to better the company that takes care of us.

HGR buyer Brad Coates
Silly “Batman” Brad

Local businesses honored at Euclid Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Dinner

 

Ron Tiedman of HGR accepting award from Euclid Chamber of Commerce and mayor
Tamara Honkala, chairperson at Euclid Chamber of Commerce, Sheila Gibbons, executive director of Euclid Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail present the Blue Stone Award to Ron Tiedman of HGR Industrial Surplus

 

On Mar. 22, at the Irish American Club, Euclid, Ohio, members of the community, local businesses and dignitaries gathered for the annual chamber of commerce awards presentation. Attendees also were treated to a Taste of Euclid — food and drinks by local restaurants, including Great Scott Tavern, Muldoon’s, Euclid Culinary Bistro, fRed Hot, Mama Catena, Rascal House, Tizzano’s and others.

Eight awards were presented, including:

  • Large Business of the Year: Lincoln Electric
  • Small Business of the Year: Laparade Early Learning & Training Center
  • Organization of the Year: Our Lady of the Lake Parish
  • Organization of the Year: SS. Robert & William Parish
  • Person of the Year: Officer Ed Bonchak
  • Blue Stone Awards: Briardale Greens Golf Course, The Euclid Observer, and HGR Industrial Surplus

Former board members Cheryl Cameron of Action Carstar and Rich Lee of Euclid Hospital, as well as Brian Moore of Moore Counseling and Mediation Services (where the chamber was housed for many years) were also recognized for their service to the chamber.

Congratulations to all!

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Adam DeAnseris

Adam DeAnseris, HGR Industrial Surplus buyer, and his son

When did you start with HGR, and why?

April 2013 — I was looking for a position that would help strengthen my talents while advancing my career.

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

New England — I meet with companies that are trying to sell their equipment and warehouse items.  I explain who HGR Industrial Surplus is and how we can become a reliable resource that can provide a solution to their problem. I am negotiating deals on the offers I have made from the meetings I have gone on. I help provide accurate information for the logistics to get the equipment picked up in a timely manner.

What do you like most about your job?

The traveling and meeting new people while witnessing everyday products I use get manufactured.

What’s your greatest challenge?

Managing my time where I can get the most out of every day and buy as many deals as I can. Keeping the customer happy with our services while also buying smart and not overpaying for equipment.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

There are many, but I have to say singing “Man Eater” by Hall and Oates in front of the HGR team was a pretty cool experience. P.S I have many more hits up my sleeve. Encore anyone???

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

Watching any sport, playing cards with friends and spending time with my family. I have two older brothers, four nieces and two nephews. I also have a four-month-old who keeps me pretty busy!

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

I’d have to say my grandparents because they raised my parents to be great role models, and this has helped my brothers and me to be the best that we can for our families.

Anything I missed that you want everyone to know?

I recently won a local poker tournament by beating out 75 people. I love all types of music, and I used to help my friend DJ a lot of weddings and special occasions.

LCCC hosts “The Power of Apprenticeship” event

LCCC Lorain County Community College logoClick here to register for Lorain County Community College’s “The Power of Apprenticeships” event on Mar. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m at LCCC’s Spitzer Center Room 117/118 at 1005 N. Abbe Rd., Elyria, Ohio. Here’s the agenda. All manufacturers are welcome! You should attend if you are interested in a state-registered apprenticeship program that helps employers upskill incumbent workers and allows them to hire unskilled workers who will become highly skilled workers. HGR Industrial Surplus will be there.

8:30 – 9 a.m. – Breakfast and Networking

9:00 a. m. – Welcome

9:05 – 10 a.m. – Keynote Speaker

  • Denise Ball of Tooling U-SME,

Z’s & Millennials – Your Future Workforce

10:00 – 10:15 a. m. – What Industry has to Say?

  • Introduction of Apprentice Ohio team:
    • Erich Hetzel – Apprenticeship Service Provider
    • Georgianna Lowe – Field Operations Supervisor

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. – Break; Snacks and Beverages

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Learn how a Registered Apprenticeship Program works

11:30 a.m. – 12 noon – Q & A

Our friends from owwm.org paid us a visit on Saturday!

If you love woodworking but haven’t joined the Old Woodworking Machines forum, you’re missing out on great information and amazing camaraderie. A group of friends from OWWMs came from near and far to meet up in person and pay us a visit on Saturday, Mar. 10. Thanks for stopping by, friends, and hope to see you again soon!

OWWM woodworkers visit HGR Industrial Surplus
l to r: Matt, James, Dave, Bill and Joe
OWWM Amy and James visit HGR Industrial Surplus
Amy and James
OWWM James and Matt check out a planer at HGR Industrial Surplus
James and Matt look over a Whitney planer
OWWM Bill and James looking at a welding table at HGR Industrial Surplus
Bill and James hold down a welding table
OWWM Bill, Matt and James viewing Richards at HGR Industrial Surplus
Bill, Matt and James taking in the majesty of the Richards and agog that it still had its fence and miter gauges

 

Time for a revolution

clock with change

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Alex Pendleton, Big Ideas for Small Companies powered by the MPI Group)

How’s your Change Initiative going? Are you having fun yet?

I’m guessing you answered, “No!”

Why? Because bringing major change to any organization is a tough assignment. Entrenched people, and ideas and habits favor the status quo, and even when that status quo is no longer working, the response of the organization is typically to just give the problem more time. “This too shall pass,” everyone says. “We’ve been through rough times before, and this is no different. What worked then will work now.”

But sometimes it IS different. Sometimes, the organization has quietly aged in place while the world around it has changed to the point that what worked before will NOT work now. Sometimes, what’s needed is a revolution.

For some time, I’ve been involved with two organizations – a manufacturing company and a non-profit – both of which have faced this dilemma, and it fascinates me how much these very different organizations have in common

The manufacturing company was living in the past. It had a dominant position in a niche market, but that market had been slowly shrinking for decades, to the point that the 70-year-old factory was badly underutilized and the fixed overhead was being carried by a smaller and smaller base of business. The aging workforce was resistant to change (there was a sign in the foreman’s office reading “When pigs fly,” evidence of his disdain for any new ideas), and rejection of modern manufacturing methods made it impossible to find customers for new work. The necessary changes all required various certifications, but that was regarded as nonsense, a waste of time and money. An attitude of “we’ve always done it this way” prevailed. Once, they cleaned up the place for a customer visit, and were proud of the result. “The place looks great,” they told themselves — but it didn’t. It looked RELATIVELY good, better than it had in years, but of course the customer saw it in the context of a wider world, and to him it looked ABSOLUTELY awful.

The non-profit organization was also well-established and had been in the same location for most of its life. Decades before, they had made a major investment in upgrading their facility, but by now it was obsolete, and the city had grown away from it, leaving it isolated. However, entrenched board members had fond memories of past greatness, and they were determined that the drop-off in interest and financial support was only temporary. It wasn’t. Before long, they faced an existential crisis.

The solutions to these two problems were similar. In both cases, new leadership was brought in and changes were basically forced upon the organizations.

In the manufacturing company, the factory was substantially overhauled and modernized, quality certifications were obtained, and new markets opened up. A lot of people left (mostly by retirement – over a few years the average tenure dropped from 35 years to eight!), and those who stayed were given extensive training.

In the non-profit organization, a new leader was brought in. He had an abrasive personality and seemed hell-bent on offending all of the existing supporters, starting with the largest donors. But by the time the crisis arrived, he had succeeded in persuading a majority of the board that major change was necessary. Ultimately, they sold their building, collaborated with a couple of other organizations, raised millions of dollars, and moved to the city’s thriving downtown.

Looking back on these two sagas, it’s striking how different the picture looks than it did when we were living in daily crisis. In both cases, the consuming issues dealt with people — in one case, trying to get established employees to accept change; in the other, trying to temper the new leader’s troubling management style.

In the manufacturing company, the change was generational. A new, young leader had the vision and the skills needed to move the company forward, but members of the executive team – even new hires – struggled to perform. Operations went through five leaders in as many years before finding the right person, and the sales department went through two. Looking back on board meetings in those transitional years, it’s amazing how much effort went into trying to salvage the wrong person in the job and how quickly things improved when the right person finally arrived. There’s an important lesson there about insisting on top quality in people and not settling for anything less. Peter Schutz, a former leader of Porsche, always advised people to hire slowly and fire quickly. That’s good advice, albeit easier said than done. Once you’ve filled a critical position, it’s difficult to believe that backing up and starting over will be easier than trying to fix what you’ve got — but in retrospect it’s usually a good idea.

In the non-profit organization, the resolution was simpler, though no less painful. We ultimately realized that we had gotten from our exasperating leader all that we could — his revolution was already in motion — and all he had left to offer was his difficult personality. It was time to end the constant conflict and move forward. The new executive is an extraordinary leader and has the enthusiastic support of the entire staff and board. There still are problems, of course – non-profit organizations always face challenges — but the replacement of conflict with collaboration has resulted in a great place to do great work, and exciting innovation has ensued.

In both cases, I wonder if the rosy present would have been possible without the turbulent past. Revolution is frequently necessary, and almost always difficult and unpleasant; but I think it’s important to recognize that difficulty and unpleasantness don’t have to be new long-term realities, but can instead be short-term growth phases. So if your situation needs a revolution – and sooner or later it probably will – realize that it’s likely to be difficult and unpleasant, and that it’s possible that the right team to start a revolution may not be the right team to finish it. What is certain, though, is that once your revolution has succeeded, you’ll have a vast improvement over the status quo.

At least until the next revolution.

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with the Call Center

HGR's call center team

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

What does your department do?

The HGR Call Center contacts manufacturing and distribution companies to determine if they are in possession of equipment available for sale. We leverage our client relationship management (CRM) software to access vendor contact information. Once a client has been contacted, CRM is updated with critical data stemming from the call. HGR’s Call Center averages 1,500 call actions per day that result in approximately 35 viable “buy leads” for the company.

The Call Center’s ability to meet its daily call volume and quality interaction goals is critical to HGR’s overall success. To do this, an extremely structured performance matrix has been designed, and agents must employ a disciplined approach to comply with minimum standards. Team-building exercises, morale-boosting contests, and departmental lunches are conducted on a regular basis to promote a positive work environment. However, at the end of the day, employees realize that team and individual success in the Call Center are driven by consistently completing a high volume of top quality client interactions. As a result, a typical “day in the life” of the HGR Call Center involves motivated and disciplined staff “doing their thing” over the phone in order to generate business.

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

The Call Center employs 13 full-time employees. Cynthia Vassaur, call center manager, oversees personnel and general operations functions. Dax Taruc is in charge of researching and responding to incoming calls from vendors interested in selling equipment and ensures the client database is regularly updated with the most current information. The department also contains Preferred Vendor Administrators Larry Edwards, Joe McAfee, Levit Hernandez and Kim Girnus tasked with reaching out to vendors from whom HGR has purchased, or attempted to purchase, equipment in the past. Their primary focus is maintaining and enhancing HGR’s relationship with this critical segment of clientele. Finally, there are seven marketing administrators — Cameron Luddington, Ludie Toles, Obed Montejano, Theresa Bailey, Jackie McDonald, Kaylie Foster and Quanton Williams – who are responsible for contacting potential vendors. In doing so, they attempt to market HGR, brand the HGR name, and promote HGR’s service.

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

Each MA makes about 150 calls a day, never knowing the end result of each interaction. For an individual to meet the daily demands and goals inherent with the position, he or she must have excellent computer skills and be a self-starter who is capable of communicating with people of varying backgrounds.

What do you like most about your department?

We have a great team! The department is comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds, which results in an interesting array of perspectives, opinions, and solutions. At the same time, each member demonstrates a respectful and accepting attitude toward teammates. While there are numerous characteristics that I appreciate about the HGR Call Center work environment, the inviting and inclusive attitude of the staff stands out.

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

The HGR Call Center’s greatest challenge has been attracting and retaining quality employees. Because Austin is such a wonderful place to live, many corporations have flocked to the area during the last couple of decades to set up shop. The resulting competition for pay, benefits, and perks has presented an obstacle to our hiring objectives. To combat that challenge, the department has worked closely with HGR’s Human Resources Department to create an employee profile aimed at attracting the right people for the position. This job profile refinement produced instantaneous results, with the department landing Cameron Luddington, Kim Girnus and several others shortly after its inception, and we are confident the department will continue reaping the benefits of those efforts.

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

By far, the most impactful change during the last few years in the way the Call Center does business has been the agent pay structure modifications. In short, Call Center agents’ compensation is merit-based — hinging on call volume and a multitude of quality control call grading elements. The overall Call Center performance has dramatically improved as a result of this restructured approach to agent compensation. The harder an agent works, and the more attention to detail that agent exhibits, the more money that agent makes. Motivated agents eager to earn more money today than they did yesterday thrive in this environment.

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

The major process improvement initiative we hope to initiate in the near future involves streamlining the process for adding new vendors to CRM. There are some strategies set for implementation that we hope will result in a higher number of vendors being routinely added to the database at a much higher rate than current levels.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

HGR is “THE PLACE” to work! The grassroots culture of the business is positive and infectious; it spreads like wildfire to the new hires. HGR’s environment suits those with a strong work ethic, a desire to achieve team and individual goals, and who are genuinely vested in the HGR mission.

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

Before I started working at HGR, I hadn’t really worked in or around the manufacturing industry. But in the last few years, I’ve come to recognize the value of HGR’s services and the affect it has on small and large businesses alike.

Grammar tips: To sale defiantly, how to avoid using the wrong word

definitely versus defiantly meme

What? Huh? Are you scratching your head? That’s what people do if you use the wrong word or phrase that doesn’t say what you intended to say.

Sometimes, in notes in Salesforce or in an email at work, you might see someone who says, “He wants to sale his surplus this summer and would like a call back in June.” Or, you might see someone noting that a customer “defiantly wants to sell a few machines this summer when they upgrade their line.”

Don’t laugh, I have seen it and so have others because someone suggested this blog topic to me! Go ahead, Google it — “to sale instead of sell” and “defiantly instead of definitely.” There are forums and blogs out there discussing these specific errors.

“Sale” is a noun, not an action word. “Sell” is a verb that shows action.

“Defiantly” and “definitely” both are adverbs but “defiantly” means “challenging,” whereas “definitely” means “for sure or without a doubt.”

So, how do you avoid using the wrong word?

  1. Use grammar and spell check.
  2. Use a dictionary.
  3. Proofread.
  4. Do an online grammar refresher.
  5. Read a lot because reading literature helps to build your vocabulary.

And with that, you DEFINITELY will be able TO SELL your ideas to your reader in the way that you intended for them to be understood.

Local paint and coatings manufacturer is “the official paint” of the NHL

National Hockey League Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jim Priddy, PPG plant manager, Euclid, Ohio)

When was the company or division founded, by whom and why?

PPG was founded in 1883 by Capt. John B. Ford and John Pitcairn in Creighton, Pa. Since then, we have maintained our commitment to innovation and quality products and have shifted our portfolio to focus on paint, coatings and specialty products. PPG coats the planes you fly in, the cars you drive, the mobile devices you use and the walls of your home.

Why did you locate in Euclid, Ohio?

PPG purchased the former Man-Gill Chemical Company facility in Euclid in 1997 as a way to enhance our resources and technology to better serve the automotive, industrial and packaging coatings markets. The Euclid facility complements our strong network of other PPG facilities in the Northeast Ohio region to provide a broad range of products to our customers.

What do you make here?

PPG’s Euclid, Ohio, industrial coatings plant produces pre-treatment and specialty products, including alkaline and acid cleaners and zinc phosphates.

What types of customers buy your products or for what industries?

PPG’s industrial coatings products serve customers in the automotive, transportation, appliance, coil, extrusion, and other markets.

In what ways are your products used?

The products produced in the PPG Euclid facility are utilized primarily in metal processing applications to clean, coat, and provide corrosion resistance, as well as in preparing the metal surface for priming and painting. Our products are used on metal automotive parts, such as body panels, underbody components and fasteners, as well as metal appliance frames and heavy-duty equipment parts.

How many employees and in what types of roles? What types of skilled labor do you hire?

Globally, PPG has approximately 47,000 employees. We employ approximately 90 people at our Euclid facility in a variety of manufacturing, technical, sales and data management roles.

What is your role at the company, and what do you enjoy most about what you do?

I am the plant manager for PPG’s Euclid manufacturing plant. For me, it’s all about our people. We have a great, engaged workforce, and I really enjoy working as a team with our employees to continuously improve our operation to be successful in today’s competitive business environment.

What role does the company play in the manufacturing industry locally? Do you use local suppliers or have local customers?

PPG has a strong presence in Northern Ohio with our Euclid, Strongsville, Cleveland, Huron and Barberton facilities. We utilize many local suppliers, and while many of our customers are in the Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania regional area, we serve additional customers nationally and across the globe. In addition, we donated a combined $130,000 in PPG Foundation grants in 2017 to local organizations in the Cleveland area, which supported STEM educational and community sustainability programs.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge that manufacturing currently faces?

The manufacturing sector as a whole currently faces challenges around hiring skilled labor and addressing the educational gap. For current students and recent graduates, there is often a misconception that manufacturing only involves physical labor in a plant. However, PPG is working to educate the next generation of manufacturers to understand that the industry is highly technical and offers a variety of strong opportunities tied to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

What is the state of manufacturing in Ohio or the area?

Manufacturing is an important business sector in Ohio and has been on a growth trend since 2009. Ohio is one of the top 10 states in the nation for both percentage of employees in manufacturing and manufacturing as a percentage of gross state product.

What does the future of manufacturing look like?

Manufacturing is a promising industry and will continue to evolve based on industry needs. Manufacturers like PPG are continually working to provide opportunities and educate the next generation of manufacturers about the various skilled opportunities within the industry. Careers in STEM fields will continue to be essential for the growth and prosperity of manufacturing.

Anything else that we missed but you would like to include? Some interesting fact that readers would be interested in?

PPG has an exclusive paint partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL), which makes PPG paint brands “the Official Paint of the NHL in the U.S. and Canada. You can learn more here.

PPG color draw down

Low-Dollar Lou

car salesman

Alec Pendleton(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Alec Pendleton, Big Ideas for Small Companies, powered by The MPI Group)

In a not-very-nice part of the town where I grew up, there was a used-car lot with a prominent sign reading: “Low-Dollar Lou has the Best Buy for You!” A quick look at his scraggly inventory and an even quicker encounter with Lou himself, with his broad smile and his two-handed handshake (the better to remove my watch?), led me to doubt that his slogan was true.

Every survey of buyers I’ve ever seen ranks price well down the list of priorities, lower than such things as quality, reliability, trustworthiness, location, convenience, etc. — yet the vast majority of advertising focuses first and foremost on price. A large metropolitan area might have as many as a dozen Chevrolet dealers, for example, and yet somehow every one of them has the lowest price. Furniture stores, grocery stores, gas stations, pizza shops, and even Lexus dealers want the world to know how low, low, LOW their prices are.

But why? I can only assume these merchants think that price is more important to customers than the surveys report. And yet, does a Lexus dealer really believe that price is the primary motivator of someone shopping for a $60,000 car? So she or he can brag to friends about saving $500?

I, for one, believe the surveys. I’ve seen two gas stations side-by-side, one with prices $0.10 per gallon higher than the other — and both were equally busy. I’ve shopped for low prices when buying cars, and always left the dealership feeling that there was something I didn’t know — that somehow, some way, the salesman had fleeced me. Worst of all, as a salesman myself, in pursuing an order I badly needed for my manufacturing business, I cut the price myself — without even being asked! (I got the order, and promptly lost money on it.)

There’s an adage that opportunity lies in following a different path than everyone else and that applies to competing on price. It’s a desperate, flawed strategy that inevitably leads to a downward spiral of revenues and profits, as a fixation on low, low, LOW prices attracts the least desirable customers. In a sense, competing on price means that success is defined as being the last one to go broke. It keeps you in a constant state of vulnerability, which is a damn unpleasant way to earn a living.

So what about you? Are you caught in the low, low, LOW price trap? Or have you defined your business — and your customer value — in more meaningful (and margin-full) terms? I’m not suggesting that Low-Dollar Lou change his slogan to “High-Dollar Hal will be your Best Pal,” but he might have attracted different customers — and earned a better living — if he’d focused on something other than price.

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with the Accounting Department

HGR's accounting department
(l to r): Lonnie, Paul and Ed

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Ed Kneitel, HGR’s controller)

What does your department do?

The Accounting Department is the financial hub of HGR. We work on daily cash reconciliation, processing vendor invoices and customer payments, and preparing monthly financial statements. We manage business relationships with our cell phone carrier, insurance carrier, network administrator, bank, phone company, Internet provider, cable TV provider, and anyone else that receives an HGR check. We support DataFlo, which is our accounting system, and work closely with our development team for support and enhancements. We have an open-door policy, and no issue is too difficult for us to tackle!

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

Paul, HGR’s chief financial officer, works on strategic business decisions, customer and vendor relationship management, managing our Austin Call Center and other special projects. Ed, HGR’s controller, manages the day-to-day activities of the department. Lonnie, HGR’s accounting assistant, works with vendors and customers to pay bills and receive payments.

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

We never know when we will be asked to address, and it’s often a time-sensitive issue on short notice; so, we must be flexible and available at all times. We must be able to multi-task, have a good memory (most of the time!), excellent computer skills, an accounting background, understand accounting software, be very well-organized, and have good interpersonal communication skills.

What do you like most about your department?

HGR’s Accounting Department is never boring, since there is something new to do every day — whether we like it or not! We enjoy a challenge; so, bring it on!

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

Lonnie joined the department in November 2016 and has been a major factor in the success of the department during the last year.

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

We have integrated credit card processing into DataFlo, eliminating almost all errors. We also have made major enhancements to DataFlo that have saved time in data processing. We have implemented Smartsheet, a collaborative tool that allows salespeople to view customer wire and PayPal payments, which has eliminated numerous email.

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

We will be flowcharting HGR’s business processes, which will allow us to spot areas for improvement as we look to upgrade DataFlo. We also hope to further streamline the purchasing process by moving the entire inspection-to-P.O. function to Microsoft’s customer relationship management software (CRM).

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

HGR is always buzzing with activity; there is no other company like it! Everyone is friendly, willing to chat for a few minutes, and genuinely cares about each other, both personally and professionally. We practice what we preach when it comes to our company values!

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

HGR serves companies that can’t afford or don’t want to purchase new equipment, as well as companies interested in selling their used equipment. Our business model has proved the test of time throughout almost 20 years in business; so, there is definitely a market for the products and services that we provide. We are constantly moving inventory through our showroom as a result of purchases and sales; so, our “shelves” (okay, aisles and bays) always have new products on display.

Poka-Yoke It: How mistake-proofing devices can prevent human error

tailor

George Taninecz MPI Group(Courtesy of Guest Blogger George Taninecz, VP of research, The MPI Group)

While buying a pair of dress slacks recently, I was surprised to see the department manager using a mistake-proofing device to mark the pant length for tailoring. He placed an upside-down, Y-shaped tool on the floor and against the back of my pant leg.

At the top of the device, he marked a line on the trousers, which established the distance to the ground. Based on that line and the amount of break I wanted in the trousers, the tailor would know where to hem. Poka-yoke for pants.

Shigeo Shingo came up with the term “poka-yoke” (“mistake-proofing” or “inadvertent error prevention” in Japanese) in the 1960s when designing Toyota production processes that would not allow a human error to occur: “A poka-yoke device is an improvement in the form of a jig or fixture that helps achieve 100-percent acceptable product by preventing the occurrence of defects.”[1]

I first saw and used a poka-yoke device more than four decades ago. Every few years, my dad, who was a steelworker, would get 13 weeks of vacation. He often took this block of time during the summer to tackle a household project. In 1973, the job was to apply aluminum siding to our house. His crew was me, my brother, and one of my sisters (my other sister, who was an adult, missed out on the fun).

My dad set the bottom row of siding in place using a level and other means, taking his time to get it just right. Then, with the bottom row attached, each of us would grab our poka-yoke device, which was a piece of wood, shaped like an L. The short, horizontal leg matched the width of the bottom of the siding, and the top of the upright length established the vertical distance for the next piece of siding. We would push our devices against the attached siding and upward, rest the next piece of siding on top of the wood, and my dad would nail the perfectly located piece in place.

Even with the clever mistake-proofing tool, it still took a very long time for one adult and three teenagers to side a house. Fortunately, it also was the summer of the Watergate hearings. When the network broadcasts began, my dad would call it quits to watch. I still associate the southern drawl of Senator Sam Ervin, who headed the Senate Watergate Committee, with much-needed relaxation.

Since that summer of siding, I’ve seen a lot of poka-yokes:

  • In manufacturing plants, where devices prevent employees from reaching into machines and harming themselves or stop workers from selecting the wrong part or attaching a part in the wrong location or manner.
  • In buildings, where elevator doors won’t close if someone is between the doors, won’t open if the elevator is moving, or the elevator won’t move if the weight of individuals within the elevator exceeds a safe limit.
  • At my house, where the washer won’t run unless the door is closed, the mower won’t cut unless the safety bar is engaged, and the garage door won’t lower if a sensor indicates an object is in its way.

I wish mistake-proofing methods could be used for other, bigger problems and put an end to catastrophic outcomes. Imagine if you could apply a poka-yoke to prevent the suffering and dying of people simply because they cannot afford healthcare. Or to stop an evil assassin from stockpiling automatic weapons and killing dozens of unarmed civilians.

Maybe we can. Of course, how and where to apply the poka-yokes would require open, honest, and civil discourse. Real problem solving demands nothing less. Are we willing to try?

[1] Shigeo Shingo, translated by Andrew P. Dillon, A Study of the Toyota Production System, Productivity Press, New York, 1989.

Local manufacturer eliminates noise and moisture issues for the construction industry

Keene noise reduction Quiet Qurl sound control mat
Quiet Qurl® 55/025 MC sound control mat designed to limit impact noise between floors

 

Jim Keene Keene Building Products

How did Keene Building Products get its start?

Keene was started in 2002 as an importer but quickly began development of its production line. Although educated as an accountant, Jim Keene, the founder, became involved in the engineering of the system to produce the materials — a unique plastic extrusion process. Sales were simple since he was involved with many of the customers in the market.

Why was the decision made to locate in Euclid?

Jim’s home town is Richmond Heights, up the hill, but his father and mother went to Euclid High School. Euclid is a great place to manufacture, and Jim wanted to be a manufacturer.

How are the products that you manufacture used?

Keene Building Products is a manufacturer of three-dimensional filament products for the construction industry. Its noise products are designed for construction projects, such as multi-family apartments and condominiums to stop impact and airborne noise, while its building-envelope products can be utilized in wall, masonry, roofing, and foundation applications to eliminate moisture issues.

Starting as a plastic manufacturing company in 2002, Keene has innovated new construction tools in an effort to improve product performance for the market. At first, it only manufactured entangled net products in applications that had coatings and concrete all around them. Today, its capabilities include blending powders and creating chemicals. In addition to plastics extrusion, the company has expanded its expertise to floor-preparation products, below-grade systems, roofing, plastic fabricating and 3D filament.

How many employees work in the facility in Euclid?

30 employees but it will be increasing to 50 in the near future.

Tell us about your building expansion. How many square feet and why?Keene Building Products expansion

25,000 square feet for warehouse purposes that will allow us more room for manufacturing.

Are there ways that the company participates in the community?

Not yet!! We will soon.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that manufacturing currently faces?

Skilled labor

What does the future of manufacturing, especially in Northeast Ohio, look like?

The future is very bright here but we need to educate our young people better. Our schools are not up to par, and our workforce doesn’t graduate ready for the positions we need to fill.

What inspires you?

Helping the people in our organization realize their career and financial goals.

Are there any interesting facts about Keene Building that most people don’t know?

  • Weatherhead 100 four years running
  • Two businesses in the award
  • Holder of 20 patents either issued or pending
  • Family business with other family members as part of the team
  • More likely to sell product on one of the coasts, with full North American coverage and sales in every state
Keene building envelope
Driwall™ Rainscreen 020-1, a drainage mat for exterior wall systems

Grammar tips: et cetera and ellipses

And the list goes on and on ...

When we write, sometimes, we like to indicate things that are missing from our writing.

By special request from one of our call center employees, we are going to review two grammar items that often get confused – etc. and ellipses.

Et cetera (etc.)

First, the often misused and incorrectly punctuated “etc.” Etc. is the abbreviation for “et cetera,” which means “and the rest.” So, in writing, it actually means “and so on” or “and other things” in the same class as the objects that you are listing but are not including in the list. If you are listing specific items, you should not use etc.

Additionally, you should not use “and etc.,” because you would be saying “and and.” And, if you used “such as” or “for example or e.g.” earlier in the sentence, which we discussed in this blog, it is not necessary to use “etc.” That would be redundant because you already indicated that the list is incomplete since you’re just providing a few examples. It also is redundant and unnecessary to say “etc., etc.” And, one final tidbit: “etc.” and “et al.” do not mean the same thing. “Et al.” is to be used with a list of people because it means “et alii” or “and other people.”

No matter where it appears in the sentence, “etc.” requires a period after the “c” and a comma if it ends a list in the middle of the sentence:

  • I love riding all amusement park rides (the Ferris wheel, roller coasters, bumper cars, carousel, etc.).
  • I love riding Ferris wheels, roller coasters, bumper cars, carousels, etc., but my favorite is the roller coasters.

Ellipses (…)

Now, on to ellipses. An ellipses is that pesky set of three periods (…). More often than not, it is used unnecessarily and confuses the reader. It should be used mainly in formal writing to show when a thought is trailing off, a writer is pausing for emphasis or for serious thought, or in quoted material to show that content has been omitted, but not if it changes the meaning of the quote.

One way to avoid using an ellipses incorrectly is to just finish the sentence or thought. Often, an ellipses is inserted to serve a similar purpose as when we say “um” or “uh” when we talk out loud to show that we are thinking or buying time. It’s like an uncomfortable silence or throat clearing. Or, sometimes it’s used when we trail off our thought at the end of the sentence without finishing by implying that we have more to say when we don’t.

An example of proper use:

  • My neighbor told me that the couple down the street is getting a divorce because the wife was unfaithful. With raised eyebrows, I asked her, “You don’t think she’d really …?”

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Jeff Crowl

HGR Industrial Surplus Buyer Jeff Crowl and family
Back row (l to r): Logan Crowl, Jeff Crowl, Jeff’s Girlfriend Renee Marzeski, her daughter Maddy, her son Bill
Front row (l to r): Jeff’s son Ross and daughter Alexa with Renee’s son Dan

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jeff Crowl, HGR buyer)

When did you start with HGR and why?

I started with HGR on April 20, 1998. I signed on with HGR because I really liked what I did at the previous company many of us worked for and wanted to continue on that path.

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

My territory right now is most of the eastern part of Pennsylvania and most of the state of New Jersey. In the past, at different times, I also have covered Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, upstate New York, North Carolina, and Ontario, Canada. I have bought deals from sister plants that I dealt with in Texas and California. My days start between 5 and 5:30 a.m. Depending on where I am driving to, I may or may not have time to go into my home office and do some work. Then I’ll drive to wherever I have my inspections scheduled for the day. Once there, I go through and inspect the equipment and then I’ll either head home or to a hotel. Typically I get back home between 4 and 6 p.m., and most nights have two hours or so of email to answer and/or other opportunities to follow up on.

What do you like most about your job?

What I like most about my job is probably all of the different things I see. Every day is different, every drive is different, every inspection is different, and every contact is different. Of all the companies I have visited in the last 20 years, it is amazing to me the different philosophies companies have. One company may be so clean that you could eat off the floor; others you feel like you need a shower when you leave them. One may hold on to unused equipment for many years, and others have policies that if they haven’t used it in three months they should get rid of it. But I just like that every day is different in one way or another.

What’s your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge is and always will be the hunt for good surplus to buy. We have to keep feeding the showroom so that everyone else in the company can do their thing.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

My most interesting moment at HGR. Wow, I mean it’ll be 20 years this April, so there are so many and also many that I have forgotten. I once accidently kicked a cat and really got scolded by the receptionist and once went to the house of a guy who we bought a deal from and he was not answering calls so I could get the equipment picked up. But I will go with a funny one that happened a few years back. I was in a facility where the contact showed me the equipment they were selling and left me alone and said to show myself out when I was finished. It was a nice cool day out, and as I was walking back to the front of the building there was a side door open and all I had to do was walk through the company lunch room which was being mopped by a lady. As I started to go through, she yelled over to me to be very careful because the floor was being stripped of the finish. Well, of course I saw her walking on the floor and thought for sure that being a nimble middle-aged buyer, I could do it no problem. So I kept walking and much to my surprise floor stripper is much more slick than soap and water. As soon as my feet hit that floor, they went out from under me and were instantly above my head as I landed flatly on my back and smacked my head on the floor. Embarrassed as I lay on the floor, I was trying to get up as quickly as possible so no one would see me. As I tried to prop myself up on an elbow to get up, they just kept slipping out from underneath me as I flopped around like a fish out of water. All I can remember is flopping around and hearing that woman who was stripping the floor laughing hysterically at me. After a few more flops, I was able to get to my feet and “skate” over to the side door to freedom. Bruised, battered, and my pride shaken, I walked to my car covered in the floor gel only to notice my Dell Tablet was smashed. So I then had to make the call to my manager and tell him what happened. Thankfully, he understood and thought the story was quite funny as well.

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

My greatest joy when not working would be spending time with my family. I have three kids — a 26-year-old son, Logan; a 23-year-old daughter, Alexa; and a 20-year-old son, Ross. Logan lives in Pittsburgh; Alexa lives in Philadelphia; and Ross has one more semester until he finishes college. So, really anything I can do to see and be with them is all I need.

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

I would have to say my father was my greatest influence on me. He passed away in March 1993 from one of the few things I can actually say I hate – cancer. But he was just one of those people who worked hard and never complained and was someone you could always go to and talk to or ask anything of. He was a speech pathologist and last worked as a supervisor of speech and hearing. He was a very honest, moral, and funny person who is greatly missed.

Anything I missed that you want everyone to know?

One other thing I would like to mention is that my girlfriend, Renee, and her three children (Maddy, Bill, and Dan) also live with me. They range from 12 to 22 years of age. We have a busy house on holidays when everyone is home, but they are all great kids and fun to be around.

The gift that keeps on giving

PSA Custom Creations HGR scuba tank bell

Back on Aug. 8, I hosted a blog by Guest Blogger Patrick Andrews, a former U.S. Army engineer diver turned artist who makes his creations from repurposed scuba tanks. Evidently, you liked his work because he shared that he noticed an increase in sales on his etsy site, PSA Custom Creations, shortly after the post ran. To thank HGR, he made us one of his bells with our colors and logo! It got hung in the sales office this week, just in time for the holidays. So, now, if you get a good deal at HGR, you can ring the bell and let us know you’re a happy customer. Thanks, again, Patrick, for the wonderful gift that will keep on giving. And, as you know from that famous movie It’s a Wonderful Life, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.”

PSA Custom Creations scuba tank bell made for HGR

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Jim Ray

HGR Buyer Jim Ray with his family

When did you start with HGR and why? 

I was one of the original 11 employees who opened HGR in May 1998. I resigned my position at another machinery dealer and started working at HGR because the challenge of building a new company from the ground up, although risky, sounded exciting and rewarding.

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

My territory consists of the southern 2/3 of Ohio, the southern 3/4 of Indiana, the eastern 2/3 of Kentucky and the southwestern 1/3 of West Virginia. On a daily basis, I visit manufacturing plants in my territory and inspect their surplus equipment. When I say inspect, I mean that I walk around, walk over, crawl under, climb over, and squeeze in between machinery and equipment in order to identify, evaluate and take pictures of it. At least one day per week (usually on Monday) I spend the day in my home office. Office days are typically long days spent calling and emailing vendors to follow up on offers I sent out, negotiate deals, following up on leads, scheduling appointments and communicating logistic needs to the transportations departments along with any other issues that needs to be addressed.

What do you like most about your job?

What I like most about my job is being able to visit a wide variety of manufacturing facilities and seeing how different items are produced. I also enjoy meeting and negotiating with a wide variety of people, as well as managing my territory and staying organized.

What’s your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge is staying on top of my opportunities when I am busy.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

My most interesting or most memorable inspection was during an inspection of a well-known guitar and amplifier manufacturer. Their lobby was full of autographed guitars and life-sized posters. I am a music fan, and several of musician I listen to were represented on the walls. While walking through the plant toward the equipment they had for sale we passed the final test area where several guys who looked like rock stars who were jamming on guitars. One of the areas in which they had equipment for me to look at had about 50 pythons snake skins, all of which were at least 10-feet long, most being longer. Apparently snakeskin guitars are popular, and they actually use real snake skins to make them. That inspection was far from my typical automotive parts manufacture and has always stuck in my mind as being pretty cool.

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

I enjoy remodeling projects around the house, and playing card and board games with my wife and three kids: Jillian (15), Matthew (13) and David (11). I also like the outdoors and enjoy camping, fishing and hiking. These days when I am not working, I am typically in a gym or at a field watching my kids play either soccer, basketball, volleyball or lacrosse. Thank goodness they all chose sports that I enjoy watching.

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

I would say my Dad has been the greatest influence on my life. He grew up as the son of a coal miner in Hazzard, Kentucky. He worked hard to put himself through college to obtain a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. He always worked hard to provide for our family and never complained about the travel and stress of his job. He lived a very modest life with my mom in order to put my brothers, sister, and me through college. I still look up to him and hope I will always be able to provide for my family the way he did for ours.

Anything I missed that you want everyone to know?

I am a big soccer fan and have played, coached and watched games my whole life. I enjoy watching The Barclays Premier League (England’s top league) and am a fan of Arsenal Football Club out of London, England. I rarely miss watching a match. At the top of my bucket list is to someday travel to London to watch Arsenal play in person.

Reminder: HGR’s hosting an auction tomorrow

December 19, 2017 HGR auction

Make sure to get registered and preview the items in time for HGR’s auction tomorrow.

HGR Industrial Surplus is partnering with Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers to host an in-person and online auction of assets from the former Allison Conveyor Engineering at 120 Mine St., Allison, Penn. This auction includes bridge mills, plasma tables, fabricating and welding equipment, CNC machining, and toolroom and support equipment.

Click here for further details and to register.

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

HGR Human Resources Manager Tina Dick and HGR Human Resources Assistant April Quintiliano
l to r: HGR Human Resources Manager Tina Dick and HGR Human Resources Assistant April Quintiliano

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Tina Dick, HGR’s human resources manager)

What does your department do?

The Human Resource Department handles the staffing needs of HGR. Our department handles all aspects of human resources, recruiting, onboarding, benefits and compensation, payroll, employee engagement and retention, as well as monitoring and ensuring that we are in compliance with state and federal regulations as they apply to the above.

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

We are a two-person team. I am the human resources manager, and April is the human resources assistant. As we’ve automated some things, April now assists in Inventory, Sales and the Buy Department, and does a great job!

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

There are several competencies in human resources where you need to strive for proficiency in order to be successful. Those competencies are: communication, relationship management, ethical practice, business acumen, critical evaluation, leadership, consultation, and cultural effectiveness. Knowledge and practice in each area help you to keep a balance that promotes a cohesive partnership between organization and staff.

What do you like most about your department?

Getting to hand out the birthday cookies, of course!

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

Hiring/retention are and always will be the biggest challenge in any HR department. We live in a moving society where people want to get to the next thing, and that’s okay. If we’ve played a role in someone’s success and they’re ready to move on, we’re glad to have been part of the journey. But the goal always will be to look at ways to get better at it. We’ve knocked our turnover rate down almost in half from last year.

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

Human Resources was not a formal department three years ago. In that time, we’ve worked with supervisors to provide access to formal training for their role. We’ve developed written processes for each department. We’ve formalized the onboarding process; our new hires come in with a formal orientation and more structured, documented training. We introduced and implemented performance and goal conversations. We created a recruiting system complete with an applicant tracking system where candidates can apply online, and our hiring manager can see their resumes online while pooling candidates for future openings. We work closely with our CEO in the development of a positive company culture. We have helped employees implement plans of employee engagement, e.g., Earn Your Forks and Fly. Many changes, all challenging and all very rewarding!

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

More training tools. We intend to look back at some of the processes we’ve put in place and make them better. You always have to revisit what you started. What can we change? What works? What doesn’t? What is technology bringing our way? How can we be more strategic? Continue to look for ways to keep communication open.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

We have a family, team-oriented environment, even though we have buyers across the country and a call center in Austin. We try to keep that in the forefront and be inclusive of everyone. Every role counts, whether in Euclid, Austin or the various states where our buyers are located.

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

There are so many ways that what HGR does affects people. New start-ups, artists, companies overseas that are able to produce product with our equipment. On the other hand, we provide a great service to industries that need to clear floor space or are leaving the industry and want to recoup some of their investment. Our business model is unique.

Who is John Miller, and what’s this about an auction?

auction gavel

 

HGR Buyer John MillerLike the old Donny & Marie song “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock ‘n Roll,” John Miller, one of HGR’s buyers who is located in St. Louis, Missouri, is a little bit sales, a little bit buyer. He works with both HGR’s Sales Department and Buy Department to bring in leads for brokerage equipment that we can sell through our website and those leads that we can auction. So, his position is unique because the items that he brokers are not rigged out to HGR’s Euclid, Ohio, showroom.

How did John make his way to HGR, and what is his experience? Well, prior to working for HGR, he worked in the industrial auction and machinery sales field. He has a longstanding relationship with HGR on the client side. He sold equipment to HGR’s regional buyers in the past, which is how he developed a relationship with HGR prior to coming on board as an employee.

Prior to John coming on board in February 2016, HGR occasionally participated in auctions with its auctioneer partners, but now there’s a focus on the opportunities and on getting the business. Miller says, “We most often partner with Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers because they’re the top in the area for what they usually sell and what we usually sell. It’s a complimentary relationship that benefits both of our customers because our combined list of buyers and interested customers compliments each other.” HGR’s role in the auction process is to bring in leads for potential auctions and conduct the marketing for upcoming auctions through its website, email list and social media. Miller says, “We partner on six or seven auctions each year in the U.S. and Canada, and our goal is a couple of auctions per quarter. Nine times out of 10 the auction is being held because a plant closed.”

John’s auction leads often come from HGR’s buyers who are out in the field and may decide the situation is not a buy deal but rather an auction situation, and from HGR’s established relationships and contacts. He notes, “These auctions add to our value proposition for both customers that we buy from and customers that we sell to because we can either get things out of their plant immediately and into our showroom or maximize the value of the items by selling them from the factory floor at auction when moving them is not viable because would reduce the value. Auctions have been on the uptake for valuation recently.”

Here is a link to HGR’s next online and in-person auction of the assets from the former Allison Conveyor Engineering at 120 Mine St., Allison, Penn. This auction on Dec. 19 includes bridge mills, plasma tables, fabricating and welding equipment, CNC machining, and toolroom and support equipment.

If you need further information about the auction process or have an auction lead, please contact John Miller at 636-222-0098 or Jmiller@hgrinc.com.

 

 

HGR to close early on Friday, Dec. 15

holiday office party with Santa hats

Please excuse our early closure on Friday, Dec. 15. We are open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please come to make your purchases or look around prior to 3 p.m. since we will be closing at that time so that our employees can be rewarded for their hard work and enjoy our annual holiday party with Santa Claus and a pretty rowdy White Elephant gift exchange!

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

The Crew at HGR Industrial Surplus

5 tips for navigating HGR Industrial Surplus’ website

Screen capture of HGR Industrial Surplus website at hgrinc.com

Jared Donnelly HGR Industrial Surplus inside sales rep(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jared Donnelly, one of HGR’s inside sales reps)

This time of year, finding the exactly perfect thing you’re looking for is a challenge that we all face as we descend upon retailers trying to cross things and people off of our shopping lists. For manufacturing and industry, this holds true, as well, as buyers search to try to fill gaps in their arsenal of machinery, or look for one specific part to take their production to the next level.

Searching for industrial surplus is, undoubtedly, easier now than ever with dealers nationwide, networking, and, of course, the Internet. Just like anything else, however, you need to know not only what you’re looking for but the best way to look for it. Let’s take a look at some helpful tips to guide you through searching for just what you need on hgrinc.com.

 

  1. Could you be a bit more vague? Typically, it is important to be specific in your search. However, on hgrinc.com, it will actually make it easier to find what you’re looking for if you search broadly and generically. Instead of searching for the make, model, or specific type of bandsaw, just search “bandsaw.” Sometimes, we get equipment in without any sort of real information. Maybe the manufacturer’s plate came off or was removed. Maybe the previous owner painted over or removed any branding. We may well have the bandsaw that you’re looking for. Searching broadly will generate a result for any and all bandsaws in our inventory. From there, find one you like, jot down the inventory number, and give us a call.
  2. A Machine by Any Other Name. How many different names can you think of for things you use every day? Industrial surplus is no different. You may refer to an item as a recycler; someone else may call it a shredder; and still someone else may have a different name for it altogether. IF your first search doesn’t yield the result you’re looking for, try searching for it by an alternative name. Again, it is important to search broadly, then drill down from there to find exactly what you’re looking for.
  3. How Much Does It Cost? If you know you’re searching for an item that might only cost $25, sifting through a list of items ranging from $5 to $25,000 doesn’t make much sense. As with most online shopping sites, hgrinc.com gives you an option to sort by price. For instance, if you’re looking for a transformer and you search “transformer” on the website, you’re going to get a wide array of items and prices. If you know that the one you want is a small unit that shouldn’t cost much, sort by price, low to high, and once you hit a price that’s higher than it ought to be for your item, you know you’ve reached the end of your search.
  4. Ricky, Don’t Lose That Number. Once you find an item, jot down the inventory number for it and remember what it is. This is going to make it much easier to repeat your search without having to try to recall the exact term you used, which one it was, or what page it was on. Instead, you’ll go to the website, type in the 11-digit inventory number, and your item, assuming it is still available, will be right there. Plus, when you call in to talk to a salesperson, the first thing he or she will ask is, ”Do you have an inventory number for me?”
  5. Frequent Flyer. The website updates in real time and on a daily basis. So keep refreshing, keep looking, and remember to sort by new arrivals. as well. As soon as something is inventoried and photographed, it goes on the website, oftentimes before it even hits the showroom floor. Keeping an eye on this gives you an advantage over in-store shoppers who might not have seen the item on the website or on the floor. As soon as an item is sold, it is removed from the website; so, if you can’t find it anymore, it’s no longer available.

Honda by the numbers

Honda superbike world championship

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Ned Hill, A One-Handed Economist and professor of public administration and city & regional planning at The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Ned HillAffairs, powered by The MPI Group)

Honda has always been known for its precise management style; in fact, you could say they literally do everything by the numbers:  The 3 Joys, the 3 Fundamental Beliefs, the 5 Management Policies, and the 5 Components of Racing Spirit, to mention just a few. Let’s see how Honda’s obsession with metrics is reflected in an effective mission statement and how superior performance is the result.

Honda’s official name is Honda Motor Car Company, which honors its roots and largest product group. But that moniker doesn’t really describe the company; Honda is a global manufacturing organization that produces and sells far more than automobiles:

  • The company’s motorcycles and scooters are globally competitive, with more than a quarter billion sold since 1948.
  • Honda Jet in North Carolina delivered its first plane in late 2015 using an engine developed with GE Aviation.
  • The power-equipment group produces general-purpose engines, generators, boat engines, lawnmowers, and yard equipment. This division also is moving into household natural-gas-powered cogeneration, and the company as a whole is a leader in fuel cells.
  • Honda also is developing a presence in industrial and mobility robotics.

All in all, it’s worth asking, as we consider mission and values: Is there something that ties this company together, or is it just another industrial conglomerate linked by shared financials?  More philosophically: How does Honda identify value propositions for customers and owners across its broad platform of products? What is the firm’s corporate connective tissue and source of competitive advantage?

I’d suggest that two competencies unite Honda:

  • The first competency is technical and product-oriented: Common to all of Honda’s products and divisions are engines and propulsion systems.  These are present in each of its product lines and serve as technical sources of competitive advantage.
  • The second competency and source of competitive advantage is the company’s culture.

The Seven Tests of Mission Relevance and Effectiveness

For any company, seven statements provide guiderails to its current operations and a path to its future:

  1. Statement of purpose explaining why a company exists.
  2. Statement of the company’s competitive advantage and core competencies.
  3. Value proposition for customers.
  4. Value proposition for owners.
  5. Vision statement that frames the company’s future direction.
  6. Values and ethics statement that defines the company’s culture, describes the organization as a place to work, and is directed at employees.
  7. Strategy proposition, founded upon the value propositions, which ties together the vision of the future with sources of competitive advantage and the values of the workplace.

I’ll rate each component of Honda’s culture-setting statements with a ranking from 1 (low) to 5 (high) of the company’s white coveralls (all associates wear them, for anti-utilitarian (dirt shows easily, emphasizing a clean work environment) and egalitarian (everybody looks equal) purposes).

Let’s go through them step by step.

Test One: The Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should explain the reason why a company exists. To find Honda’s statement of purpose, we have to draw from three of its cultural documents.

First of all, the foundation of Honda’s culture is its statement of philosophy:

“Driven by its dreams and reflecting its values, Honda will continue taking on challenges to share joys and excitement with customers and communities around the world to strive to become a company society wants to exist.”

Honda’s overarching philosophy recognizes that its survival depends on customers who value its products and communities that value its locations and associated jobs. The philosophy is not tactical, was not developed by marketing, and is timeless. As such, it is partially a statement of purpose.

The company’s mission statement is global, reflecting the realities of the company’s footprint, and focuses on providing value to its customers:

“Maintaining a global viewpoint, we are dedicated to supplying products of the highest quality, yet at a reasonable price for worldwide customer satisfaction.”

APPLAUSE!  This mission statement is a value proposition for customers.

Last, the outward-facing messages of Honda’s philosophy and mission are implemented by The Three Joys. The Three Joys of buying, selling, and creating are corporate norms; all are part of the company’s value proposition to its customers.

  1. The joy of buying is “achieved through providing products and services that exceed the needs and expectations of each customer.”
  2. The joy of selling is the reward from selling and servicing products and from developing “relationships with a customer based on mutual trust.” In Honda’s vision, selling links the company’s employees, dealers, and distributors together with their shared customers.
  3. The joy of creating occurs when Honda’s associates and suppliers are involved in the design, development, engineering and manufacturing of Honda products that “exceed expectations [of the customer].” Then “we experience pride in a job well done.”

APPLAUSE again! The Three Joys provide a set of norms that implement Honda’s mission statement and recognize that the corporation’s future is rooted in business practices. No social workers or frustrated marketers were involved in the mission’s creation.

Honda’s philosophy — combined with its mission statement and operationalized by the Three Joys — satisfies the first and third of the seven statements of purpose and value propositions. Give them four pairs of Honda white coveralls for my first criterion on the purpose of the company.

Test Two: The Statement of Competitive Advantage

My second criterion is a statement of competitive advantage, and you cannot find an explicit statement. Perhaps making such a statement is too bold and boastful for the company. Instead, the company’s source of competitive advantage is evident in its product lines and dependence on applied research. Honda’s competitive advantage rests in its research expertise in engine and propulsion systems and the development of products around its research.

An example comes from one of the company’s newest product lines, Honda Aircraft Company. This business unit is the outcome of a 30-year effort to create a disruptive light passenger jet, and it demonstrates the connection between the company’s guiding philosophy and its product development. Michimasa Fujino, an engineer who was part of the original research team in the mid-1980s, is now the president and CEO of the business unit. He helped the investment survive technical and economic setbacks by tying the project to the company’s efforts to rekindle innovation, or to dream. The division exists because of the initiative and skill of Fujino, and it survives because of the strategic support of the company, especially through the Great Recession and the crash of the private aircraft market. “A company has to have longevity,” he says of his strategic mandate. “We look at 20 years or even 50 years of Honda’s growth in the long term. In order to have that kind of longevity, we have to invest [in] our future.”

Honda earns five coveralls for meeting the second criterion through its actions and investments, not through its words.

Test Three: The Value Proposition for Customers

Couple the mission statement with the Three Joys and a clear value proposition is made to customers:  Providing products and services that exceed the needs and expectations of each customer at reasonable prices that generate worldwide customer satisfaction.

Five white coveralls on Honda’s ability to present a value proposition to its customers, which is the third test.

Test Four: The Value Proposition for Owners

There is no explicit statement about the value proposition that Honda offers to its owners. This is left to its direct communications with shareholders. However, the awarding of coveralls comes later because Honda hints at that value proposition in its statements.

What is the company’s vision for its future? It is not a specific list of products, technologies or investments. Instead, it is timeless guidance for management and investors in its five Management Policies, which are a mix of Eastern and Western value statements:

  1. Proceed always with ambition and youthfulness.
  2. Respect sound theory, develop fresh ideas, and make the most effective use of time.
  3. Enjoy work and encourage open communications.
  4. Strive constantly for a harmonious flow of work.
  5. Be mindful of the value of research and endeavor.

The management policies are a mixture of guidance on how to perform today’s job by supporting open communications and promoting a harmonious flow of work, and of paying attention to tomorrow’s job. Tomorrow’s job is to be approached with “ambition and youthfulness” and based on research, development, and risk-taking: “Respect sound theory, develop fresh ideas” and “Be mindful of the value of research and endeavor.” The emphasis on tomorrow’s job is reinforced by the joy of creating.

While the Management Policies’ language is not familiar to a North American, its intent is pitch-perfect. It addresses the accomplishment of today’s job in the third and fourth precepts—encouraging a harmonious workplace based on open communications. This is part of a values and ethics promise to Honda’s employees.

The other management policies are about tomorrow’s job: Be ambitious and develop new ideas that rest on research and risk-taking. Honda expects itself to be an innovation company.  I award three coveralls on the fourth criterion of making a value proposition to ownership because Honda only hints that it is a company built for the long run; it is not solely focused on next quarter’s return.

Test Five: The Vision Statement

The fifth test is explicitly about the future orientation of a company. In Honda’s case, the foundation comes from three of the Management Policies and the tactics come from a set of principles closely associated what the company’s founder, Mr. Soichiro Honda, called The Racing Spirit.

The Racing Spirit is directly connected to Mr. Honda’s early experience in motorcycle racing. He observed that passion is part of every competitive racing team, and he wanted that same passion to be at the heart of his company. There are five components to the Racing Spirit:

  1. Seek the challenge: Seeking competition improves the performance of both individuals and the company.
  2. Be ready on time: All races have a starting time—be ready before the gun goes off.
  3. Teamwork: Races are won by teams, not just the driver. Honda defines this as togetherness: the driver, staff, and machine are all vitally important.
  4. Quick response: Be ready to solve unpredictable problems at all times.
  5. Winner takes all: The only goal is winning.

The future orientation of the company begins with seeking the Racing Spirit’s challenge, followed by the Management Policies of ambition, respecting sound theory and fresh ideas, coupled with respect for research. All of this is powered by the dreams that are mentioned in the company’s overarching philosophy.  Five overalls for the fifth criterion.

Test Six: The Values and Ethics Statement

The sixth test focuses on the company’s workplace values and business ethics. Honda’s Fundamental Beliefs add to the company’s Management Policies that relate to its workforce. The Beliefs are a trinity of statements about the company’s relationships with its employees. Honda states that these three norms sum to respect for individuals:

  • Initiative to act is encouraged, along with taking responsibility for the results of those actions.
  • Equality is defined as recognizing and respecting individual differences and rights to opportunity.
  • Trust is action-based: “helping out where others are deficient, accepting help where we are deficient, sharing our knowledge, and making a sincere effort to fulfill our responsibilities.”

Honda values initiative, ambition, equality, and trust in a harmonious workplace built around open communications. Five coveralls awarded for meeting the sixth criterion on values and ethics.

Test Seven: The Strategy Proposition

A cornerstone of Honda’s corporate culture is a commitment to continuous improvement and lean operations. Yet, this is not directly reflected in the company’s philosophical statements.  The Management Policy supports a “harmonious flow of work,” making effective use of time, along with a fundamental belief in each associate taking responsibility for their actions. These are all elements of lean production.

How well does Honda do in building a useful strategy proposition that is supported by a strong set of management values? Honda’s Philosophy, The Three Joys, the Fundamental Beliefs and The Racing Spirit are guiding principles that are closely associated with Mr. Honda. They are critical components of what could be called the company’s origin story or foundation myth and have been used when the company appeared to have lost its way. Mr. Honda built his company around an enduring strategy proposition—the racing spirit. It is only fitting to drape this criterion with four and a half pairs of Honda’s enduring white coveralls. After all, there is always room for improvement.

OK, But Why the White Coveralls?

Why the white coveralls? They are part of the company’s culture and derive from its fundamental beliefs about equality. Honda does not have reserved parking, its employees are called associates, and all workers — even its CEO, research and development associates, and its accountants — wear white coveralls with covered buttons. This was a shock to U.S. workers when Honda Americas Manufacturing started production.

Honda offers three explanations for the tradition:

  • White jumpsuits make physical statements about the work environment, modern manufacturing, and the quality of the finished product. White uniforms stain and easily show dirt. They serve as a check on Honda’s belief that “good products come from clean workplaces.”
  • They are symbols about the manufacturing work environment at Honda. The covered buttons prevent scratches on the finish of the products — and highlight the importance of detail in quality.
  • Finally, the uniform is a statement about equality and team. Honda states that the white outfit symbolizes the equality of all at Honda in pursuit of the company’s goals.

When Honda opened its U.S. manufacturing operations in Marysville, Ohio, in the 1980s, the jumpsuit and lack of managerial perks made one other statement to potential workers: Honda was not the same as a U.S.-headquartered car company. At the time, this was a very good thing — though others have since learned from Honda’s example.

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

December 2017 HGR guess what it is Facebook Contest

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, Dec. 18, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

HGR is hosting an auction on Dec. 19

December 19, 2017 auction

HGR Industrial Surplus is partnering with Cincinnati Industrial Auctioneers to host an in-person and online auction of assets from the former Allison Conveyor Engineering at 120 Mine St., Allison, Penn. This auction includes bridge mills, plasma tables, fabricating and welding equipment, CNC machining, and toolroom and support equipment.

Click here for further details and to register.

Grammar tips: i.e. versus e.g.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Did you know that most people use i.e. when they want to say “for example” when they should be using e.g.?

Let’s find out what they actually mean so that we can use them properly. “e.g.” is the abbreviation for the Latin phrase “exempli gratia,” which means “for example.” “i.e.” is the abbreviation for the Latin phrase “id est,” which means “namely,” “that is” or “in other words.” So, just think “example” with an “e” needs to use “e.g.” with an “e.” And, “in other words” with an “i” needs to use “i.e.” with an “i.”

Let’s look at some examples:

  • I enjoy outdoor activities, e.g., hiking and horseback riding. (I am giving a few examples of activities that I enjoy. There are others.)
  • I enjoy outdoor activities, i.e., hiking and horseback riding. (I am stating that the only activities that I like, in other words, are these two.)

Two more examples:

  • Her daughter loves watching superhero cartoons (e.g., Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). (two examples of cartoons that she likes)
  • Her daughter loves watching her favorite cartoon heroes (i.e., the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). (specific/namely/in other words because this cartoon is her favorite not an example of cartoons that she likes watching)

Note: In American English, we also include the periods and a comma after these abbreviations when we use them in a sentence.

A way around this decision if you can’t remember which to use is to substitute the words for the abbreviation:

  • I enjoy outdoor activities, for example, hiking and horseback riding.
  • I enjoy certain outdoor activities, in other words, hiking and horseback riding.
  • Her daughter loves watching superhero cartoons, for example, Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Her daughter loves watching her favorite cartoon heroes, in other words, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Cowabunga!

HGR helps manufacturers navigate buying and selling used equipment

aisle of machines at HGR Industrial Surplus
Photo courtesy of Bivens Photography

Manufacturing overhead, including factory supplies, depreciation on equipment, and replacement parts, can take a toll on a company’s wallet. Then, when they need to add equipment or replace aging systems, they’re faced with the complication of choosing among options to buy used, buy new or lease. When replacing equipment, a manufacturer needs to sell the old equipment in order to free up floor space and capital.

That’s where HGR Industrial Surplus comes into the manufacturing pipeline to assist a business’ growth and investment recovery by providing used equipment for sale or lease and by buying used equipment to help companies turn surplus assets into cash that will help pay for the upgrade or replacement.

Since scrap prices are at an all-time low, most companies can probably can do better by putting the equipment back into service through resale, which also is environmentally responsible. And, someone else will be able to save capital by buying it used or may even use the equipment for parts in the repair of another piece of equipment. Reselling to HGR also saves the seller the time and frustration incurred in finding potential buyers or in spending money to place ads in industry publications or resale websites then monitoring and responding to inquiries.

If a company is looking for a piece of equipment to replace one being taken out of service or to expand its line, it either can buy the used piece of equipment or lease it through HGR. If they choose to buy it, we have a 30-day, money-back guarantee that mitigates risk, and we are a Machinery Dealers National Association member, which means that we abide by their stringent code of ethics.

Should a company choose to lease a piece of equipment, we have a relationship with a finance source that, essentially, will buy it from us and lease it to the company. Once purchased or leased, our Shipping Department can set up transportation. Then, from the date that the item is purchased, a customer has 30 days to pay and 45 days to remove it from our showroom.

SHOPPING HINT: As soon as the item is received, our Buy Department prices and photographs it then posts it online. Some items never make it to the showroom floor because they are purchased as soon as they are listed. So, it’s important to have a relationship with one of our salespeople who can keep a customer in the loop if something comes in, or a customer can check our website or our eBay auction for the most recent arrivals.

And, though we sell used equipment, we sell tons of other stuff, including shop supplies, fans, fixtures, laptop bags and printer ink cartridges. You never know what you will find. We get 300-400 new items each day in many equipment categories, including welding, machining and fabrication, supply chain/distribution, plastics, chemical processing, electrical, furniture and finishes, hardware, motors, robotics, shop equipment and woodworking. There’s something here for everyone. Many makers and hobbyists shop at HGR and upcycle equipment pieces and parts into other useable objects.

HGR Lifecycle infographicFacts about HGR infographic

OSHA: What manufacturers need to know for 2018

safety first card in gloved hand

 (Courtesy of Guest Bloggers Joseph N. Gross, partner, and Cheryl Donahue, associate, with Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP)

Joseph Gross partner at BeneschCheryl Donahue associate with Benesch

Although many manufacturers are upbeat about the changes in leadership that will be coming at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and having a full complement of commissioners at the OSHA Review Commission, new OSHA standards could mean a few non-compliance surprises.

Recordkeeping: Who, what, and when

OSHA revised its recordkeeping requirements for tracking work-based injuries and illnesses, now requiring many employers to submit their records electronically. This new electronic recordkeeping rule affects all employers with 250 or more employees that were previously required to keep OSHA injury and illness records and employers with 20-249 employees that are classified in any of 67 specific industries, including manufacturing, which, according to OSHA, historically have had high injury and illness rates. To be compliant, affected employers must submit their 300A Forms by December 1, 2017, per OSHA’s latest notice of proposed rulemaking. Forms are to be submitted to OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application. After the forms are collected, OSHA will post each employers’ specific illness and injury data on its website, to, as one of OSHA’s announcements explains, nudge employers to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.

Recordkeeping in 2018

In 2018, the electronic recordkeeping requirements change again. Employers with 250 or more employees are required to electronically submit all of their required 2017 forms (Forms 300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018. Employers in the specified high-risk industries, including manufacturing, with 20-249 employees are required to submit their 2017 Forms 300A by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019, the submission deadlines change from July 1 to March 2 each year.

Anti-retaliation protections

In addition to the electronic submission requirements, the new recordkeeping rule prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report their work-related injuries and illnesses. The rule also requires employers to inform employees of their right to report their injuries and illnesses free from retaliation. Employers’ reporting procedures must be reasonable and cannot discourage or deter employees from reporting. Although OSHA did not go so far as making safety incentive programs unlawful, OSHA made clear that rewarding employees for having a good safety record is not permissible.

The dead Volks Rule

In April 2017, President Trump signed a resolution that killed the Volks rule. The Volks rule permitted OSHA to issue citations for certain recordkeeping up to five years after the noncompliant conduct. OSHA’s authority is back to six months. Changes to other rules and policies, including the electronic recordkeeping rule, are probably one to two years away, so stay tuned.

New compliance standards: beryllium & silica

On May 20, 2017, OSHA’s new beryllium standard became effective. Beryllium is a strong, lightweight metal used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, defense, and nuclear energy. The new standard reduces the permissible exposure limit for beryllium to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour day. The new standard also requires employers to use practices such as ventilation or enclosure to limit employee exposure to beryllium and to provide respirators when exposure cannot be limited.

On October 23, 2017, OSHA’s silica standard began limiting employee exposure of silica dust to 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour day. Silica exposure occurs when employees cut, grind, or drill silica-containing materials such as concrete, rock, tile, or masonry. The standard now requires employers to limit employees’ access to high exposure areas, to provide medical care to employees who have been exposed, and to train employees about silica-related hazards.

Walking and working surfaces and ladders

OSHA’s new fall-protection standards became effective earlier this year, but manufacturers will not get the full impact until they have to buy new ladders. They are changing. In 20 years, employers will have to replace all cages and wells used as fall protection on ladders of more than 24 feet with more effective systems. But, starting November 2018, employers purchasing new fixed ladders over 24 feet will not be able to use cages and wells for fall protection.

HGR’s Thanksgiving hours 2017

We will be open our normal hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Wednesday and Friday, but we are closed on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the holiday with our families.

Remember to give thanks for all you have. We are grateful for our wonderful customers!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from the crew at HGR Industrial Surplus.

Thanksgiving wishes

Take the Northeast Ohio Regional Manufacturers Survey and make an impact

man taking survey on phone and tablet

MAGNET: Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network is inviting manufacturers to impact the future of manufacturing in Northeast Ohio through its second-annual Northeast Ohio Regional Manufacturers Survey. To thank you for your time, you’ll be able to pick one of 10 different business books – and they’ll send it to you for free! They’ll also make a donation of $5 to Harvest for Hunger in your honor.

It will take less than 15 minutes to answer the 40 questions. Your response this year will shape legislative policies and regulations, better align the workforce development system, and much more. In late January, you will get real results on how your company stacks up against other companies in your region, and in your industry, in critical areas like workforce, operations, and growth. The survey questions revolve around workforce, operations, perspectives on growth in 2018.

Feel free to forward this to whomever in your organization that you think is the most appropriate person to fill out the survey, and feel free to share it with other manufacturing companies, as well. The more the merrier!

The final results will be shared widely, and you’ll receive an email as soon as the results are released.

 

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

HGR marketing team
l to r: Gina Tabasso, Matt Williams, Joe Powell and Paula Maggio

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

What does your department do?

The Marketing Department at HGR Industrial Surplus is responsible for all inbound and outbound marketing. Core responsibilities of the department include: e-mail marketing, social media, events and tradeshows, graphic design, videography, blogging, public relations, and community relations.

Over the past two years the marketing team at HGR has focused intently on content marketing (hence all these great blog posts!) in the company’s efforts to learn more about its customers, vendors, and community and to serve as a connector in the manufacturing sector.

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

The Marketing Department currently has three full-time employees and one part-time employee and also relies upon the expertise of several contractors and consultants. Gina Tabasso is our marketing communications specialist and is responsible for developing content, interviewing customers and other stakeholders in the community, and managing a variety of different departmental functions integral to the team’s success. Joe Powell is our graphic designer and videographer. Joe designs fliers, website landing pages, internal communications, and a variety of other internal and external communications pieces used throughout the organization. He is also an FAA-licensed drone pilot. Paula Maggio is our social media specialist. She manages our Facebook, Twitter, and other social media posts. She is also a skilled public relations professional and drafts and distributes press releases for HGR. Matt Williams is the chief marketing officer at HGR and is responsible for managing the marketing team. Matt also has principal ownership of the website and e-mail marketing and manages the activities of several contractors.

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

The Marketing Department receives daily requests from various departments at HGR. Organization to make sure that deadlines are met is critically important. It’s also important that team members are able to bring creative ideas to the table and to synthesize the ideas of other stakeholders in the company to help bring those ideas to life.

What do you like most about your department?

The Marketing Department at HGR has the latitude to pursue creative and innovative ideas to drive engagement. This has been evidenced recently through the F*SHO modern furniture show that was hosted at HGR and which drew somewhere around 5,000 visitors during a five-hour period on a Friday evening in mid-September.

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

Working on the website was very difficult just two years ago. The website was developed by a South Korean firm. While the firm is very technically sound and capable, the language barrier required the use of a translator for e-mail and phone calls. Additionally, the difference in time zones slowed things down. The Marketing Department worked with a local Web-development firm to redevelop the company’s website on the WordPress platform, which makes it much easier to publish posts just like this one. It has become the foundation for our content marketing efforts.

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

The Marketing Department at HGR was retooled in 2015. All of its current employees were hired in 2015. This created an opportunity to take the company’s marketing efforts in a different direction, and the feedback from other employees and stakeholders has been very strong. One of the biggest changes has been the launch of a new website in 2016.

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

Gina Tabasso has been interviewing customers for the past several months and has conducted more than 100 interviews. These interviews will be used to develop a customer satisfaction survey that will be sent out in the first quarter of 2018 to gauge opportunities to improve how we do things.

What’s HGR’s overall environment like?

HGR is a relaxed work environment where people care about one another. It’s a fun place to work. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we’re serious about the work that we do.

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

HGR helps customers to extract the last measure of life out of older capital equipment. Our company serves a role in the manufacturing ecosystem where we help entrepreneurs, startups, and high-growth companies to preserve capital for growth by putting equipment that might otherwise have been scrapped back into service. We also help to validate end-of-lifecycle of capital equipment. If no one buys a piece of equipment from us, it has probably met the end of its useful life and will be recycled. Finally, we are seeing an uptick in interest in industrial elements (e.g., machine legs) that are upcycled into other products, such as modern or steampunk-style furniture.

Auburn Career Center multimedia technology students seek internships

Auburn Career Center Career Fair student

On Nov. 8, Joe Powell, HGR’s graphic designer/videographer, and I had the opportunity to attend a “reverse job fair” with Interactive Multimedia Technology (IMT) students at Auburn Career Center in Concord, Ohio.

These students are currently enrolled in a two-year Tech-Prep program that focuses on the various creative aspects of computer technology. Under the supervision and guidance of their instructor, Rodney Kozar, these students learn everything from Web design to design techniques (digital photography, graphic design, Adobe Photoshop), audio/video production and animation.

The focus of the job fair was to provide potential internship opportunities for Auburn Career Center’s students and manufacturing organizations who are currently members of the Alliance for Working Together, which puts on the annual RoboBots competition. Organizations had the opportunity to interview these students in order to consider hiring them for an eight-week program that would benefit both the organization and the student by working on a marketing project of the organization’s choosing.

When Rodney asked for suggestions prior the event about how to better match students to organizations, HGR suggested that the students set up booths and allow the organizations the opportunity to come around and view their work in a “reverse job fair.”

It worked out extremely well. Each student had his or her own booth featuring that student’s own work, which included large posters, short animation films, photos and even video productions. Hiring managers were able to visit each booth, see small demos, ask questions and then circle back to sign up for interviews. Each organization was allowed four interviews of 15 minutes each.

The 14 students were well prepared to speak about their work and answer various questions. With 11 organizations in attendance, student interviews were booking quickly; so, we had to make our decision fast so as not to lose out on the opportunity. With so much talent, narrowing it down to four was difficult.

During the interview process HGR’s Joe Powell was able to ask our candidates the technical questions: what software programs were they familiar with, camera angles, editing, sound booths and Photoshop. The flow of dialogue was smooth between them. I was able to get a good feel for how well our candidate managed his or her time, dealt with project deadlines, worked as a team and what he or she potentially could bring to the table. All four of the candidates that we interviewed were on their game.

Our goal at HGR is to bring on one intern in early 2018. We have it narrowed down to two candidates who we’ve invited out to interview us. Stay tuned.

Auburn Career Center Career Fair with HGR's Tina Dick in background
In the background, HGR’s Tina Dick interviews an Auburn Career Center student
Joe Powell of HGR interviews Auburn Career Center student
HGR’s Joe Powell interviews an Auburn Career Center student

HGR hosts MAGNET’s annual State of Manufacturing event

MAGNET State of Manufacturing at HGR

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Dale Kiefer, freelance journalist)

On Nov. 10, HGR welcomed members of the public to its headquarters to gain insights about important trends that are likely to affect Northeast Ohio manufacturers in the coming year. The third-annual State of Manufacturing event was organized by MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network whose mission is to help area companies grow and thereby contribute to the manufacturing renaissance in Northeast Ohio.

MAGNET State of Manufacturing breakfast at HGRThe morning event began with a networking breakfast that gave attendees a chance to connect with other industry professionals, including HGR associates and expert consultants from MAGNET. Ethan Karp, president and CEO of MAGNET, launched the formal part of the program with opening remarks. This was followed by an expression of thanks to HGR and all of the participants from Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail.

The first presenter was Joseph N. Gross, an OSBA certified specialist in labor and employment law who is also a partner at Benesch Attorneys at Law. He spoke about changes at OSHA and what manufacturers can expect when dealing with the agency in the coming year.

He was followed by Mark Wolk, the central region manager for Bank of America Leasing & Capital, who gave an overview of the equipment finance market. This included a lease versus loan benefit comparison for capital equipment.MAGNET State of Manufacturing guest speaker at HGR

The third and final speaker for the morning was Dr. Ned Hill who teaches economic development policy, public policy, and public finance at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University. The focus of his presentation was Manufacturing 5.0, or the Fifth Industrial Revolution, which describes the most recent major shift in the economy’s structure. Under Manufacturing 5.0, all aspects of enterprises will see full digital integration. In this new economy, soft skills will be just as valuable and essential among the workforce as harder technical skills.

Following the presentations, the speakers opened the floor to questions. Thereafter, attendees were given a chance to take guided tours of HGR’s facility and learn more about the history of the company and the value that HGR itself provides to manufacturers. More than 40 attendees toured HGR’s 500,000-square-foot showroom and newly renovated offices.

The State of Manufacturing 2017 event was sponsored by MAGNET, The Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Benesch Attorneys at Law, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

 

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

HGR November 2017 guess what it is Facebook contest

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, Nov. 20, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

Ohio Strong Award recognizes those who excel in manufacturing and the trades

Ohio Strong Award for manufacturing and the skilled trades

As Josh Mandel, treasurer of Ohio, states, “There is a quiet crisis upon us with a shortage of young Americans pursuing careers in manufacturing and the skilled trades. According to a recent Skills Gap Survey by the Manufacturing Institute, approximately 600,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled nationally because employers can’t find qualified workers.” In order to encourage young people to enter these fields, that state has created the “Ohio Strong Award.” The application form is available here.

If someone you know or work with demonstrates an excellent work ethic and passion for what he or she does in manufacturing and the skilled trades, you can nominate him or her for helping to make Ohio strong. These stories, which will appear on the Ohio treasurer’s website, will recognize those laborers as well as inspire the next generation of Ohioans to pursue careers in manufacturing and the trades.

 

Happy Halloween!

Scary jack o'lantern in the woods

Whether you dress up in costume, pass out candy, bob for apples, tell scary stories, watch horror films, carve pumpkins, remember those who are no longer with us, or play tricks on your friends, we hope that you have a safe and happy All Hallows’ Eve and don’t eat too much candy! If you visit HGR on Oct. 31, you’ll see some of our employees in costume and the office decorated thanks to Libby! You may even find some treats along the way.

What does a company that sells industrial surplus have to do with archaeology?

skeleton and archaeological tools

Well, what is archeology? According to the Society for American Archaeology, “Archeology is the study of ancient and recent human past through material remains. Archaeology analyzes the physical remains of the past in pursuit of broad and comprehensive understanding of human culture. Artifacts are objects made or used by people that are analyzed by archaeologists to obtain information about the peoples who make and used them.”

HGR is full of artifacts! Do you like to dig around at thrift stores, flea markets, estate sales? Do you have a love for building, fixing, making, history, machinery, manufacturing, bygone days? Our customers are archeologists. They come to HGR’s 500,000-square-foot showroom and dig around in the remains from other businesses, offices and manufacturers looking for that prize, that find, that deal. The building is full of clues about the past.

When I walk the aisles I think about what these machines made, who ran them, and, even, who designed and made the machines. It’s a huge part of our culture. Everything is manufactured. Everything you use, wear, drive in, live in. These are all products made somewhere by someone. We can’t even begin to imagine how or the process that goes into it if we’ve never worked in a factory. Those who do know the rigor that goes into making a quality, precision product from the concept to design to materials to manufacture to distribution to sales to use by the consumer. It’s a huge pipeline on which our economy and culture hinge.

When a company upgrades equipment, changes a process or, even, goes out of business, it has material assets that it needs to sell in order to recoup some of its assets and reinvest them. Selling surplus also keeps these items out of a landfill and in use, allowing smaller or startup companies to buy the equipment that they need affordably. That includes everything in its offices (chairs, desks, tables, anything in or on a desk, computers), maintenance department (cleaning supplies, light bulbs, gloves, bathroom/hygiene products) and on its production floor (storage bins, solvents, tools, machines, equipment, welding shields, fire extinguishers).

Think about it as anything and everything that keeps a company running. HGR Industrial Surplus sends its buyers into these customers’ facilities to bid on whatever they are selling. If they buy it, HGR transports it to Euclid, Ohio, and resells it to local customers in the Cleveland area and to international customers through its website at hgrinc.com. Whatever that manufacturer made may also be for sale if they had unsold lots of their product (wine glasses, rugs, safety glasses, leather). That’s why you can find anything and everything at HGR Industrial Surplus. Aisle 1 is a favorite of many customers when they go “digging.”

 

Get to know a zoo vet tech turned fabricator: A Q&A with David D’Souza

David D'Souza with gorilla at the Los Angeles Zoo

   What do you do for a living?

I’m actually a veterinary technician at the zoo in Los Angeles. I’ve always been an animal lover, and I’ve worked with animals since I was 16. It’s such an exciting and often dangerous job that it keeps me sharp and motivated. Every day is an adventure. I would honestly do it for free, but luckily it pays enough for me to enjoy my other hobbies.

How and why did you get into welding, art and making?David D'Souza welding

Speaking of my other hobbies, many of them center around motorsports. I’ve always enjoyed building fast cars, trucks and bikes. Welding is a necessary skill in fabricating many high-performance parts and “one of” custom setups; so, I had to pick up welding both MIG and TIG along the way. Once I immersed myself in the metal fabrication hobby It quickly developed into a real passion and from it my creative side started to blossom.

What types of items do you design and make?

I typically design and create industrial-style items, as well as a few more delicate things. Custom tables are my favorite along with mobile carts and other heavy items. Almost everything I design incorporates a blend of heavy steel and wood. I particularly like building butcher block or farmhouse-style slabs and mounting them on industrial steel frames. I like playing with different wood finishes such as epoxy resins. I feel that wood has a warm, deep beauty that is brought to light if the correct finishing technique is used.

David D'Souza cartDavid D'Souza TableDavid D'Souza chicken feet potsDavid D'Souza book endsDavid D'Souza industrail coffee table

How do you market or sell your creations? Do you attend shows?

I haven’t focused on the marketing or selling aspect too much until recently. This is still mainly a hobby, and I’m constantly learning and improving. I recently started Red Dogs Crafts, and I currently only have an Etsy website as a marketing tool. I do plan on becoming a vendor at a few local flea markets here in Los Angeles to see if I can find a target audience for my style of fabrication. I plan on attending a few shows to get some ideas of what other fabricators are doing out there. I love seeing new ideas and techniques because it motivates me to learn more.

How did you learn to do this?

I’m 100-percent self-taught in everything that I do. I’ve never taken classes, had a mentor or worked in the industry to have someone show me the ropes. I believe I’m a fast learner in anything that I do, and I also know that I learn best when I do things on my own by making mistakes and doing my own research on different techniques. Nowadays, with the Internet and YouTube there isn’t anything that you cannot learn online. Heck, there’s even YouTube videos on how to do cardiac surgery for that first timer doing a valve replacement. LOL. My usual mode of action is to buy the tool first then figure out how it works and then practice until I’m proficient at it or at least achieve the end results that I can be proud of.

What artists, designers or makers do you most admire?

I like Kevin Caron’s work. I think he’s very practical and down to earth with his techniques. He’s also a wealth of knowledge and experience; so, I respect his abilities and his work because he’s constantly learning like the rest of us. He’s also on the WeldingWeb forum where I met HGR for the first time; so, he adds to the knowledge base, as do many other experienced guys.

What inspires you?

I think I’m inspired by the challenge of creating something that I visualize in my mind and having to physically take the steps to make it materialize to as close a rendition of what I see in my mind’s eye. I feel that many people love certain things but always feel that they’re unattainable either because it’s too difficult, it’s too much work or they just can’t figure out how to do it. I love figuring out how to do new stuff. That is what inspires and motivates me.

What do you do when you aren’t working or making art?

Whenever I have free time I spend my time pursuing my other hobbies. Typically, I’m out in the deserts of Southern California riding my dirt bikes or drag racing my cars. I think the feeling of being on two wheels ripping through our beautiful landscape gives me the exhilaration that I’m constantly chasing. I also enjoy spending time outdoors at the beach with my two dogs and my girlfriend. Sometimes, I just love my family time staying home with my girlfriend and the dogs just relaxing.

What advice do you have for makers?

My advice is that you can go as far in this hobby/profession as you choose. It’s all dependent on the effort that you put into it. I would advise anyone starting in the hobby to take classes first. I think this would set you up with a good fundamental foundation which would expose you to the different techniques, tools and options out there which would then allow you to make intelligent choices going forward with the hobby. Being that I’m self-taught, I feel that I’ve gone around in circles a few times and would have wasted less time had I gained the experience a class provides. Also, if you can work in the industry do so, even as a volunteer. It’s invaluable the skill you develop by immersing yourself into the industry.

What is your personal philosophy?

I’ve never been asked this question before so I’ll have to think of one now. I think of life as a journey that is based on choices or decisions. Every decision we make has an effect on the direction that our life takes. If we make good decisions early in life, we are started on a path to success or happiness. I realized the consequences of my decisions in my late 20s and it was at that point that I started in the direction that I’m headed now. My philosophy would probably be something along the lines that life is a constant test of your character. If you make good choices based on good character you’ll be on the path to success and happiness in whatever you pursue.

Anything that I missed? The two red dogs?

Ah, my babies. “ShyAnne” and her daughter “Lil Cheese.” These are my two red dogs. A mom and daughter pair that have been part of my life for the last 15 years. ShyAnne has been by my side through thick and thin and good and bad. It’s amazing how having a strong bond with your dogs can keep you positive through so many difficult times in life. These two are a part of everything I do. Hence, I decided to name the fabrication shop after them as they are a part of everything I build. I’m glad to have my workshop at home because it allows me to spend time with my two dogs while I’m building stuff. I take lots of breaks to play ball with them and build cool dog toys to keep them occupied. In return, they only ask for more of my attention, and treats, which I am always glad to give.

David D'Souza's two Red Dogs after which Red Dog Crafts is named

Euclid mayor and school superintendent share initiatives with the community

Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail at Euclid Chamber of Commerce Community Leaders Breakfast 2017On Oct. 17, a full house of Euclid-area residents and businesspeople gathered in the meeting room of the Euclid Public Library for the Euclid Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leaders Breakfast. First, Kacie Armstrong, library director, said a few words about the purpose of the library in the community. Next, Sheila Gibbons, Euclid Chamber of Commerce executive director, announced upcoming chamber events and introduced a representative from the breakfast’s sponsor, Allstate Insurance Agent Bill Mason.

The first guest speaker was Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail. She addressed three areas of focus for the city: economic development, safety and building a vibrant community. Some recent and future projects in the city that bring in new investment and tax dollars for the city include 1,000 new jobs being created with the demolition of Euclid Square Mall and new construction of an Amazon distribution center, the creation of a technology center at Lincoln Electric and surrounding streetscape at E. 222nd St. and St. Clair Ave., a 25,000-square-foot expansion at Keene Building Products, a 40,000-square-foot expansion at American Punch Co., an expansion of Rick Case Honda, a groundbreaking for an O’Reilly auto parts store, and planned expansions to Irie Jamaican Kitchen and Mama Catena.

The second initiative, safety, includes promotions, new hires, training and community-education opportunities for the fire and police departments. Finally, building a vibrant community encompasses community cleanup, recycling, beautification and improvement grants. On Nov. 2, the city will unveil its master plan draft to the Planning & Zoning Department.

The second community leader to speak was Euclid City Schools’ Superintendent Charlie Smialek. He introduced a number of school employees in attendance as well as three Euclid High School Euclid City Schools Superintendent Charlie Smialek at Euclid Chamber of Commerce Community Leaders Breakfast 2017students. Then, he went through a presentation on the district’s vision that included a new Fab Lab to be built as part of the Early Learning Center to introduce science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) instruction in grade school. It will be one of only two early learning Fab Labs in the nation. He also discussed technology programming at the high school and an update on the campus construction project that is underway for scheduled completion in 2020.

Both speakers fielded questions from the audience and gave a plug to support Cuyahoga Community College’s November 2017 bond, Issue 61 to update aging buildings.

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

HGR Industrial Surplus Receiving Department

(Courtesy of Rick Hawkins, HGR’s receiving supervisor)

What does your department do?

The main objective of the Receiving Department is to safely and accurately receive and prepare our incoming merchandise for sale. Our goal is to achieve the main objective along with ensuring that we present our customers with the best possible first impression of our merchandise. Many processes take place in order to prepare our surplus for sale: unloading, weighing, sorting, expediting, displaying, and inventorying are processes that are completed prior to sale. We supply our showroom and sales associates with ready-to-sell merchandise on a daily basis.

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

The Receiving Department operates on two shifts to help accommodate the high volume of deliveries each day. There are four forklift operators per shift who unload and prepare everything for the inventory process. There are four inventory clerks, two expeditors, and the chief pricing officer. Receiving also works closely with the eBay Department, the Recycling Department and the logistics coordinators. Together, we work toward a common goal; each position and every responsibility plays a crucial role in the desired end result: happy customers, happy vendors, good sales, and prosperity for all.

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

Those who possess self-motivation to achieve goals, those who pay attention to detail, and those who are highly organized will succeed in the Receiving Department.

What do you like most about your department?

The fact that every single item in our nearly 600,000-square-foot showroom has been processed through the Receiving Department is a pretty amazing feat to consider. Every available item and every sales transaction is dependent on the efforts of those in our department. Knowing the contribution that our department makes to the whole of the company is gratifying.

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

I have been with the company since its earlier days. I have seen and been part of the evolution and can attest to the great accomplishments we have achieved over time. Any prosperous company must be willing to adapt and improve processes to accommodate growth. We constantly strive for improvement in efficiency and productivity. There was a time when a 10- truckload delivery schedule was nearly impossible. Now, a 10-truckload schedule is considered a light day. A lot of things have changed over the years. Improved organization, refined processes, better employee training, increased department size, additional docks, and effectively utilizing available space have greatly increased the capabilities of our department and our business, in general.

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

As implied by one of our five company core values (personal dedication to continuous improvement in creating employee and company success), we are constantly evolving, adapting, and improving. During the past few years many changes have occurred: promoting company culture, major building renovations, the treat it like it’s yours initiative, several employee-recognition programs, and the implementation of safety regulations. All of these companywide changes and improvements have created a better work environment as well as added to the foundation of our business for future growth. The biggest recent change in the Receiving Department was the addition of second-shift receiving operations. This occurred about four years ago and was an attempt to alleviate employee congestion, extend receiving hours, and enhance production. The outcome has been increased production, less forklift traffic with a safer work environment, and more accommodating receiving hours.

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

I’m interested in streamlining some of our older processes and utilizing available technology to better improve efficiency. We have come a long way, but there will always be room for improvement.

What’s HGR’s overall environment like?

HGR not only sells machines, we are a machine, and a juggernaut of a machine at that! Everyone involved here knows that it takes a lot of effort and care to keep this machine operating with precision. In the industrial-surplus world, we are a massive entity. This is a fast-paced environment where things regularly change on a moment’s notice. Our showroom is an ever-changing expanse of new arrivals and older equipment that has been further reduced in price. HGR is a place where you can find customers enthusiastically combing our isles to take advantage of our unbelievable deals and a place where the staff is well-versed in accomplishing goals and providing in excellent customer service.

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

As long as there are consumers with demands for products, there will be machines, manufacturers and competition to supply those demands. As long as there is competition among manufacturers, there will be more advanced, more precise, faster machines being developed. The manufacturers themselves become consumers in a competitive market. The need for evolution in manufacturing and machinery engineering will keep the need for new and used equipment revolving. There will always be a market for used equipment as new, and expanding businesses seek to compete, improve, and evolve within their means.

HGR supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month

think pink breast cancer awareness logo

Here at HGR Industrial Surplus, we think pink, even when we’re driving forklifts! In order to increase awareness of breast cancer and honor those who have had or are currently fighting breast cancer. During October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, our employees are wearing pink bracelets, and our forklift operators are placing pink bows on their forklifts. We’ll also be “going pink” and wearing our pink at the end of the month, as well as reminding our family and friends to make their mammogram appointments.

pink bows on HGR forklifts for Breast Cancer Awareness MonthHGR Industrial Surplus administrative staff support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Grammar tips: Who vs. Whom

HGR Industrial Surplus Grammar Tips: Who vs. Whom

Nope. Whom’st and whomst’d aren’t really words, but they are a good way to get a chuckle. Often, people think “whom” is a snooty, pretentious word that is some academic form of “who.” Well, it’s not; it’s actually a necessary word and used differently than “who.”

You can impress your colleagues when you use them correctly! Here’s how:

  • Use “who” to refer to the subject of the sentence.
  • Use “whom” to refer to the object of a verb or preposition.

See, there we go again, we need to know our parts of speech and how they function in the sentence in order to select the correct word. If you’re old enough, you might remember when they taught grammar in second grade and we had to diagram sentences (shudder).

sentence diagram

And, here’s a little cheat sheet! If you can substitute he/she for the word, use “who.” If you can substitute him/her for the word, use “whom.”

Example 1

  • Who or whom wrote the novel?
  • He/she wrote the novel, not him/her wrote the novel.
  • Correct answer: Who wrote the novel?

Example 2

  • Who/whom should I go with?
  • Should I go with him, not should I go with he?
  • Correct answer: Whom should I go with?

Example 3

  • We wondered who/whom she was talking about.
  • She was talking about him, not she was talking about he.
  • Correct answer: Whom was she talking about?

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

October HGR guess what it is Facebook contest

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 Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

HGR’s last cookout of 2017

cookout hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill

Every Wednesday, HGR offers its customers free lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. In the summer, it’s a cookout. This year we did it differently. Instead of hot dogs and hamburgers, we had grilled Italian sausage with grilled onions and peppers and hamburgers with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and chips. We even have relish, mustard, ketchup and mayo. If you love the cookout, get it while it’s hot. If you’ve never tried it, this week, Oct. 11, is your last chance until next year when the weather breaks. On Oct. 18, we switch to pizza during the colder months.

people taking pizza from a box

What trends can Northeast Ohio manufacturers expect to see in the next year?

MAGNET State of Manufacturing 2017 held at HGR Industrial Surplus

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Liz Fox, senior marketing associate, MAGNET: Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network)

Will the manufacturing industry keep growing at a healthy pace in 2018? How will government regulations and new legislation affect the industry? How will Northeast Ohio manufacturers take advantage of opportunities and face challenges in the new year? 

Find out at MAGNET’s 2017 State of Manufacturing event on Nov. 10!

Held at HGR Industrial Surplus in Euclid, this event will highlight successes in local manufacturing and address the sector’s fiscal and technological future. Following a networking breakfast, the morning will be full of insights on valuable manufacturing topics, including OSHA regulations, Industry 5.0, capital equipment, and more.

Following the event, HGR representatives will offer tours of their 500,000-square-foot showroom and newly renovated offices filled with furniture made by their customers, some of the area’s premier furniture designers.

Stay ahead of the competition by joining us at the third-annual State of Manufacturing event, and uncover economic trends that will affect your business in 2018.

Details and registration here: http://bit.ly/stateofmfg2018

For more information, contact MAGNET’s Linda Barita at 216.391.7766 or shoot us an email. Alternatively, keep up with the latest MAGNET news by following us on Twitter.

 

Car and audio show this weekend at HGR Industrial Surplus

WHAT CAN ONE OF THESE

subwoofer Resilient Sounds

DO IN ONE OF THESE?

blue mustang for HGR car and audio show

Stop by HGR’s back parking lot on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 12-5 p.m. to find out. There will be about 100 classic, muscle and sports cars on the property for Resilient Sound’s community car and audio show. This show’s for anyone interested in car audio. You can bring your vehicle and turn up your sound system and play it freely. There will be prizes for Best of Show and sound. There will be food trucks available.

For more information, contact Robbie at Resilient Sounds: 440-725-2458 or info@resilientsounds.com.

Euclid Chamber of Commerce’s Coffee Connections held at HGR Industrial Surplus

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connections HGR Industrial Surplus

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connection HGR Industrial Surplus coffee and pastryOn Oct. 3, approximately 25 members of The Euclid Chamber of Commerce and the business community visited HGR Industrial Surplus for an hour to mingle, network, take a tour of the facility and learn more about HGR while enjoying coffee and pastry catered by Manhattan Deli. Attendees included the City of Euclid police chief, City of Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer-Gail, radio celebrity Mark “Munch” Bishop, the executive director of Shore Cultural Center, and many others.

On their tour, they learned of HGR’s auction of one-of-a-kind handcrafted furniture by 44 Steel and Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words to benefit hurricane relief.

 

hurrican relief auction furniture HGR Industrial Surplus 44 Steel Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Doug Francis

HGR Buyer Doug Francis

When did you start with HGR and why?

Feb. 28, 2011. At the time it sounded like a challenging position where I could use my education and sales experience to meet with large manufacturing firms to purchase their surplus equipment. Six years later, it’s still challenging, and I enjoy the people I work with tremendously. I plan on being with HGR for the duration.

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

I cover most of Wisconsin and Cook, Boon, McHenry, and Lake Counties in Illinois. I contact customers to arrange times to look at their surplus equipment, follow up on offers and buy deals!

What do you like most about your job? 

Best part about this job is that it’s different every day. The process of setting up meetings, getting out offers and buying deals is consistent, but there’s never the same deal twice. Keeps me sharp.

What’s your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge is the ongoing and always-changing needs of our customers.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

Most of the buyers’ meetings have interesting moments. Too many interesting moments to pick the most interesting. It’s a good deal to get together with coworkers/friends and be around the other buyers who are experiencing the same day-to-day activities.

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

I enjoy being outside and most water-related activities with friends and family. Wisconsin has outdoor activities for every season; so, I’m thankful for where I live.

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

I’m not a hero worshipper. I’m influenced by successful people every day and try to emulate things that make them successful. My inspiration is self-improvement; there’s always room to get better with everything.

Anything you’d like to add?

I’m glad I work with such a good group of lads in the Buy Department. Every time we meet in Cleveland, I’m reminded what a great team of people work for HGR with the same goals as my own.

Hurricane-victim relief auction goes LIVE

44 Steel desk
Desk by Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel
Rust Dust & Other 4 Letter Words lamp table
Lamp table by Larry Fielder of Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words
3 Barn Doors table for HGR Industrial Surplus hurricane-relief auction
Table by Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors

 

You can own a one-of-a-kind piece of handcrafted furniture by one of Cleveland’s premier contemporary-furniture designers AND help hurricane victims at the same time.

You can reach the auction from a button on our home page at hgrinc.com or go directly to the landing page here to read about the arts organization that will benefit from the auctions. To learn more about 44 Steel’s desk, click here. For info about Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words’ lamp table, click here. For info about 3 Barn Doors, click here.

Help hurricane victims recover, and gain a conversation piece for your home or office.

HGR sponsors NKPHTS 2017 Convention luncheon

HGR sponsorship of Nickel Plate Road HIstorical Society luncheon at English Oak Room Tower City

From Sept. 28-30, Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society held its annual convention, which included presentations and tours, in Cleveland, Ohio, for the first time since 1996 at Holiday Inn Cleveland – South Independence.

lobby of English Oak Room Tower CityOn Sept. 29, it held its luncheon, sponsored by HGR Industrial Surplus, at the opulent English Oak Room located in the former Cleveland Union Terminal, now known as Tower City Center. The room is so named because the developers of the rapid transit line and the Public Square station, the Van Sweringen Brothers, imported oak paneling made from the trees in England’s Sherwood Forest. Forest City, the Tower’s current owner, preserved the room by repairing the overhead roads that were leaking down into Cleveland Union Terminal.

Chuck Klein Nickel Plate Road HIstorical Society English Oak Room Tower CityChuck Klein, 2017 NKPHTS National Convention chairman, gave an interesting presentation, “Chicago World’s Fair to Cleveland Public Square,” about the history of downtown Cleveland seen through the lens of the railroads. He showed photos of downtown before, during and after development as the construction took place from 1927-1930. One amazing statistic is that 2.4 million cubic yards of material were removed for the excavation.

HGR Industrial Surplus is a member of NKPHTS and supports the organization due to its facility in Euclid, Ohio, being on the former Nickel Plate Road and housed inside “Nickel Plate Station.”

Nickel Plate Road Historical Society luncheon at English Oak Room Tower City

One-of-a-kind pieces of furniture by local designers to be auctioned for hurricane relief

These Cleveland-area industrial/contemporary furniture designers (Jason Radcliffe, 44 Steel; Larry Fielder, Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words; and Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors) visited HGR Industrial Surplus to find inspiration for a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture to be built live during Ingenuity Fest, Sept. 22-24, 2017.

The pieces are on display at HGR Industrial Surplus, 20001 Euclid Ave., and will be auctioned by HGR with all proceeds going to aid an arts organization in the Houston area to rebuild and offer programming in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

A picture tells 1,000 words. Here are the “before” and “after” photos showing the items selected from HGR’s inventory and donated to the designers. The “after” pictures show the finished pieces on display in HGR’s office and how these designers took industrial surplus and repurposed it into a functional object for home or office use.

BEFORE:

44 Steel maple workbench
44 Steel: Maple-topped workbench
44 Steel positioner
44 Steel: Two positioners
Rust Dust & Other 4-Letter Words magazine dispenser
Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words: Magazine dispenser
Rust Dust & Other 4-Letter Words mixer
Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words: Mixer
Rust Dust & Other 4-Letter Words wrench
Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words: Wrench
Foot Shear purchased by Three Barn Doors for use in HGR Industrial Surplus hurricane relief auction
Three Barn Doors: Foot shear

AFTER:

44 Steel desk
Desk by Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel

 

Rust Dust & Other 4 Letter Words lamp table
Lamp table by Larry Fielder of Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words
3 Barn Doors table for HGR Industrial Surplus hurricane-relief auction
Table by Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors

MEET THE DESIGNERS:

Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel
Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel
Larry Fielder of Rus, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words
Larry Fielder of Rus, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words
Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors
Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors

If you are interested in bidding on any of these pieces, from Oct. 4-13, 2017, you can click a button from our home page to see more information on each item and designer then place your bid. Winning bidders will be required to pick up the item from HGR or pay actual shipping cost.

 

What type of employer is HGR? Buyer Spotlight with Jeff Cook

HGR Industrial Surplus Buyer Jeff Cook with fiance

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jeff Cook, HGR buyer)

When did you start with HGR and why?

I started with HGR in August 2015. I wanted something new and challenging, as well as to move back to my hometown of Syracuse, New York. It seemed like the perfect fit. Definitely is.

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

I cover all of New York, as well as, part of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Mondays I work from my office and Tuesday through Friday I travel the state to look at equipment all over the place.

What do you like most about your job?

Seeing new things every single day.  You never know what you are going to run in to.

What’s your greatest challenge?

Focusing on one thing at a time and not becoming distracted. Also, never assume things.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

I’d say my most interesting moment at HGR is every time I have to go to New York City/Long Island. It is a different world.

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

Golfing, watching/playing sports. Especially watching the Buffalo Bills, New York Yankees and Syracuse Orange.

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

My dad. He has always been there for me no matter what. He always stressed the importance of getting a college education and the importance of being the best you can be.

Anything I missed that you want everyone to know?

I get married Oct. 7, 2017! The picture is of my fiancé, Mallory, and me.

HGR opens its doors for this year’s F*SHO

F SHO Googie Style at HGR Industrial SurplusF SHO 2017 at HGR Industrial Surplus

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Dale Kiefer, freelance journalist)

HGR hosted the ninth-annual F*SHO on Friday, Sept. 15. This free, community-oriented event gives local builders, designers, and artists a chance to show members of the public the products of their furniture-making skills. And maybe sell a few items and inspire some future craftspeople along the way.

More than 2,000 people attended this time around where, in addition to rubbing shoulders with these talented artists, they also got a chance to check out HGR’s inventory. The evening was a celebration fueled not just by the furniture, but also by the free beer from Noble Beast Brewing Co., the free food from SoHo Chicken + Whiskey, and a live DJ.

The organizers, Jason and Amanda Radcliffe of 44 Steel, brought the 2017 F*SHO to HGR, keeping alive their tradition of finding a new location for each show. “It started out as just a couple people showing furniture back in 2009,” Jason says, “and now, look around!” It was difficult to tell what excited Jason the most. He marveled at the age of the still-sturdy wooden beams that held HGR’s roof up just as much as he did the sight of so many people walking through HGR’s industrial setting.

The F*SHO has undergone a sizable expansion, growing from five designers in the first year to thirty-three this year. Jason said that he never thought it should be too formal. He didn’t want it to be your standard booth setup. Instead, it should be something organic that grows naturally from the creative people who make it happen. HGR, with its rugged backdrop featuring its industrial surplus, made for the perfect venue.

“HGR is doing a great job with this space. They brought this building back—revitalized it. This is great for the city,” Jonathan Holody, the director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Euclid, says. He was there to mingle with attendees and share Euclid’s storied history. “A lot of the manufacturers in the area rely on HGR. It’s great to see this event attract people from all around the area to Euclid.”

This year’s F*SHO also represented a celebrity reunion of sorts, comprised of those who have earned fame in the world of furniture design. In 2015, Jason competed on the Spike TV show, Framework, which was hosted by hip-hop superstar Common. This reality TV outing pitted 13 designers against each other in a Project Runway-style face-off. Notably, two of the top three finishers in that competition call Northeast Ohio home. Jason finished third, while Akron-based Freddy Hill of Freddy Hill Design took second. There were no hard feelings though, as the first place finisher, Jory Brigham of Jory Brigham Design, traveled all the way from his home in San Luis Obispo, Calif., for the F*SHO. They also were joined by fellow competitors Craig Bayens of C. Bayens Furniture + Functional Design Co. from Louisville, Kentucky, and Toledo-based Lacey Campbell of Lacey Campbell Designs.

This gathering of friends and colleagues made HGR and Euclid the center of the cutting-edge furniture design world for the night of the F*SHO. And the large public turnout helped to ensure that there was plenty of inspiration shared with the next generation of designers who will call this area home.

some furniture from F*SHO 2017 at HGR Industrial Surplus

Alliance for Working Together to host fifth-annual Think Manufacturing Career Expo

Alliance for Working Together Think Manufacturing Career Expo LogoOn Oct. 5, 2017, Alliance for Working Together (AWT) is partnering with Lake County Chambers of Commerce to host their annual Think Manufacturing Career Expo. The goal of the expo is to serve manufacturers and middle- and high-school students by creating an interest in various high-tech careers that manufacturing offers. Approximately 30 manufacturers will have booths at the expo, including Dyson Corporation, Lubrizol, STERIS Corporation, Swagelok and others. HGR Industrial Surplus plans to be there, as well, to share our career opportunities. Booth setup begins at 8 a.m. with a breakfast meeting at 9 a.m. and students arriving 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

HGR Industrial Surplus to host MAGNET’s The State of Manufacturing 2017 on Nov. 10

MAGNET: Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network

Last year, MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network hosted The State of Manufacturing 2016 at Jergens. Click here for a recap of that event so that you can get an idea of what to expect. This year, HGR Industrial Surplus, 20001 Euclid Avenue, Euclid, Ohio, is hosting from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Nov. 10, 2017. Tickets are required and can be purchased here for $10. You also can view the full agenda on that page.

Join us for a morning devoted to economic and environmental trends affecting Northeast Ohio manufacturers led by Dr. Ned Hill, professor of public administration and city and regional planning at The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs and member of the College of Engineering’s Ohio Manufacturing Institute.

HGR Industrial Surplus hosts Euclid Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connections, Oct. 3, 2017

coffee at Six Shooter Cafe

On Oct. 3, the Euclid Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its  next “Coffee Connections” at HGR Industrial Surplus, 20001 Euclid Ave., Euclid, Ohio, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Chamber members and members of the community are welcomed to attend for complimentary coffee, pastry and a tour of HGR’s 500,000-square-foot showroom and newly renovated sales and administrative offices that are furnished with one-of-a-kind furniture, fixtures and accessories made by HGR customers Jason Wein of Cleveland Art, Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors, Larry Fielder of Rust, Dust & Other 4-Letter Words and Industrial Design Student Brenna Truax.

Registration is encouraged but not required on euclidchamber.com/events.

This is a great opportunity to network with other local business leaders and learn about a Euclid business and what it does. HGR’s showroom always is open to the public during HGR’s business hours and includes new and used manufacturing equipment, industrial surplus, tools, machinery, construction supplies, and office equipment and supplies. HGR buys and sells, literally, anything and serves as a conduit between customers looking for affordable, used machinery, equipment and supplies and manufacturers hoping to recoup some portion of their initial capital investments.

Three furniture designers to do live build at Ingenuity; HGR to auction pieces for hurricane relief

Ingenuity Fest 2017

From Sept. 22-24, some folks from HGR Industrial Surplus and Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel, Aaron Cunningham of Three Barn Doors and Larry Fielder of Rust, Dust and Other 4-Letter Words will be onsite on the second floor of Ingenuity Fest, Cleveland, finishing the live build of three pieces of contemporary, industrial-designed furniture that were started after the F*SHO, a contemporary furniture show, which was held on Sept. 15 in HGR’s 500,000-square-feet showroom.

The designers selected industrial-surplus equipment from HGR’s showroom to use in the build of the furniture. We’ll all be there Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon. Then, the finished furniture will be displayed the week of Sept. 25 in HGR’s lobby. We will host an auction, and the highest bidders will be proud new owners of one-of-a-kind pieces. All proceeds will be donated to hurricane relief in the Houston area.

Stop by our area on the second floor at Ingenuity to learn more about HGR, if you’ve never strolled through our showroom of anything and everything that you could imagine, and watch Jason, Aaron and Larry in action. They’ll be happy to share tips and tricks with aspiring makers and designers.

We can’t wait to see the finished products!! Make sure to check HGR’s Facebook, Twitter or website, or grab a card at Ingenuity to learn how you can bid on these one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture.

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

HGR Industrial Surplus Sales Department

(Courtesy of Jon Frischkorn, HGR’s sales manager)

What does your department do?

HGR’s Sales Department is dedicated to providing outstanding customer service with every interaction. We work to build relationships with our customers, in some cases, for the past 19 years. We want HGR to be the first stop each customer makes to fulfil his or her industrial surplus needs.

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

Our Sales Department consists of nine sales representatives, two sales assistants, a sales expediter, sales manager and, frankly, the entire HGR staff. All of our actions help sell our products and services that we offer.

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

A positive attitude, a desire to help our customers, and the willingness to be flexible.

What do you like most about your department?

We have a great team here and enjoy helping to fulfill our commitments to our customers, each other, and our community. We enjoy what we do and try to have fun in the process.

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

We are problem solvers and have countless challenges daily that we work to overcome in order to help satisfy our customers’ needs. These can be as simple as locating an item in our 12-acre showroom, finding specifications on a product, or even overcoming shipping obstacles.

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

While much of the sales role hasn’t changed, we are constantly striving to improve and be more efficient at servicing our customers.

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

HGR is always improving its staff. Something as small as an internal procedural changes or on-the-job product training happen routinely. We also do offsite training and offer continuous education courses at Kent State University.

What is HGR’s overall environment like?

The overall environment at HGR is often described as a handyman’s toy store. We are within a building originally built in 1943 to produce aircraft parts during World War II, then housed GM’s Fisher Auto Body Plant. The building itself is amazing. The wooden beams, brick, and numbered aisleways create a unique backdrop that is perfect for 12 acres filled with industrial surplus. See this story for more on the history of our site.

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

HGR is the heart of the “rust belt” and is a major player in the re-use of used industrial equipment. We help continue the life of machines that otherwise could be scrapped and lost. It isn’t uncommon for us to see items we’ve bought and resold a couple times. As companies needs change, we are always here to purchase machinery so it can be reused by someone else.

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

September 2017 Guess What it is Facebook contest for HGR Industrial Surplus

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, Sept. 18, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

CFHS students display Hot Work in heavy metal

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

Students are back in the classroom. And that means students in the metals classes at Cuyahoga Falls High School are back at their work benches, safety goggles in place and welders in hand.

The school offers two one-semester courses in metals within its Industrial Technology and Manufacturing Program. In them, students develop foundational skills in metal fabrication and metal joining processes. They learn introductory industrial mathematics, design, basic metallurgy and metal forming. In addition, they learn theory and applications of a variety of welding and fusing processes including soldering, oxy-acetylene cutting, welding and brazing.

Students design and build projects and make repairs using the techniques they learn. We stumbled upon the students — and some of their creations they have dubbed “Hot Work” — at the Cuyahoga Falls All-City Art Walk last April.

Walk along with us as we show you some of their creations.

Metals student Maddie shows off the CFHS Hot Work bench displayed at the Art Walk.
Wine bottle holders and a paper towel holder were among the items the students crafted using their metal work skills.
CFHS metal working students also displayed this unique toilet paper holder at the Art Walk.
CFHS metals class students sold the items they displayed at the Art Walk, including peg racks made out of sawed-off golf clubs.

F*SHO comes to HGR Industrial Surplus; win a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture by a famous designer

F*SHO ad

In two weeks, the F*SHO, a contemporary furniture show and brain child of Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel, will be coming to HGR Industrial Surplus. Join us Sept. 15 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 20001 Euclid Avenue, Euclid, Ohio. Entry is through the back of HGR’s building.

There will be approximately 30 furniture designers showcasing their work while a DJ spins tunes, and food, courtesy of SoHo Chicken + Whiskey, and beer flow freely. Everything’s free, except the furniture!

In 2015, Jason competed in FRAMEWORK, a furniture and design reality-TV show, hosted by hip-hop superstar Common on SPIKE TV. The winner of that show, Jory Brigham, who also teaches furniture building, will be coming from California to premier a new piece at the F*SHO, and Jason will be heading to California to teach a class at Jory’s studio.

In addition, you will have a chance to win a piece of furniture designed by either Jason Radcliffe, 44 Steel, who works with steel, or Aaron Cunningham, 3 Barn Doors, who works with wood. They will select items from HGR’s showroom to use in the furniture design then will be building the two pieces live at Ingenuity Festival on Sept. 22-24. Contest details to be announced shortly. Stay tuned!

Grammar tips: Verbs

I got this one meme

What’s wrong with these sentences that we commonly hear?

  • I got no money.
  • I seen Game of Thrones on Sunday.

If you answered “the verb,” you’re right.

How would we correct them?

Well, in the first sentence, the verb is formed from “get.” This verb can be conjugated:

  • Present: I get
  • Preterite/past: I got
  • Present continuous: I am getting
  • Present perfect: I have gotten or (informally) I have got
  • Future: I will get
  • Future perfect: I will have gotten
  • Past continuous: I was getting
  • Past perfect: I had got
  • Future continuous: I will be getting
  • Present perfect continuous: I have been getting
  • Past perfect continuous: I had been getting
  • Future perfect continuous: I will have been getting

You might say, well, the preterite shows “I got;” so, what’s the problem? Well, “got” is past tense, as in “I got no money from Mary.” It might be better to choose a different verb and say, “I received no money from Mary.” But if you are trying to say that you’re broke and don’t have any money, “got” alone doesn’t suffice. You could say, “I have no money.” If you really want to be colloquial and informal, “I have got no money” has become a correct usage. It’s a case of picking the wrong verb or using the wrong tense.

In the second sentence, the verb is formed from “see.” This verb can be conjugated:

  • Present: I see
  • Preterite/past: I saw
  • Present continuous: I am seeing
  • Present perfect: I have seen
  • Future: I will see
  • Future perfect: I will have seen
  • Past continuous: I was seeing
  • Past perfect: I have seen
  • Future continuous: I will be seeing
  • Present perfect continuous: I have been seeing
  • Past perfect continuous: I had been seeing
  • Future perfect continuous: I will have been seeing

There’s no “I seen” as an option. You can say: I saw Game of Thrones on Sunday or I have seen Game of Thrones on Sunday. In the example “have” was dropped from the sentence. Often, we do that when we speak because we keep abbreviating. “I have seen Game of Thrones” becomes “I’ve seen Game of Thrones” becomes “I seen Game of Thrones.”

I seen meme

Gear up for Manufacturing Month 2017!

rolls of nails by Stephen Herron

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Liz Fox, senior marketing associate, MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network)

Because 3.5 million manufacturing jobs are expected to be available by the end of the decade, manufacturers are constantly looking for new ways to involve young people in their plants. Some seek assistance from apprenticeship efforts like MAGNET’s Early College Early Career program, while others participate in outreach designed to change the perception of manufacturing from being a dirty, unsafe factory to a high-tech, exciting environment. The latter is the very thing that propels Manufacturing Day, which occurs on the first Friday of October, and, by association, Manufacturing Month (October).

Created in 2012, Manufacturing Day not only stands to celebrate the sector as a whole, but also emphasizes the idea that jobs in the field are highly skilled and take place in some of the world’s coolest facilities. To do this, companies often open their plants to showcase their best technology or hold a career fair with the purpose of informing students what potential career paths lies ahead for them in manufacturing.

According to recent studies by Deloitte, Manufacturing Day has been shown to be effective in not only engaging young people, but involving manufacturers in their communities. In fact, 89 percent of companies surveyed value participating in Manufacturing Day and Manufacturing Month events, and 71 percent of students and young people who attended a plant tour, career/job fair, or other event said they were more likely to spread the word and encourage their friends and family to seek more information about what manufacturing provides for the community, as well as what it can do for the individual.

To coincide with Manufacturing Day (Oct. 6 this year), the whole month of October is also Manufacturing Month in Ohio. As one of the fastest-growing and most innovative manufacturing hubs in the country, companies and nonprofits use this opportunity to work together to address the skilled labor shortage and steer public perceptions of manufacturing in the right direction. Not only does this include businesses from across the state, but local chapters of professional organizations, workforce specialists, and Manufacturing Extension Partnership affiliates, such as MAGNET, TechSolve, and others.

Last year, Ohio played host to nearly 200 Manufacturing Day events, beating out rich manufacturing areas such as New York, Indiana, and Texas.

One of many events kicking off Manufacturing Month this year is the 6th Annual NEO Manufacturing Symposium on Sept. 29. Sponsored by MAGNET and Cleveland Engineering Society and held at Lorain County Community College, this event addresses topics critical to manufacturing, including cybersecurity, talent pipeline, and more. Manufacturers that are looking for answers about new trends and how to lessen the skills gap are encouraged to attend (not to mention a great tour of the new, state-of-the-art Riddell facility in North Ridgeville is available after the conference wraps up at 1 p.m.!).

To find out more about what’s taking place in Ohio on Manufacturing Day (or how to put on an event of your own), visit MFGDay.org or follow @MFGDay on Twitter.

Additional details can be found by logging onto manufacturingsuccess.org or following MAGNET at @MAGNETOhio

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 at Akron Makerspace 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.

HGR Industrial Surplus to host F*SHO, contemporary furniture show, Sept. 15

F*SHO contemporary credenza

Come join in the fun on Sept. 15, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at HGR Industrial Surplus, 20001 Euclid Ave, Euclid, Ohio!

We are pleased to announce that HGR is partnering with Jason and Amanda Radcliffe of 44 Steel to host this year’s F*SHO, Cleveland’s premier contemporary furniture show that features work from local designers and makers.

Free parking, free admission, free food and beer! A DJ will be spinning some tunes. And, Dan Morgan of Straight Shooter will be photographing the evening.

Food will be provided by SOHO Chicken + Whiskey. Beer will be provided courtesy of 44 Steel.

Jason and Amanda Radcliffe 44 Steel

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

What type of employer is HGR? Q&A with HGR Buyer Mike Paoletto

HGR Buyer Mike Paoletto with his family

When did you start with HGR?

Nine years ago, and I love it.

What is your territory?

Northern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and 1/3 of West Virginia.

What do you like most about your job?

It might sound cliché, but I really like and appreciate all the great people that I work with at HGR and get to meet in my travels.……..And, hotel room coffee.

What’s your greatest challenge?

When I first started, Rick Affrica, HGR’s chief purchasing officer and partner, said “Kid, you’ll never make it in this industry, but if you do, I’ll buy you a steak dinner.” Those words inspired me to work hard and eventually make Rick pay up.

What’s your most interesting moment at HGR?

Getting locked in an outside, fenced-in construction yard on a 15-degree Fahrenheit winter day with wind chill.

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

My No. 1 hobby is spending time with my family. My favorite movie is “Steel Magnolias,” and I enjoy reading romance novels.

HGR is open on July 3 but closed on July 4, 2017

July 4 fireworks

Happy Independence Day to our U.S. customers and friends! We will be open on Monday, July 3, but are closed on Tuesday, July 4, in honor of the holiday. We will be open during our normal business hours on Wednesday, July 5. Have a safe and fun holiday full of family, picnics and fireworks. Remember to be thankful for your freedoms.

A new, full-circle media vehicle for Euclid, Ohio, launches with inaugural edition

staff of Act3
Lily (shown seated in the photo) heads off to Ohio State University in late August where she’ll enter a rigorous graphic arts program and focuses on user experience in media design. Act 3 is always looking for interns (that could lead to a paid opportunity) to work with the Act 3 team – to grow, to create, and to “look around” at all that is on our horizon. Contact info at Act3creative.com.

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jim O’Hare, managing partner, Act 3)

A new communication vehicle has launched to inform businesses, residents and those with an interest in Euclid, Ohio – and HGR Industrial Surplus is a sponsor of the Spring/Summer 2017 inaugural edition in its native city. The venture is called Euclid360, and it challenges current and prospective residents and businesses to “Look Around” at what “The Lakefront City” offers. Euclid360 is a print publication, a mobile-optimized website, and a growing collection of three types of interactive videos – aerial, time lapse and virtual reality (360 degrees).

“The goal is to provide new ways of looking at the city,” says James O’Hare, publisher of Euclid360. “In our daily lives, we can get stuck by the same perspective. We hope that the stories and images in Euclid360 provide new vantage points that inform what’s working and suggest options when opportunities for growth are presented.”

The print edition of Euclid360 hits the street twice per year with spring/summer and fall/winter issues. A bright, young contributor to the inaugural issue was Lily Li, a senior in Euclid High School’s visual communications career-tech program. Lily’s digital illustrations graced several pages of the print issue and appear online at Euclid360.com.

Act 3 LLC, the publishing company that produces multiple media products, including Euclid360, was pleased to host Lily as an intern. “Lily represents the present and future of creative talent,” says Act 3’s Managing Partner Ron Hill, who mentored Li during her internship. “Creativity is all about seeing the same objects in new ways, but creativity doesn’t get out into the world unless the details are taken care of. Lily’s attention to detail is superb.”

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 FRAMEWORK, 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.

Grammar tips: Homophones

homophone meme

Homophones comes from the Greek words “homo” meaning “same” and “phone” meaning “voice or utterance.” They’re words that sound the same but mean something completely different. You know them well – aloud and allowed, compliment and complement, threw and through, paws and pause, pale and pail, ate and eight, knew and new, rode/rowed/road, scent/sent/cent, flew/flue/flu, buy/by/bye, their/there/they’re, your and you’re, it’s and its, two/to/too, and very similar words that are not quite homophones, such as loose and lose, then and than, effect and affect, ensure and insure, and definitely and defiantly. Some homophones are also homographs because they are spelled the same: rose (the flower) and rose (got up or ascended) or bear (the animal) and bear (to tolerate).

Now, we’re getting somewhere. That was fun, wasn’t it? You could keep going with that list. Some others probably came to mind right away.

I bet you might say, “Nah, I don’t have that problem. I use spell check in Word.” Guess again. There are about 25 homophones that most spell checkers won’t catch, according to grammarly.com. Nothing beats knowing the meaning of words or using a dictionary when in doubt. Sometimes, it’s about what part of speech the word is as it’s used in the sentence.

Here’s a small list of common homophones so that you can avoid sounding silly and impress your friends on Facebook and your coworkers in email:

  • Than (making a comparison) or then (sequence of events)
    • You ran faster today than you did yesterday.
    • You ran fast then you took a rest.
  • Two (the number), too (also) and to (toward)
    • I gave two dollars to Sarah, too.
  • Your (possessive) and you’re (you are)
    • You’re very protective of your new car.
  • There (place), their (possession) and they’re (they are)
    • Their home is something they’re proud of. We enjoy going there.
  • A while (noun phrase)or awhile (adverb)
    • It’s been a while since they hung out but they didn’t mind waiting awhile until the next time.
  • Everyday (adjective meaning common or routine) or every day (means each day)
    • He wore his green everyday shirt every day of the week.
  • Accept (to receive) or except (to exclude)
    • Everyone except Jim could accept that the fishing trip was cancelled.
  • Affect (to influence) or effect (something that was influenced)
    • They didn’t realize how the scary special effects would affect the kids.
  • Compliment (noun) or complement (verb)
    • The winemaker received a compliment on the red wine that seemed to complement each dish on the menu.
  • Ensure (make certain), insure (protect financially) or assure (everything’s okay)
    • I want to assure you that my priority is to ensure that my kids stay healthy; so, I insure them on my medical plan.

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

Fabricator makes metal sculptures from gears, machined parts and scrap

steampunk gun
Steampunk gun

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger and HGR Customer Merritt Geddes, Creative Designs & Customs)

My love of art started at a very young age. Before I was able to read, I also enjoyed looking at movie posters and comic books that my brother had. I loved the use of many bright colors and the way the characters were drawn. I would often draw my favorite Star Wars characters Darth Vader and Boba Fett. My mother was a great help in this in that she taught me how to draw by using simple shapes to make a complex picture.

art deco lamps
Art Deco lamps

I love doing what I do because I find it fun to make something from nothing and the challenge that it brings. I’ve worked with markers, watercolors, oil paint clay, wood, and steel. I like working with steel the most because of the unlimited possibility with it and the fact that I’ve been a welder and fabricator for more than 15 years. I started out just making stuff for myself and found that a lot of people really like my stuff and were willing to pay the prices asked for them.

So, after a while, I started my own side business of making my metal sculptures and selling them in my friend’s art studio. This took off, and I began selling in other studios in other cities and states about 10 years ago. I still work as a fabricator because it’s a steady pay check.

My current project that I’m working on is an 8-foot shark and a 12-foot robot. The shark should only take a couple of months but the robot might take a year or more because I am still in the process of getting parts. I get about a third of my parts from HGR because it’s less of a hassle than digging through the scrap yard. I get mostly gears and machined parts that I use to make my pieces of art look more interesting. I get my inspiration from watching Sci-Fi movies and Anime.

When I’m not working on one of my sculptures, I am usually riding my bike through the bike trails in Oberlin or in the parks. I guess what I could say to other makers is that you should do what you enjoy doing and learn from others as much as possible. It will make you better at what you are already doing.

metal skeleton
Skeleton warrior

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.

 

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

Stitcher for sale at HGR

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, June 19, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.

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

Top 10 questions about HGR Industrial Surplus

HGR Industrial Surplus Showroom Aisle-way

We get questions all the time about what we do, and people are curious about what we sell. So, we put together this Top 10 list of interesting tidbits, trivia and fun facts about HGR for your enjoyment.

What do you do?

HGR Industrial Surplus buys new and used machinery, equipment, furniture, supplies, fixtures, shelving and more. You name it, we’ve sold it. Yes, even rugs, leather, wine glasses, printer ink cartridges, pottery molds, sinks, tile and more.

What’s the heaviest item that you’ve ever sold?

A large press that weighed 150,000 pounds!

What’s the most expensive item that you’ve ever sold?

A press for $89,999

What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever bought?

15,000 hammers

What do you sell the most of?

Electrical items

Who are your customers?

Makers, machinists, hobbyists, welders, manufacturers, engineers, maintenance employees, DIYers, woodworkers, contractors, store and business owners

Why did you locate in Euclid, Ohio?

Euclid had the building that would work for us. We were able to commit to the space we needed at the time, while also having options to grow. It was perfect for our short- and long-term plans.

Edwin Merced HGR Employee of the MonthWho was your most recent employee of the month?

Edwin Merced, showroom operator, was nominated and voted April’s Employee of the Month by his coworkers at HGR. He was nominated for “supporting everyone with openness, honesty, trust and respect while working as a team to achieve our common goals. He creates exceptional customer relationships by enhancing awareness and expectations of outstanding service with every interaction. Edwin does all of this with a smile on his face.”

Who’s the employee who’s been there the longest?

There are 11 employees who have been here since the beginning, 19 years ago: Founder Paul Betori, Buyer Jeff Crowl, Partner Rick Affrica, Buyer Jim Ray, Partner Brian Krueger, Showroom Floor Supervisor Rich Lash, Sales Rep Steve Fischer, Receiving Supervisor Chuck Leonard, Partner Ron Tiedman, Sales Admin Libby Dixon, and retired Buyer Doug Kopp.

Brian and Ron started in sales and now are part owners, while Rick started as a buyer and now is a part owner. Chuck and Rich started as forklift operators and are now supervisors. Jim, Jeff and Steve have retained and expanded our clientele with their wisdom and mentor our buy and sales staff. Libby has consistently been our dependable sales admin and customer greeter.

HGR employee Chuck Leonard
Chuck
Andrew Ciecerko HGR employee
Andrew

Who’s the employee who drives the furthest?

We have employees who drive in from all over, including Cuyahoga, Medina, Summit and Stark counties, the far eastern suburbs, as well as Pennsylvania.

Chuck Leonard, receiving supervisor, lives in Erie, Pa., and drives 93 miles to work on Monday morning and 93 miles home on Friday night. The rest of the week, he stays 40 miles away in Geneva at his mom’s house. He’s done this for 19 years! That’s dedication.

Andrew Ciecerko, inventory clerk, lives in Williamsfield, Ohio, near the Pa. line. He drives 70 miles each way every day.

HGR aerial view

Thanks for reading! Do you have other questions about HGR that you would like answered?

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