After a Covid-disrupted 2020, Guttenberg Industries (GI), of Garnavillo, Iowa, resumed it’s pattern of annual growth. The 2021 year marks the 10th year out of the past 12 that GI has shown year-over-year gains. The large jump in sales in 2021 can partially be attributed to GI’s customers catching up with demand for parts after many shutdowns and employee losses due to the pandemic. Another factor was the increased cost of raw materials, including many plastic resins and corrugated packaging.
A significant boost, however, was the addition of three substantial customers that accounted for nearly $7 million in growth.
“Our sales were up 50% above 2020 levels, but could have been significantly higher if we could have kept up with demand,” relates Dave Kreul, company president. “Still, we were fortunate to achieve the production output we did in 2021. In my 34 years in manufacturing, twenty two at Guttenberg Industries, this past year was as challenging as I have ever seen. If it were not for the dedication and and work ethic of our production team and our management staff, this might have been in a very different story.”
As has been well documented in the media, supply chain disruptions on both the transportation and supply side have been challenging. The unprecedented lack of availability and rise in costs of plastic resins and other raw materials added to the challenges created by Covid-19 concerns … not the least of which has been the sharp reduction of available labor.
“We are blessed with outstanding customers and amazing employees,” Kreul acknowledges, “yet we still have a lot of room to grow. We brought on a lot of staff in 2021, but we could easily hire twenty more people today. These are good, family sustaining jobs, with great benefits, making important plastic products for world-class customers,” Kreul says of their production positions. “Our work is entirely indoors, in a climate controlled building, with regular weekday hours – no weekends, and we still have a ton of new opportunities for people who want to do something great with their careers.”