Gill Opens Dutch Office

January 10, 2006
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GRAND RAPIDS — Local metal stamping and machining firm Gill Industries Inc. has opened a sales and engineering office in the Netherlands — the company’s first presence in Europe.

“We are very excited about opening this office because Europe holds considerable potential for Gill Industries,” President and COO Richard Perreault said in a press release yesterday. “The European market is roughly the same size as our North American market, and we already have established relationships with several European customers. It’s one step toward our strategy to become a global supplier.”

Perreault said the office will perform sales, engineering and design work for European customers on products that initially will be manufactured in Grand Rapids and its 75,000-square-foot plant in Trenton, Ga.

If sales warrant, the company may eventually open a European manufacturing operation.

Founded in 1964, Gill Industries supplies stamped products and welded assemblies to customers such as Johnson Controls, General Motors, Herman Miller, Continental Teves, Steelcase, Magna and Bosch. It employs about 465 full-time workers at its headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Grand Rapids and 265 full-time workers at its Trenton facility.

In 2005, Gill Industries posted sales of approximately $123 million in components for automotive, office furniture and utility vehicles such as golf carts and all-terrain vehicles. The company is certified as TS16949 and a Women’s Business Enterprise.

Perreault said the company has weathered the rough times of the automotive industry that rocked other domestic manufacturers of stamped products and assemblies by implementing lean manufacturing techniques and concentrating on its core competencies of assembly, welding and stamping.

“We have systemized this into our Gill Launch Process, which is a five-step program for new programs that carries the product from prints through customer approval,” he said in the press release.     

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