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Category Archives: Bud Industries
As I write this and we prepare for the 4th of July holiday, I am once again struck by the American Dream and how our Electronic Enclosure Company’s story could have only happened in the United States. As I have mentioned before, Bud Industries was founded as Bud Radio by my grandfather, Max Haas, in 1928. An immigrant from what is now the Czech Republic around 1900, he had a self-taught engineering and marketing mind and was fascinated by what we would now call technology and the opportunities it would present. What started as an antenna company (the first to offer a product that eliminated the need for a roof top radio antenna), evolved into car antennas, and then into other radio parts (he sold off the antenna business), and finally into enclosures. He and my grandmother worked hard to take the ideas he uncovered and turn them into a solid enduring business.
I think about how few countries, at that time, would allow a refugee family to be welcomed into their land, provide free education for their children, and encourage them to be whatever they wanted with relatively limited restrictions. While America of that era was not perfect, it offered many the chance to create the best life they could for themselves and their families and to hopefully allow their children to have better lives than theirs.
Tomorrow is an important date in the history of Electronic Enclosures. On November 30, 1928, Bud Radio, the predecessor of Bud Industries, was incorporated by my Grandfather, Max Haas. While I have written about our company’s history on many occasions, I want to honor my grandfather one more time by retelling his story as I think it is very meaningful today. His life is a true testament to perseverance and resilience and the value of immigrants in our economy. He was born in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today is the Czech Republic and came to the United States in the early 1900’s as a boy, fortunately before there were immigration quotas. He eventually settled in Cleveland, Ohio, met and married my grandmother, and had his only child, my father, in 1918. In 1920, he and his partners founded Haas Electrical Sales, which by 1924 was noted by “Radio in the Home” magazine to be the largest radio parts distributor in the Cleveland area.
Much has changed in the electronic enclosure industry since Bud Industries was founded 90 years ago in 1928. At that time, in fact, we did not even manufacture enclosures, but our first product related to radio antennae. As our company has evolved, there is one thing that has never changed which is how Bud values the relationships that we develop with our various business partners. This was demonstrated recently at the Electronic Distribution Show in Las Vegas when two of our long term partners presented us with gifts in honor of our 90th Anniversary.
2018 represents a major milestone in the history of electronic enclosures, the 90th Anniversary of Bud Industries. I have often written about our history in this blog so I won’t repeat it, but I do think there are several key points worth highlighting. First, Bud’s current president, Josiah Haas, is the 4th generation of Haas’s to lead the company. I recently read a study that showed that only 3% of companies survive to be led by the fourth generation, making this a feat that is almost as astounding as surviving for 90 years.
March Madness is the most exciting time of the year, even for an Electronic Enclosure Manufacturer like Bud Industries. While it is estimated that the economy will lose up to $4 billion in productivity due to this amazing basketball spectacle, Bud Industries can help you make up for some of the lost time with its simple electronic enclosure product selection tool. This tool, on the Bud website (www.budind.com) is the fastest way in the industry to take the guess work out of choosing an enclosure and to make the perfect choice.
As 2015 wraps to a close, it has to go into the record books as one of the most unusual. From politics (remember that Scott Walker was the favorite for the Republican nod early in the year) to the weather (remember the Polar Vortex as now the East Coast is basking in record heat?), nothing seemed to go as projected. Therefore, it is with pride that we note that Bud continues to be as consistent as ever. As we celebrated our 87th year in business, we have bucked the trend with double digit growth and increased market share. Why do we think this happened? There have been a number of good reasons:
- We have had an aggressive new product introduction program this year. From many new sizes and styles of NEMA 4x plastic boxes to high end extruded pc enclosures, from snap together utility boxes to explosion proof boxes we have led the market in pushing into new industries and broadening our base
- We have upgraded some of our best sellers. A great example is our AN die cast NEMA enclosure which are now rated IP68, suitable for submerging for extended periods of time.
- We continue to lead the industry in our modification capabilities and lead time. Our five day turnaround on most modified boxes helps us serve the customer as quickly as their local job shop with higher quality and more consistency. On all significant quotations, we booked more than 1/3, which includes many that did not get funded
As we look back on 2015, we vow to you, our customers, that we will continue to innovate, continue to strive to exceed your expectations and deliver the best enclosures rapidly to speed your design. Thank you all of a great 2015 and our best to you for the holidays and the year to come.
Between the new discoveries of water movement on Mars, and the Matt Damon movie, the Maritan, space and space travel is in the news. It is probably little known that Bud Industries played a small but important role in early space flight. For those old enough to remember, the astronauts carried with them a large metal box, its use was classified and we never learned exactly what it did. We thought it might have to do with generating oxygen or temperature controls for the space suit. Bud manufactured these boxes to their exacting standards and did so for nearly a decade until they were no longer required. In the intervening years, Bud has provided NASA products for a variety of applications, mostly involved in research and testing.
Today, Bud quality is internationally known particularly for products that protect components in harsh environments. While we have not tested our products on Mars, we have tested them under a variety of extreme weather conditions. One of our customers for our PN series of NEMA and IP rated plastic boxes deploys them in the Arctic Circle as part of a monitoring system. Having to deal with not only the extreme temperatures, but also moisture and wind create a challenge that we have successful met for years. Their boxes have worked flawlessly and the only modification has been that we have sent them updated gaskets as they have evolved to insure that they have the best possible product. While your applications may not be in space or at the North Pole, discover the protection that Bud can provide for all of your component needs.
Today is the day that the Iphone 6s is being released and to no one’s surprise, there are huge lines outside the stores waiting to be the first to get the new device. What I find interesting is how the distribution model on the phones has change and how this is impacting customers and their buying patterns. As we all know, in the past you bought a phone, it was heavily subsidized by the carrier, but then you had to sign up for a 2 year contract or you were hit with big penalties. There was nothing more painful for the customer than either having to wait with a dying phone for the contract to be done, or deciding to bite the bullet and get the new phone and eat the charges. Now, there are many options available for these products. You can buy the phone but you pay it off over 2 years with monthly rentals. The bonus is that, depending on the company, you can upgrade the phone at no charge after a year. Also, Apple is stepping into the game, beginning to sell the phones (unlocked) directly to the consumer and then letting them sign up with a carrier or even bounce from carrier to carrier depending on who has the best deal at the time. This also has a 12 month upgrade capability and also offers the consumer the option of picking up local sim cards when they travel internationally, eliminated the dreaded international data charges.
The point of all of this is that there are disrupters in the market who are changing the way the products are sold to match what the customer wants today. We are seeing this trend spill over into our industry as customers are reaching out to new distributor options that make buying a product fast and easy. Often, distribution requires customers to pay different prices or limits access in different markets. These new players have changed that model, moving the expectations of the consumer market right into the industrial world. For those of us willing to adapt, the opportunities continue to grow, for those who look the other way or feel that it is a temporary fad, they may find some tough challenges in the future. For our customers, there are many distributors who will sell them our products such as a PN series plastic NEMA box. The customer’s choice will be the one that meets their needs and makes buying easy that will win every time.
We attended our youngest grandson’s second birthday party over the weekend and it was a lot of fun to watch. Held at a local ice cream parlor, with about 15 kids and their parents, it was a simple affair…pizza for lunch, some crayons and paper for an activity, and ice cream for dessert. No glitz, no glamour, just an effort to provide a fun time for a bunch of little kids on a warm summer day. There were two things that hit me as they relate to customer satisfaction.
First, it is important to create moments that are meaningful to the customer (in this case, a bunch of 2 year olds.) Yes, they could have spent more and brought in a clown, or held it at a fancy spot, but for these kids at this age, it was just what they wanted. The same is true in sales. Too often the supplier does not really think about what the customer wants, just what is best for them to provide. Taking a step back to think through, with the customer’s help, what it is they need and how to provide the best value without lots of extra bells and whistles, is paramount. Value and speed meet the customer’s needs every time.
And second, although the ice cream parlor did not provide the pizza, the fact that they allowed the food to be brought in suggested that they understood their customer and would do what it took to help create a great event and to encourage repeat business. Sometimes you cannot do it all, but if you make it easy for your customer and provide that extra service, you will win every time. For us here at Bud, we always try to keep the customer foremost in our minds and to provide just what they need. But we are always learning, even if it is from a group of 2 year olds.
Many of you know that Bud Industries is based in the metropolitan Cleveland, Ohio area. We have been here for all 87 year’s of our history and are proud to be a part of the growth in this region over the last few years. Our President, Josiah Haas, was recently interviewed by the local Growth Association (Cleveland +) and published in their newsletter that is distributed internationally. We are proud of his recognition and decided to share this with you
Northeast Ohio’s Revitalization: What Boomeranged Me from Chicago to Cleveland
By Josiah A. Haas
August 24, 2015
As President of Bud Industries, an enclosure manufacturer in Willoughby, I get the opportunity to talk to many other leaders in the manufacturing industry. In these conversations, one thing I keep hearing is that for first time in a full generation, many companies have reinvested Stateside and are updating their equipment with technology and robotics to stay competitive in their markets. These types of reinvestments are occurring all over Ohio, and Northeast Ohio is no exception. It has been exciting to see this transformation taking place at our own company and with many of the business leaders I talk to on a frequent basis. . What I see is Northeast Ohio’s revitalized commitment to manufacturing, which is helping to propel our entire region forward.
Recently, the Cleveland Plus team sent some questions about my boomerang back to Northeast Ohio. Read below to hear my revitalization story and why I chose to bring my wife and our two boys to Cleveland.
Tell us about your business and the primary industry in which you operate:
“Bud Industries is the best-known electronic enclosure manufacturer in the United States. We produce anything from small plastic boxes to large cabinet racks, including watertight boxes. While our enclosures primarily sell into the electronics industry, our customer base is diverse enough to be sold into virtually every vertical market. We can provide any electronic enclosure solution. From steel to aluminum, from plastic to fiberglass, the Bud line is the most extensive in the industry. Bud will also customize their products to allow for turnkey installation.”
We understand that you grew up in Cleveland. Can you tell us about that?
“I grew up in Shaker Heights, a suburb outside of Cleveland. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, Cleveland was thought of as ‘a struggling city.’ To me, Cleveland was always a great place to live and raise a family. After graduating from Indiana University in Bloomington, I moved to Chicago and spent a few years working for a Fortune 500 company and improving my sales skills. This was a great opportunity to live in a new city and ‘make it on my own,’ despite the desire to eventually join my family business. My girlfriend at the time, Dana (who is now my wife of almost 9 years), grew up in New Orleans and moved to Chicago with me. After 2 years of Chicago, Dana and I had a long talk about Cleveland and the benefits it could offer us. She visited Cleveland a few times, including one fateful April snowstorm where we had over a foot of snow in one weekend.
I will tell you: the winters of Cleveland made me perform my best sales pitch, ever: to bring a southern girl to Cleveland.”
What finally brought you and Dana back to Cleveland?
“My wife and I were both in jobs that we were not thrilled with and a position in sales opened up at Bud Industries, making the timing to come back to Cleveland perfect for us. Heading into our mid 20s, we wanted more stability and to put down roots in a city. I spent my summers working at Bud Industries through college and knew that was where I wanted to be. Unlike Chicago, Cleveland offered affordable housing, great communities, and an ample amount of small businesses and nonprofits who were hiring. We visited Cleveland a few months before moving back to look for a home to buy. We ended up buying a great home for a young couple, in Shaker Heights.
I often joked with two college friends of mine who also purchased places to live right around that time. One purchased a 1-bedroom condo 10 miles north of downtown Chicago and one purchased a two-bedroom townhouse in Atlanta. Both friends came in to visit me after we moved in and were shocked at the value you got for the cost. Both spent a lot more than I did, for a lot less space.
While I came back to work in a family business, there were also a lot of startups to choose from. On top of the lower cost of living, over the past few years, it seems like newer entrepreneurs are always creating companies in Northeast Ohio and looking for new talent. To me, the value of working for a small business gives people the ability to work in multiple departments as opposed to only doing sales or only staring at numbers. For me, it is neat to know I go to work each day and try something different or tackle a new challenge. As Bud Industries has grown over the past few years, I have been able to partner with our management team to find ways to improve our company and reinvest in equipment to make us a viable manufacturer moving forward. It has been fun to review options and once the equipment is installed, see the benefits.”
You mentioned some of the things that Cleveland offers residents, can you expand on those?
“We moved back to Cleveland at a time when many of our current friends also became boomerang Clevelanders, moving back after spending their post college years in other large cities like New York, Washington DC, and Chicago. What’s interesting is how many brought back significant others from other cities including Baltimore, Buffalo, Cherry Hill NJ, Columbus, Denver, Miami, and New York City. Over the past few years as we have all had children, those who came from other cities have also gotten their parents to move to Cleveland. Cleveland offers many great draws for potential residents, including more affordable major and minor league sports teams, world-class museums and theatre district, top-rated musicians, and neat neighborhoods to explore. Cleveland was also recently rated as one of the United States’ best restaurant cities with new eateries always popping up.”
What is it like to raise a family in Cleveland?
“A major draw to Cleveland for parents is the community feel and great public and private schooling options. Many of the suburbs offer great playgrounds, parks, pools, and activities to fill in the week. My two boys’ (Asher and Levi) activities range from tball, to Gymboree, library programs, to mommy and me classes, and all are within a few miles of home.”
How would you characterize Northeast Ohio?
“Cleveland is heading in the right direction. The newspapers and business journals are constantly touting new businesses growing in our area. Established and new businesses are also always setting standards for their industries. From conversations I have had with other local business leaders, we are seeing a revival within multiple industries which gives our community a more diverse and stable base. The days of Cleveland being an ‘outdated city’ are a thing of the past. My Grandfather, Phil, used to talk about how Cleveland was an important city in the business community and how thrilling it was to live in a city with that kind of excitement during his youth. I believe Cleveland is on its path to seeing similar success once again.”
Blog posted by Blair Haas, CEO, Bud Industries