Gundlach Sheet Metal
A Tale of 2 Upgrades

In its 129th year of operation, Gundlach Sheet Metal Works Inc. is a leading HVAC and metal working company in North Central Ohio. Gundlach employs 55 individuals to carry out all aspects of their business from engineering to fabrication, sales, management, and more. Its been a record few years for this family owned and operated company with growth in both commercial and residential projects.

A Mess...
But a growing business comes with new problems to solve. For years Gundlach watched as logistics at their modest Sandusky facility got messier and messier (figuratively and literally). Specific problems facing the team and a smooth operation were loading and unloading service vans and semis with commercial equipment on Columbus Avenue and Division Street and a "parts house" that had seen its better days. Gundlach was worried about efficiency, safety, and aesthetics for their staff, residents and neighbors.

A Better Solution
A $1 million investment that added over 6,000sf of under roof storage, paved parking lots, renovated buildings and updated facades has proven to be an impressive solution to these problems. Over the past year, Gundlach has completed this project in three phases.

In Phase I a blighted building behind their workshop was demolished and a brand new 6,200sf warehouse was constructed. A former gravel lot was also redesigned and paved as a throughway for safe loading and unloading. Phase II the team got busy organizing and renovating their garage, and finishing touches with Phase III added modern offices to the newly reorganized space.
Before - Limited under roof storage with difficult access
After - Significant under roof storage, an energy efficient warehouse with drive through capability and easy access from private property
The Impact
After a year of planning and a year of construction, Gundlach is moving full steam ahead in the new space with efforts towards growing the business. Bringing together a formerly pieced-together shop has built a better work environment where staff take pride in their work space. This environment will be critical to Gundlach's future plans - the company does a lot of in-house engineering and is focused on attracting strong, new talent to their operation. A comfortable space is a new selling feature for new talent (along with Gundlach's 129 years of business success).

Hiring has already begun since completion of the project. A full-time Parts Inventory Coordinator was brought on to oversee efficient operation in the new warehouse. Coordinator, Bill Moody, said, "We built this beautiful new warehouse and filled it up much faster than anticipated," he highlighted the positive impact on the business by pointing out, "the projects we have taken on now couldn't have been done without this space."

The outdoor improvements are making just as much impact as the added indoor capacity. Construction Superintendent, Terry Gundlach, called the concrete "incredible" - No more dirt and mud to deal with when it rains and improved speed and safety during the process of loading and unloading.

Summarizing the project, Commercial Sales Manager Terry Kette said, "We moved from the 1800s to the 21st century."
Newly renovated conference room
Bill, Gundlach's new Parts Inventory Coordinator
A recent project which could not have been fulfilled in the old space
Newly paved through-way allowing for clean and efficient deliveries
The Support
This impressive project was primarily funded by the company itself with a $950,000 investment, but the team says it wouldn't have been possible without additional support from the City of Sandusky. In addition to advising through their Engineering Department and assisting through the permitting process, the City of Sandusky was able to provide a $50,000 small business grant in support of the project and a 10 year 75% tax abatement on the new construction.
Leadership at Gundlach Sheet Metal Works
The Future
Gundlach's been an active member of the community for 129 years, and the future looks no different. Company President Roger Gundlach said, "We are proud to be part of the improvement and activity in the core of Sandusky. The City has an aggressive plan to clean up neighborhoods, and we are a part of that." The leadership team at Gundlach is already envisioning future improvements. On the list is re-doing the Division Street facade of their shop building and continuing to improve the aesthetics on their block.
Facade facing Division Street will be a future project for Gundlach
This multi-year, million dollar project is accomplishing many goals for the company and the city. Modern and efficient operations will attract new and qualified talent, while improving safety, morale, and operations. The positive atmosphere seen not only on the shop floor, but on the entire block and community.
Did You Know?
With 75-million Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, technology driving changes in the necessary skill sets for many occupations, and changing preferences for work in younger generations, employers are waging what Area Development has deemed The War for Talent . In the midst of this battle for employee attraction and retention, ECEDC monitors the health of the local workforce and pursues strategies to attract workers, keep newcomers and bring existing residents together. Contact us to learn more.
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The 12 Days of Development email series recognizes and celebrates another year of progress in Erie County, Ohio. Throughout the month of December, you will receive email spotlights on a company investing, improving and innovating in our community. We can't capture it all, so let us know a neighbor we missed or what activities you've got planned to make the 2019 list! #ErieCounty12Days