Cool under pressure Featured

8:00pm EDT April 25, 2008

CnD Industries Inc. is an example of how a small business can succeed in a world of hegemonic supercompanies.

In the recession following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Clyde Shetler, the company’s owner, adapted to the unsettled economic conditions by changing CnD’s direction from smaller fabrication and small machine work to custom steel welding and fabrications.

While many competitors folded under the market pressure, CnD endured by redefining itself in a changing market.

The Canton-based custom steel fabricator has expanded to three locations and is capable of keeping all steel orders in house, which means its success isn’t tethered to the success or failure of other companies.

As a result of Shetler’s changes, CnD has shown consistent growth in both employees and revenue. CnD’s gross sales increased 20.5 percent from fiscal 2006 to fiscal 2007. Shetler also increased his work force from 45 to 67 employees from 2006 to 2007, while implementing a program to improve CnD’s employee retention rate.

To reduce turnover, Shetler updated the employee review program. The update resulted in 64 percent of employees receiving significant wage increases. He also provided full tuition reimbursement for a middle manager to work on a master’s degree in business and trained several unskilled employees for new, highly technical jobs.

As a result of these changes, Shetler reduced employee turnover at CnD by 17 percent in 2007.

Shetler also has focused on keeping CnD up to date with the latest equipment and technology. The company spent $700,000 on new equipment in 2007 and also installed T1 fiber-optic lines that link each of the company’s three locations electronically.

The company’s growth and track record has attracted business from outside the region and even across U.S. borders. CnD products have been used in final projects in Iceland, Canada and Africa, as well as locally in the Timken Co.

CnD also takes pride in being part of the local business community. The company participated in the “Job Magnet” initiative to attract manufacturing jobs back to Ohio, and it has done several high-profile jobs in the area. CnD has worked on projects for the Perry Police Department, Fawcett Stadium, the Workers Mural in downtown Canton, and even did a rush job to replace and rebuild the stolen stainless steel cookers for the Massillon Shrine Club’s annual clambake.

HOW TO REACH: CnD Industries Inc., (330) 478-8811