PPI’s latest update focuses on employees
The Brillion News BRILLION – Professional Plating (PPI) isn’t just talking about building a culture within the company. They’re physically doing it too.
Employees will soon have a new Floods team center, lounge, cafeteria, restrooms, locker rooms, a wellness center and a new secure entry.
The new space is on the Highway 10 side of the building next to the employee parking lot where the company’s offices used to be. As part of the multiphase expansion in recent years, the offices are now on the Northway Drive side of the campus and were done following a major expansion of the property.
“Two years ago, when we started our last expansion … we knew as we finished up this back piece of 70,000 square feet that we were also going to change this back corner into our offices,” PPI General Manager Larry Dietz said. “It was actually like five phases.” The fifth phase with employee space will be shown off to the public next week Wednesday, May 16, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. The open house will have tours and Dietz says they hope for around 500 people to come through.
“We’re not doing it to sell anything; we’re doing it because we’re proud,” Dietz said.
The new employee areas should provide a comfortable setting. Finishing touches are currently being put on the project. The lounge will have a television, WiFi, furniture, an outdoor patio and new kitchen area. The previous kitchen was on the second level and not up to legal standards. The employee areas also have security cameras and a secured entry.
“Our footprint is continuing to grow,” Dietz said. “We’re up to over 200 people now.”
The employees begin each day with a 15-minute paid workout. The new wellness area has plenty of equipment for workers to get additional exercise.
“We’re going to enhance that,” Dietz said. “We ended up purchasing all the assets of Community Fitness.”
The exercise equipment potentially will become available to employee family members as well. Dietz says he hopes that the features will help separate PPI from so many other companies that are hiring, like PPI currently is. PPI has full-time and part-time employees ranging from high school to retirement ages.
One of the nicest spots of the employee area is a room called the comfort suite. It features lounge furniture and can also be used as a nursing room. Dietz says that if someone isn’t feeling well, they can take a break to lie down and grab a beverage from the refrigerator.
The company has rolled out eight culture points that they remind employees of with signs hanging around the facility. They are essentially about creating a positive work environment with strong communication. The company recently gave out a quarter bonus worth $1,000 to employees too. “We’re doing lots of things culturally to try to make sure we keep these team members as we go forward … keep our footprint vibrant in Brillion,” Dietz said.
The building, including the new 70,000 square foot space, has been brightened through windows near the ceiling.
A new machine in the back piece of the building was installed in 2016. Another machine will be added next to it and is another $3.5 million investment to continue to improve productivity and efficiency.
“The expansion gave us room,” Dietz said. “That line that’s going to go in there will replace a line that’s about 30 years old and also gives us more capacity. At the same time, we’re reinvesting, we’re also making it larger.”
Collectively since the last open house PPI held, they have added $12 million back into the company. Dietz says they are trying to cover all aspects too including legal, environmental and safety.
“It’s continuing to do business the right way with the right team with the right equipment,” Dietz said.
Keller, Inc. handled the bulk of the construction on this project along with about a dozen other companies.
Keller will be back to work at PPI next Thursday, the day after the open house. They will cut the concrete for the new machine that should be in operation by November.
“We’re never finished getting better,” Dietz said.