By Hilary Dickinson of the BizTimes
ER Wagner Manufacturing Co. Inc. was established in 1900 after ER Wagner wrote a letter to A.O. Smith in 1899 offering to purchase the baby carriage business from him.
Today, 115 years later, ER Wagner is undergoing what president and chief executive officer Lew Schildkraut calls the “ER Wagner Renaissance.”
“We’re not trying to compare old versus new, but we’re doing things differently,” he said.
For example, the manufacturer of engineered hinges and stampings, continuous hinges, casters and wheels, and precision machined tubular products began heavily investing back into the business over the past four to five years, according to Schildkraut.
The company outsourced (locally and in the Midwest) a lot of its manufacturing from 2005 to ’08, at a time when “business was sliding,” but Schildkraut said a new executive leadership team that includes him has since started the process of insourcing a lot of that work back into the business.
“I coined the phrase, ‘We’re bringing manufacturing back to ER Wagner Manufacturing,’” said Schildkraut, who joined the company five-and-a-half years ago as vice president and chief financial officer. He became chief executive officer and president in 2013.