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IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC. Acquires CMD LTD, UK's Leading Maker of Custom, Commercial Electrical Power Solutions

Deal Strengthens IDEAL INDUSTRIES' Advanced Power Solutions and EMIA Reach

SYCAMORE, IL--(Marketwired - Jan 4, 2017) -  IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. Chairman and CEO Jim James today announced the acquisition of CMD Limited UK, which integrates power and technology with furniture for a broad range of large scale office and commercial markets. Both companies are privately owned with CMD headquartered North of London in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

"This is a great fit for us," said James. "CMD strengthens our ability to help large scale businesses simply and seamlessly expand power and technology throughout their workspaces. Their technical expertise and market reputation will help us accelerate European acceptance for both our new wireless lighting control and mobile device charging systems."

CMD designs, manufactures and customizes a complete range of workplace power management products for below the floor (e.g. busbar, floor boxes) and above the floor (e.g. power modules, CPU supports, monitor arms and cable management solutions) installations. 

The company's products and expertise help architects, designers, office managers and contractors to quickly, easily and attractively run power and technology in new construction and retrofit commercial projects. 

CMD now provides fast-growing UK, European and Middle Eastern commercial and office markets with easy, single-source customization and manufacturing capability. 

CMD Complements IDEAL INDUSTRIES' Advanced Power Solutions Platforms IDEAL INDUSTIRES, INC. is the market leader in electric power control and management. Its core business, wire connectors, are found in virtually any light switch or junction box in North America and around the world. 

James believes there are tremendous synergies between CMD and the company's new Advanced Power Solutions platforms, Audacy ® Wireless Lighting Control and Power Puck™ a revolutionary mobile device charging system being launched in international airports this spring.

Audacy ® Wireless Lighting Solutions IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. recently launched the Audacy ® Wireless Lighting Control System for large-scale, multiuse facilities. The Audacy™ wireless system can reduce energy use from lighting by up to 50 percent for almost any space type -- including office, retail, multiuse and institutional buildings -- and is equally simple to install in large-scale retrofit and new construction projects. It provides revolutionary wireless control via an iOS or Android mobile phone or tablet app over multi-building lighting systems, while automatically sensing and adjusting to ambient light, movement and room occupancy to maintain desired settings -- all while being virtually maintenance free.

Audacy has already been installed in Chicago's Wrigley Field, Denver's Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Petco Park in San Diego, Fermilab outside Chicago and will soon be installed by a luxury sports car maker across its network of showrooms and service centers. Audacy is also in technical review by both national retailers and international airports. The same technology has been integrated successfully in large-scale HVAC applications at Universal Studios in Orlando, the Stanford University technology hub and the warehouse distribution network of a global online e-tailer.

Power Puck ® Mobile Device Charging System This spring, IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. will formally introduce PowerPuck ™, its new mobile device charging systems in international airports, hotels and major sports venues. The two-part puck and rail system enables facilities executives to provide their passengers and guests with exponentially greater guest to power the smart phones, tablets and soon thereafter, laptops.

"In many public spaces, power sources are few and far between and often inconveniently located," said James. "Our patented PowerPuck™ system brings power to people in large numbers, and it does so simply, safely and effectively. There is no other system like it. This will change the way people charge their devices."

About IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC.          IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. is a global, diversified family business designing and manufacturing superior products and tools for professional tradesmen in the electrical, wire processing, data communications, aerospace, automotive and construction industries. The 101-year old company was founded in 1916 on the premise of forging ideal relationships with customers, employees and communities. The company has consistently grown and expanded under four generations of family ownership.

http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/ideal-industries-inc-acquires-cmd-ltd-uks-leading-maker-custom-commercial-electrical-2186158.htm

IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. Names Kohler Exec and Ex-NCR Leader to Board of Directors

SYCAMORE, IL--(Marketwired - Dec 13, 2016) - IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC., a global, diversified family-owned business designing and manufacturing American-made superior products and tools for professional tradesmen across various industries, announced today the appointment of Christopher Baldwin, Kohler President, Kitchen & Bath Americas, and Peter Dorsman, retired Executive Services Vice President of NCR Corporation, to the IDEAL Board of Directors.

"Strong corporate governance has been a staple of our IDEAL culture, ensuring integrity and accountability in everything we do," said IDEAL Chairman and CEO Jim James. "After intensive review, both Christopher and Peter have demonstrated an incredible track record of best-in-class leadership and guidance in overseeing national and global operations, plus a high-class commitment to product quality and customer service that makes them exceptional additions to our board."

Christopher Baldwin, President, Kitchen & Bath Americas, Kohler Co.

Baldwin currently serves as President, Kitchen & Bath Americas, a sector of Kohler Co., where he provides full-scope leadership to both the strategic and operational sides of the business, and oversees the division's marketing, product development, manufacturing, finance and human resources.

A seasoned leader with rich experience across disciplines including sales, marketing, new product and general management, Baldwin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Peter Dorsman, Retired Executive Services Vice President, NCR Corporation

In 2014, Dorsman retired as the Executive Vice President of Services for NCR Corporation, where he was responsible for all of NCR's global support services including on-site repair, depot, refurbishment, manufacturing and remote resolution. He was also responsible for NCR's Customer Experience/Continuous Improvement organization, eliminating $100 million+ annually of costs and dramatically improving customer loyalty ratings in all of NCR's targeted industries.

Dorsman has also been a member of the board of directors for Applied Industrial Technologies since 2004. During his tenure as director, he has served on the Audit Committee, provided guidance as the Lead Independent Director, chaired the the Corporate Governance Committee and is currently the Chariman of Executive Organization and Compensation Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree, dual major in business and journalism from Syracuse University.

For more information about IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC., visit http://www.idealindustries.com.

About IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. is a global, diversified family business designing and manufacturing superior products and tools for professional tradesmen in the electrical, wire processing, data communications, aerospace, automotive and construction industries.

The 100-year old company was founded in 1916 on the premise of forging ideal relationships with customers, employees and communities. The company has consistently grown and expanded under four generations of family ownership. IDEAL recently expanded its employee pension program while others are cutting or eliminating theirs. 

The company is the market leader in electrical product categories and has recently pioneered a new wireless lighting management control system that can greatly reduce energy usage and be installed in less than one eighth the time of leading systems in the category. 

The Sycamore, Illinois-based company manufactures 98 percent of its products in the United States. IDEAL also manufactures and sells American quality products in China, Brazil and Great Britain exclusively for those markets.

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Contact: Anthony Filomena
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IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. NATIONAL ELECTRICIANS COMPETITION ENERGIZES PROFESSIONAL TRADESMAN, STUDENTS/APPRENTICES ACROSS AMERICA

Inaugural ‘IDEAL National Championship’ Rallies Over 23 Thousand Participants, Inspires 138-Finalists and Awards $500k in Cash and Prizes

SYCAMORE, ILLINOIS (November 16, 2016) – IDEAL® Electrical, the world leader in electrical tools and wire termination, honored and showcased the abilities of electrical professionals and students/apprentices from across the country in a series of final head-to-head, bracket-style competitive challenges at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on November 11–12.

“We’re grateful to have provided an exciting platform that utilizes their expertise in a competition based on skills essential to their livelihood and to have rewarded their success along the way,” said Jim James, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. “What quickly became evident is the profound effect the competition had on our finalists. Several competitors shared how their companies and communities came together to raise funds to send their families to watch them compete. One tradesman was even promoted as a result of him qualifying for the finals. That’s moving stuff.”

Competitors came from all across the country, many with moving stories. A group of four young apprentices, who pulled themselves out of real tough life situations to become students at the Golconda, Illinois Job Corps, qualified for semi-finals alongside their teacher, Christina LaDue, after traveling to St. Louis, Carbondale and Nashville to compete in the preliminary rounds.

“We have over 200 people rooting for us back at home,” said LaDue. “This competition means the world to these incredibly talented young guys, and we are just so honored to be here.”

Journey to Semi-Finals:
The competition was divided into two categories: one for professionals and one for students/apprentices. Each could compete as an individual and/or team of three. Contestants needed to demonstrate both their problem-solving and physical skills across four categories: wire cutting, stripping, termination and testing through a multi-station speed test judged by fastest completion time and overall accuracy of the wire connection.

From April through October, over 900 preliminary events were held in 33 states by electrical distributors, trade schools and other organizations across the nation; resulting in 23,524 participants nationwide vying for a coveted spot to compete for the IDEAL National Championship title.

The top 62 professional tradesmen, 62 students/apprentices (participating as individuals), along with the top five professional tradesmen and top five student/apprentice teams, with the fastest times from 62-regional-specific preliminary rounds, advanced to the two-day competition in Orlando. Each qualifying contender also received a 13-piece tool kit (valued at $325 dollars) and travel accommodations.

The first-ever IDEAL National Championship was emceed by Chip Wade, owner of WadeBuilt LLC (a design and construction firm), contractor and master carpenter on HGTV’s Curb Appeal: The Block and Elbow Room.

“It was an honor to be part of this experience,” said Wade. “Whether someone won or lost, there was always a sense of gratitude. It was beyond cool to see IDEAL, a 100-year-old family-owned company, develop a world-class experience that truly elevates the tradesman and their craftsmanship. This competition alone is going to shakeup the industry in a much needed way.”

“What a great weekend this turned out to be,” said semi-finalist competitor Nick Giacomazzi, representing City Electric of Plainview, Inc. “The comradery at this tournament has been unmatched in all of my experiences.”

During the awards ceremony, IDEAL revealed that the competition would return in 2017; along with the top 5 professional tradesmen, top 5 student/apprentices (who participated as individuals), and the top 2 professional and student/apprentice teams would be guaranteed spots to return to next year’s semi-finals.

“It is our hope that this competition and the excitement around it will inspire young tradesmen to pursue careers in the electrical field and relieve some suffering the industry faces due to a lack of skilled labor,” said James. “We want to thank all of our competitors, judges, channel partners, trade schools, distributors and our colleagues who helped make this competition possible. We hope to see you all next year.”

2016 IDEAL National Championship Winners:

Category: professional electrical tradesmen participating as an individual:
1st place – Greg Anliker, Kellenberger Electric
Prize: $75,000
2nd place – Timothy Morris, Inglett & Stubbs
Prize: $25,000
3rd place – Joshua Kol, Circuit Electric
Prize: $10,000

Category: professional electrical tradesmen participating as a team:
1st place – Sam Buche, Jon Dahlstrom and Michael Dahlstrom | Multitech Electric
Prize: $60,000 (split amongst teammates)

Category: students/apprentices participating as an individual: 
1st place – Corbin Rios, IBEW Local-271 
Prize: $30,000 + $5,000 for school
2nd place – Joshua Collins, Blue Ridge Electric
Prize: $20,000
3rd place – Michael Fox, IBEW Local-292
Prize: $10,000

Category: students/apprentices participating as a team:
1st place – Patrick Flanery, Bryan Olson and Ben Woodworth | Minneapolis Local 292 JATC
Prize: $30,000 (split amongst teammates) + $5,000 for school

For more information on The IDEAL National Championship, visit www.IDEALnationals.com. For photos and videos from this year’s competition visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/IDEALindustries.

About IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC.
IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. is a global, diversified family business designing and manufacturing superior products and tools for professional tradesmen in the electrical, wire processing, data communications, aerospace, automotive and construction industries. The 100-year old company was founded in 1916 on the premise of forging ideal relationships with customers, employees and communities. The company has consistently grown and expanded under four generations of family ownership.

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Contact: Anthony Filomena
anthonyf@sccadv.com
312.464.1666 (O)
708.218.8548 (M)

IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. TAPS JIM DAVIDSON TO RUN SK PROFESSIONAL TOOLS UNIT
Former Craftsman Executive Named to Grow Iconic Tool Brand

SYCAMORE, ILLINOIS (AUGUST 23, 2016) – IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. Chairman and CEO Jim James today announced the promotion of Jim Davidson to General Manager of the company’s legendary SK Professional Tools business unit. Davidson had been running the IDEAL Innovation Center for the last six years and has extensive expertise in both manufacturing and marketing. Davidson was also instrumental in the company’s acquisition of SK in 2010. He replaces Joe Saganowich who has taken a leadership position in a sports marketing company closer to his home near Raleigh, North Carolina.

We’re thrilled to turn over the SK business to a proven business builder like Jim Davidson,” said James. “He is just what we need right now to drive the business forward. He’s got the vision, manufacturing know-how and the brand building skills to drive the business forward.” James noted that Davidson joined IDEAL after 17 years in manufacturing and marketing with Craftsman. Davidson also worked at Klein Tools. “He knows the industry very, very well,” said James.

Under Davidson’s leadership, the IDEAL innovation team developed and delivered three game-changing product platforms across the enterprise. In fact, Davidson collaborated with the SK team to re-invent the professional mechanics wrench, ultimately delivering the SK X-FRAME™ ratcheting wrench to the market in 2014. A technician’s dream, its distinctive I-beam engineering and design provides mechanics with more power and precision in tight spaces than anything else in the market.

Jim is a creative engineering and marketing force,” said the IDEAL chairman. “He has taken on some of the most ambitious product development assignments in the company over the last several years and has delivered again and again. At his core, he’s a tool guy. He understands guys who love to work with their hands and solve complex mechanical and systems problems. Jim’s a perfect fit for SK and will help us continue to bring new, game-changing ideas to America’s professional mechanics.”

About IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC.
IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. is a global, diversified family business designing and manufacturing superior products and tools for professional tradesmen in the electrical, wire processing, data communications, aerospace, automotive and construction industries.

The 100-year old company was founded in 1916 on the premise of forging ideal relationships with customers, employees and communities. The company has consistently grown and expanded under four generations of family ownership. IDEAL recently expanded its employee pension program while others are cutting or eliminating theirs.

The company is the market leader in electrical product categories and is pioneering a new wireless lighting management system that can reduce energy use by up to 33 percent and be installed in less than one eighth the time of leading systems now in the category.

The Sycamore, Illinois-based company manufactures 98 percent of its products in the United States. IDEAL also manufactures and sells American quality products in China, Brazil and Great Britain exclusively for those markets. 

Family businesses and family drama

(July 26, 2016) The problem with family businesses is that they’re businesses run by families. The most notable current example is the family drama around media mogul Sumner Redstone. The 93-year-old patriarch sits atop a media empire stretching from MTV to CBS, and is embroiled in lawsuits and family infighting centered around, ultimately, who will control that empire and that wealth.

“The family is actually the biggest risk a family business faces,” said Meghan Juday, a fourth-generation member of the family that owns Ideal Industries based out of Sycamore, Ill. The company employs about 1,200 people and makes electrical equipment and tools. Juday also advises multigenerational family businesses.

“If you have family members who are like you see in the newspapers suing eachother or suing the board or the management team, those are extremely risky situations,” she said, because family drama sucks the attention of investors, any shareholders and management away from the actual business. And neglecting a business can take it down.

One of the biggest sources of family drama is succession. Those battles can make it tough to keep a family business alive. “So that when you get to family businesses that are third, fourth, fifth generations there are almost none," said Juday.

But there are some, and Dennis Jaffe has studied them. He’s an associate at Wise Counsel Research. When it comes to succession-related problems, “families avoid those kinds of conflicts by working on succession. Long, long ago they should be preparing the next generation,” he said.

The more a family member holds power all to him or herself, the more the family business becomes like a royal court, where it’s all about who has influence, not reason or talent. In that environment, talented people leave.

“Who stays? The sycophants, the people who want to please grandpa and suck up to him,” said Jaffe.

But even if a family gets the transition right, as families grow there’s still the issue of how to coordinate everyone.

“It is pretty hard,” said Edouard Thijssen, cofounder of Trusted Family, a group that advises multigenerational family businesses. “You have 10, 15, 20 family members suddenly with more and more diversity; they spread out over different cities sometimes even countries.”

The solution, said Dennis Jaffee, is to run the family like you would any formal organization. “They have to have a set of rules, a government, a way of voting, making decisions, being fair to people who are outvoted or who aren’t majority owners,” he said.

Some large families go so far as to have a family constitution to keep everyone on the same page.

Families also need to cultivate a sense of “family greatness,” according to Thijssen. “How do you build this culture so all family members are great, engaged visionary people” is a key question, he said. There's also the challenge of preventing new generations from being spoiled and entitled.

Equally important, Thijssen said, is cultivating a sense of innovation.

“The world changes,” he said. “The businesses that were the right ones 50 years ago... maybe today it’s better to be in different sectors so how do you structure your family to identify new opportunities.”

Keeping her family on the same page is Meghan Juday’s full-time job.

Her actual job title is chair of the family council and the nominating and governance committee. Now five generations strong, there are 50 family members in control of Ideal Industries. “We all get together in Sycamore for our annual meeting,” and smaller groups meet quarterly, she said.

Family members study the business, make collective decisions, and focus on training each generation early, starting with playtime for the little kids while the adults meet.

“As they get older, we’ll bring them in for interactive plant tours, as they get into high school we’ll do internships for the ones who want them,” she said. Connections between management and family members are developed early on “at an age-appropriate level.”

Juday said the biggest benefit to being a family business is that you can do things that you couldn’t if you had to constantly appease shareholders.

“For example, last year, we were looking at our pension plan and realized that it wasn’t sufficient and it didn’t align with our values enough, so we increased it,” Juday said. “That’s the kind of decision that we can make as a family business – being good to our employees and customers and communities – that a lot of people who are really trying to maximize quarterly returns can’t do.”

So families are family businesses' greatest risk, but perhaps their greatest asset too.

See the original story here.

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FAMILY-OWNED U.S. MANUFACTURING COMPANY IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC. CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL

Credits Commitment to Innovation, Tradesman, Customers, Employees for Long-Term Success

SYCAMORE, ILLINOIS (August 02, 2016) – Less than one-third of family businesses successfully migrate from first to second generation ownership, while another 50 percent never survive the transition from second to third generation*.

IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC., a global, diversified family-owned business designing and manufacturing superior products and tools for professional tradesmen across various industries, has thrived for the past 100-years under four generations of family ownership. The company credits its continuous growth to their ongoing commitment to support innovation and foster ideal relationships with their customers, business partners, employees and community.

“We’re family-driven and professionally run, with a mindset of strategic planning and execution, that’s constantly thinking in terms of generations ahead,” said Vicki Slomka, senior vice president of global human services at IDEAL. “It’s enabled us to create a dynamic culture where ideas and innovation flourish -- and where relationships with our tradesmen, customers, communities and employees are valued above all else. This was the original philosophy of our founder, J. Walter Becker, and we remain fiercely committed to it today.”

The IDEAL philosophy is simple: focus on the markets that exist today, while ensuring that they are poised to serve those of tomorrow. Their primary focus is to build a robust pipeline of new products and game-changing innovations that will lead the market. The company plans ten years ahead, constantly thinking in terms of generations and not quarters. How will their family, board and business be different? What are the risks that lie ahead and how can they mitigate them now. How do they put their core business out of business, because if they don’t someone else will.

“Less than three percent of privately held companies make it their fourth generation,” said IDEAL Chairman and CEO Jim James. “In a few years, we’ll be grooming our fifth generation. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished over the last century, but we’re even more ambitious about the next 100 years.”

Building an IDEAL World:

Since 1916, the IDEAL success story has been propelled by the core family values expressed by their founder, J. Walter Becker, which has been forging ideal relationships with their customers, employees and their communities. Each generation of family ownership is expected to leave the company stronger for the next. The family stewardship of IDEAL ensures that their professional management team has the strategic alignment, resources and patience to grow and strengthen the company for generations to come.

While IDEAL may best be known for their wire connectors, their innovations also touch the sky, as nearly every commercial jet flying today has been constructed using IDEAL brand tools to connect and secure their electrical systems. They’ve even reached the moon, as part of the critical equipment on NASA missions. Their Audacy advanced wireless lighting system is installed at major league ballparks, college campuses and airports. Best of all, they touch the daily lives of skilled tradesmen around the globe, who reach for IDEAL, Western Forge and SK brand hand tools to get the job done right.

For IDEAL, innovation is not only about designing a new product or service to sell, but also focusing on the development of new business processes and best practices in order to improve efficiency, find new customers, cut down on waste, increase profits and keep employee retention rates up.

The family reinvests 90 cents on the dollar to fund innovation projects and develop programs for its employees. IDEAL contributes to educational expenses for those that wish to pursue advanced degrees, a benefits package, contributions to 401(k), a comprehensive pension plan, in addition to retirement counseling and financial advisors.

“We’re able to stand the test of time, because we listen first,” said James. “While most companies say, ‘here’s what we’ve got,’ we’re constantly asking our tradesman, customers and employees, ‘what do you need?’ Our commitment to quality and service will continue to spur the success of IDEAL, and its family of companies, for generations to come.”

To learn more about IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC., please visit http://www.idealindustries.com/about-us/our-history.

About IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC.

IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. is a global, diversified family business designing and manufacturing superior products and tools for professional tradesmen in the electrical, wire processing, data communications, aerospace, automotive and construction industries. The 100-year old company was founded in 1916 on the premise of forging ideal relationships with customers, employees and communities. The company has consistently grown and expanded under four generations of family ownership.

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*Source: Forbes, “The Facts of Family Business”

U.S. manufacturers worry about a Brexit

(June 23, 2016) The United Kingdom is about 4,000 miles away from the U.S., but its decision on whether to leave the European Union has the potential to affect U.S. suppliers with operations there. 

Jim James is CEO of Ideal Industries, which makes electrical supply equipment and hand tools, among other things. They do some manufacturing in the U.K. and sell into Europe. Ask him about Brexit and he has questions: "Will there be restrictive free trade? Will our employees be allowed to move around freely?"

He knows that if the U.K. leaves Europe, it also leaves all the trade deals between European countries. U.S. companies manufacturing in the U.K. leave those deals too. Trade barriers might sprout right back up.

To the extent that concerns over Europe's future lower investment in the EU, "any U.S. company that has got significant operations in the U.K. selling into Europe has to be worried about changes in the business climate," said  Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist at Northern Trust.

After all, what happens to the European economy also happens to their European sales.

See the original story here.

 

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IDEAL INDUSTRIES ANNOUNCES NATIONAL ELECTRICIANS COMPETITION; CELEBRATES PROFESSIONAL TRADESMEN, STUDENTS/APPRENTICES

‘The IDEAL National Championship’ Offers Opportunity to Win Cash Prizes, Tools and Showcase Talent

SYCAMORE, ILLINOIS (April 5, 2016) -- Jim James, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of family-owned IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC., today announced the first-ever IDEAL National Championship. As part of IDEAL’s centennial celebration, the three-round competition was created to honor and showcase the abilities of electrical professionals, students and apprentices from across the U.S. IDEAL Electrical, the world leader in electrical tools and wire termination, will begin the competition with a series of preliminary events where winners are awarded with tool kits and an opportunity to compete in the semi-finals and finals at Walt Disney World® in Orlando. 

“The professional tradesman is too often an unsung hero. They keep our world turning, working in snow, rain and incredible heat – all to fix our problems at a moment’s notice,” said James. “What better way to show our gratitude for their hard work and dedication than by giving them a platform to display and utilize their talents in a competition based on skills essential to their livelihood and rewarding their success along the way.” 

Starting in May 2016 and ending in October, electrical professionals and students/apprentices can participate (as an individual or team of three) in one of many first-round events being held by electrical distributors, trade schools and other organizations across the nation. 

Contestants will need to demonstrate both their problem-solving and physical skills across four categories: wire cutting, stripping, termination and testing through a multi-station speed test judged by fastest completion time and overall accuracy of the wire connection. The highest scores at each location will be recorded, and the top 10 professionals and top 10 students will be displayed on the IDEAL Nationals website.

How It Works:

Beginning on April 1st, participants can signup online at www.IDEALnationals.com. The competition will be divided into two categories: one for professionals and one for students and apprentices. Each will fill out their own registration form and be given the option of signing up as an individual and/or as part of a team of three. 

Upon completion, each participant will receive a unique ID to use throughout the competition. They can then enter their zip code to locate an event closest to them for participation. First round events will take place across the country beginning in May and ending in October. Each competitor can compete once at any event but can attend and compete at as many different events as they want to. 

Rankings will be posted online and updated daily. The top 67 professional tradesmen and top 67 students/apprentices with the fastest times (participating as individuals) will advance to the semi-finals taking place on November 11. The top five professional tradesmen and student/apprentice teams with the fastest times from the first-round events, will head straight to the finals and compete on November 12 for the IDEAL National Championship title. Those individuals advancing to the semi-finals and teams advancing directly to the finals will also receive a 13-piece tool kit (valued at $325 dollars) and travel accommodations provided by IDEAL.

What’s On The Line At Finals:

For professional electrical tradesmen participating as an individual:

• 1st place - $75,000   

• 2nd place - $25,000

• 3rd place - $10,000

For professional electrical tradesmen participating as a team: 

• 1st place - $60,000 (split amongst teammates) 

For students/apprentices participating as an individual:  

• 1st place - $30,000 + $5,000 for school

• 2nd place - $20,000

• 3rd place - $10,000

For students/apprentices participating as a team:

• 1st place - $30,000 (split amongst teammates) + $5,000 for school

For more information on The IDEAL National Championship, visit www.IDEALnationals.com.

About IDEAL INDUSTRIES

IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. is a global, diversified family business designing and manufacturing superior products and tools for professional tradesmen in the electrical, wire processing, data communications, aerospace, automotive and construction industries.  The 100-year old company was founded in 1916 on the premise of forging ideal relationships with customers, employees and communities.  The company has consistently grown and expanded under four generations of family ownership.  

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Article from www.Monster.com:

Ideal Industries may be a traditional business, but the Sycamore, Ill., manufacturer includes some innovation in the mix when it comes to recruiting and retaining talent in the 2010s.

The Need for Skilled Labor “We always struggle with filling technical positions and leadership roles such as operations managers and engineering managers,” says Vicki Slomka, senior vice president of global human resources at the family-owned group of companies. 

Ideal’s businesses -- which employ about 2,000 people, 70 percent of them in the United States -- design and produce goods ranging from hand tools to electrical hardware for industries ranging from automotive to alternative energy. 

“The required skills aren’t as prevalent as they used to be,” says Slomka. Ideal is challenged by recruiting for in-demand occupations such as CNC operator, set-up operator, automation technician and maintenance mechanic

Ideal’s website recently listed job opportunities in Illinois, Colorado and Massachusetts; the firm was looking for engineering and marketing professionals, among others.

Attracting Millennial Workers Although Ideal doesn’t brand itself for youth, “the company’s values around people, customer and community resonate with younger workers,” Slomka says. Ideal has built a Gen Z recruiting pipeline that extends into its local communities, including the schools. “We’re talking to students in high schools, trying to get them excited about working in manufacturing,” says Slomka.

Ideal brings in high school interns, puts them in safety googles, gives them exposure to assembly and has them shadow technical folks to get a feel for those jobs. Promising students are encouraged to investigate technical programs at community colleges. 

For its professional ranks, the company offers college students a variety of internships and co-op programs.

Retaining Employees for the Long Term Ideal chalks up its high employee retention rate to its thoughtful approach to longstanding employees, such as continued on-the-job training and cross-training. “For our seasoned workforce, we make sure that if they feel they can do more, we provide opportunities,” says Slomka. 

And Ideal’s private ownership has enabled this diversified, mid-sized firm to make long-term investments in its lines of business -- and in its people. Ideal, for example, pays some educational expenses for employees who want to pursue advanced degrees.

Ideal’s benefits package offers an unusual wealth of benefits that appeal to older workers, with a 100-percent 401(k) match plus a pension plan, in addition to retirement counseling that includes access to on-site certified financial advisors.

Article: http://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/recruiting-hiring-advice/attracting-job-candidates/Ideal-Industries.aspx

Ideal Industries to install lighting system at Wrigley Field

SYCAMORE, ILLINOIS (December 15, 2015) – Ideal Industries’ wireless energy management system has been selected to provide lighting for new parts of Wrigley Field.

Audacy, Ideal Industries’ wireless lighting system, was introduced to the public in January and has the ability to reduce energy use by 50 percent, said Nick Shkordoff, group vice president and general manager for the electrical division of Ideal Industries.

“It really is taking us into a new space and into a new market,” Shkordoff said.

The system was installed at the University of California, Los Angeles, in a number of buildings, including the school’s football facility. Audacy could be the future of lighting for large-scale facilities like college campuses and athletic stadiums, Shkordoff said. One of the features the company prides itself in most is Audacy’s wireless control via cellphone or tablet.

“We can put it in an office space on its own. We can operate multiple buildings. We could handle all of those and one person could control them all through one iPhone,” he said.

Audacy will be used first in Wrigley Field’s new 30,000-square-foot clubhouse and fitness center for the Chicago Cubs. Elements of the system will be installed throughout the ballpark over the next few years as part of the Wrigley Field restoration and expansion project, according to the news release.

The system was developed during a project to protect Ideal Industries’ existing products from becoming obsolete, CEO Jim James said.

“Any innovation to organic growth is going to be important to us,” James said.

See the original story here.

PTEN announces 2015 Innovation Award winners

(August 4, 2015) PTEN magazine has announced the winners of the 2015 Innovation Awards. This year, the publication received a record 117 product nominations.

Evaluated by a panel of judges consisting of technicians and shop owners, the PTEN Innovation Awards recognize the most innovative products introduced in the last year to the automotive aftermarket. These tools, introduced or significantly updated within the last year, are evaluated based on their ability make vehicle diagnosis and repair easier and more efficient, and make shops more productive.

Nominees were featured in the May and June 2015 issues of Professional Distributor and PTEN. (View a full list of the 2015 PTEN Innovation Award nominees.) Winners can also be found in the August issues of Professional Distributor and PTEN.

Air Conditioning: Airsept A/C Blend Door Repair Tool

Air Tools: King Tony America M7 1/2" Drive Air Impact Wrench, No. NC-4232Q

Battery Service Equipment: OTC 3200 Smart Battery Tester

Body Shop: Car-O-Liner Aluminum Workstation

Brake Service: Lock Technology Truck Brake Spring Tool, No. LT890

Chemicals: Boss Products RapidFix UV

Computers and Software: Mitchell 1 Mobile ManagerPro

Diagnostic Test Equipment: OTC 3395 MIT Tester

Education & Training: Chief Automotive Technologies Aluminum Damage Analysis and Repair Technology

Electrical Systems: Lang Tools Cat IV Wireless Clamp, No. 13810

Engine Service and Repair: Redline Detection Power Intake Adapter Set

Fluid Exchange: EBS Products Power Steering Gear Oil Fluid Exchange Equipment

Hand Tools: SK X-Frame Ratcheting Wrench

Heavy Duty: Bosch Esitronic Truck Scan Tool

Leak Detection: Redline Detection JLR High Pressure Diagnostic Leak Detector

Lifts, Jacks and Stands: Shinn Fu OMEGA Wheel Arm

Lighting: ATD Tools SABER Corded/Cordless Underhood Light, No. ATD-80355

Oil and Lube: Lisle Corporation Right Angle Funnel, No. 17232

Power Tools: Ingersoll Rand W5330 Cordless Right Angle Impactool

Repair Information Sources: Mitchell 1 ProDemand - Top 10 Repairs List

Scan Tools: Drew Technologies MongoosePro VW

Specialty Tools: OTC 7485 Locking Collar Wrench

Tire, Wheel Service: Thexton Manufacturing 805 GM Stuck Spare Tire Release Kit, No. THX805

Tool Accessories: Irwin Impact Performance Series BOLT-GRIP Extractors, No. 1859143

Tool Storage: Snap-on Tools Tool Box and Cart Handle Mount System for Electronics - Nos. KAMH2024A, KAMHTBLTAIR1

Welding: Chief Automotive Technologies TrueAutoMode

View a full list of the 2015 PTEN Innovation Award winners.

The PTEN and VehicleServicePros.com staff will be holding the annual awards ceremony on the show floor of the AAPEX Show in Las Vegas this November. Look for more coverage of the 2015 PTEN Innovation Awards and the AAPEX Show this fall.

See original story here.

IDEAL BREAKS GROUND ON NEW, EXPANDED MANUFACTURING FACILITY

IN SYCAMORE

Company Turns 100 Years in 2016 – Expects Continued Growth

 

SYCAMORE, IL (May 14, 2015) -- At its groundbreaking ceremony in the Sycamore Prairie Business Park, IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. of Sycamore Illinois, celebrated the beginning of a construction process that will result in a new manufacturing facility of 220,000 square feet. It will replace several existing facilities in the area and provide additional capacity within the existing product lines as well as support new product launches which are being announced simultaneously with the construction.


Among the attendees were Craig Erdmier and Jim Kutz of Cord Construction of Rockford, the general contractor, and Bill Waldorf and Joe Winkelmann of Larson and Darby, project architects. Speaking on behalf of Sycamore leadership, Mayor Ken Mundy said, “we are so pleased that IDEAL, a 75 year contributor to our local economy, has continued to show faith in our community by making this very significant investment. We, of course, will be as supportive as we have always been.”

Nick Shkordoff, General Manager/VP Electrical Division at IDEAL expressed his appreciation for the support IDEAL has received during this project from all involved. “We expect this building to be the cornerstone of a new era of growth for us. And we love having it right here in our park. The strong presence of the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) is a key components of what makes us such a strong community.”

 

About IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC.

IDEAL ® INDUSTRIES, INC. is a global, diversified family business designing and manufacturing superior products and tools for professional tradesmen in the electrical, wire processing, data communications, aerospace, automotive and construction industries. The 99-year old company was founded in 1916 on the premise of forging ideal relationships with customers, employees and communities. The company has consistently grown and expanded under four generations of family ownership.

About IDEAL ELECTRICAL

IDEAL ELECTRICAL is a Division of IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. The division is a global leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of enhanced energy management systems, products and technologies for professional electricians, design engineers and facilities executives.

Pictured in the Photo (left to right):

  • Craig Erdmier     Cord Construction
  • Dave Juday        IDEAL
  • Nick Shkordoff    IDEAL
  • Paul Borek          DCEDC
  • Ken Mundy         Mayor of Sycamore
  • Bill Waldorf         Larson & Darby
  • Brian Gregory     City Manager Sycamore

Thousands of employees’ lives were transformed – and some saved – by companies honored today as winners of Interactive Health’s “Healthiest Companies in America” award.

For the eighth year in a row, Interactive Health – the country’s leading provider of health management solutions – is recognizing a select group that has embraced the mission of life-changing access to preventive health care in the workplace. This year, there is more than double the number of winners, compared with the previous year. These 158 companies have achieved tremendous success in moving employees from high-risk health status to lower risk and achieving remarkably high employee participation.

“These winners are a perfect example of how health outcomes can be improved throughout America,” said Cathy Kenworthy, president and CEO of Interactive Health. “Working with our company, preventive care programs are about much more than just losing weight or quitting smoking – they are a catalyst to transform the way people look at health, well-being and their lives overall. Heathiest Companies in America winners exemplify the long-term positive effects comprehensive wellness programs can have on the health status of large populations. Our work is done exclusively through our people… it’s personal to us.”

Interactive Health’s workplace wellness programs transform companies and their employees by combining a thorough health evaluation with fast results, supported by a wide range of technology tools and prompt outreach by health coaches. Interactive Health’s engagement is well above norms, with 30 meaningful touch points per year and a 75 percent immediate intervention engagement rate. Members spend an average of 10 minutes per visit on the Interactive Health member website due to relevant two-way content personalized for each individual. Interactive Health has found that meaningful engagement, coupled with features that attract a high level of participation among both employees and spouses, directly translates into better health outcomes. In fact, members who engage with Interactive Health online during their program have a 12% higher rate of achievement of personal health goals. The personalization of these programs, at scale and with extraordinary speed, is possible due to ActiveEngine™, Interactive Health’s proprietary health risk analysis and workflow tool.

Interactive Health continues to innovate and adapt to create flexible programs that achieve the best results, which are exemplified through the success of the Healthiest Companies in America award winners. The diversity of companies represented in this winner’s circle, including size, geography, industry, and length of program, are proof-positive that all companies can both seek and achieve the goal of a healthy workforce.

“Maui Jim is proud to provide our employees a work environment that not only encourages healthy lifestyles and smart choices while in the office, but also offers them tools to champion their own well-being and make lasting behavior changes outside the workplace,” said Rhonda Bessert, Vice President of Human Resources at Maui Jim. “Achieving recognition as one of the Healthiest Companies in America is a testament to our commitment to supporting our employees as they take responsibility for their health.”

“The same dedication we bring to serving our Discover customers is found in the benefits we offer our employees to help them get the most out of life. We are committed to programs that focus on the long-lasting health of our employees,” said Doug Rose, senior vice president and chief human resource officer for Discover. “Being recognized as one of the Healthiest Companies in America validates our commitment to our employees and to helping them achieve their health goals one step at a time.”

Interactive Health creates healthier companies by providing programs that improve the health of their employees. Companies work with Interactive Health because they want a partner that helps them build a health-focused culture and embrace wellness as a business strategy. Interactive Health’s carefully designed strategic, wellness solutions instill lasting behavior changes in employees. The programs integrate all aspects of wellness, empowering each individual with the tools needed to champion his or her own wellness and aid in the daily management of health through early detection and identification of risk factors.

For more information on “Healthiest Companies in America,” visit http://interactivehealthinc.com/client-success/healthiest-companies/

The 2014 “Healthiest Companies in America” are:

Arizona • CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company ­- Phoenix • Jewish Family & Children’s Service – ­Phoenix • Lovitt & Touché ­- Tempe

California • Advent Software ­- San Francisco • Casa Dorinda -­ Santa Barbara • Oliver DeSilva, Inc. Group Health Care Plan ­- Dublin • PAQ, Inc. -­ Lathrop

Colorado • American Heritage Railways -­ Durango • City of Montrose -­ Montrose • CNIC Health Solutions -­ Greenwood Village • ET Investments LLC ­- Aurora • PCL Construction ­- Denver • Quantum Corporation -­ Colorado Springs

Connecticut • KODA Distributing Group ­- Stamford • Regional School District #6 -­ Litchfield

Delaware • SPI Pharma -­ Wilmington

Florida • Crowley -­ Jacksonville • Miami Children’s Hospital -­ Miami • PAR, Inc. -­ Lutz

Georgia • Cleveland Group, Inc. ­- Atlanta • Georgia Eye Institute ­- Savannah • Peak Campus Management -­ Atlanta • Pediatric Emergency Medicine Associates ­- Alpharetta

Idaho • Ball Ventures LLC -­ Idaho Falls

Illinois • Ace Coffee Bar -­ Streamwood • Amalgamated Bank of Chicago -­ Chicago • Barry Callebaut ­- Chicago • CCC Information Services -­ Chicago • Center Cass School District ­- Downers Grove • Chapman and Cutler LLP ­- Chicago • Countryside Bank -­ Countryside • Custom Data Processing ­- Romeoville • Dillon Kane Group/STA Group ­- Chicago • Discover Financial Services -­ Riverwoods • DuPage Machine Products -­ Bloomingdale • Elkay Manufacturing ­- Oak Brook • Forest City Gear -­ Roscoe • Freeborn & Peters LLP -­ Chicago • GATX Corporation -­ Chicago • General Kinematics Corporation ­- Crystal Lake • Holly Hunt Enterprises ­- Chicago • Huron Consulting ­- Chicago • Ideal Industries, Inc. -­ Sycamore • IFS North America -­ Itasca • Knox College -­ Galesburg • Lake Land College ­- Matoon • Lincoln Way Community High School District 210 -­ New Lennox • Loders Croklaan -­ Channahon • Mapes & Sprowl Steel -­ Elk Grove • Maui Jim, Inc. -­ Peoria • Marist High School ­- Chicago • Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush ­- Westchester • Mutual Trust Financial Group ­- Oak Brook • National Insurance Crime Bureau -­ Des Plaines • Old Second National Bank -­ Aurora • Ozinga Bros., Inc. -­ Mokena • PCI -­ Chicago • Prinova USA ­- Carol Stream • Revcor – Carpentersville • R.J. O’Brien & Associates LLC -­ Chicago • Rockford Park District ­- Rockford • Rosecrance Health Network -­ Rockford • Schulze & Burch Biscuit Company ­- Chicago • Sonoma Partners -­ Chicago • Southern Illinois Health & Wellness Insurance Trust ­- Marion • Sycamore Community School District 427 ­- Sycamore • Telular Corporation -­ Chicago • The National Bank and Trust Company ­- Sycamore • Trinity Christian College ­- Palos Heights

Indiana • Angie’s List -­ Indianapolis • BMWC Constructors Inc. -­ Indianapolis • Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District -­ Chesterton • Remington Seeds, LLC -­ Remington • Traylor Bros., Inc. -­ Evansville

Iowa • Auxiant -­ Cedar Rapids

Kansas • Golf Course Superintendents Association of America -­ Lawrence • Stormont-Vail HealthCare -­ Topeka

Kentucky • Kohrs Lonnemann Heil Engineers (KLH Engineers) -­ Fort Thomas

Massachusetts • Consigli Construction Co., Inc. -­ Milford

Michigan • Atwell, LLC -­ Southfield • McGraw Wentworth ­- Troy • SmithGroup JJR ­- Detroit

Minnesota • Coop Country Farmers Elevator -­ Renville • Heartland Corn Products ­- Winthrop

Missouri • 4M Building Solutions, Inc. -­ St. Louis • Enterprise Bank ­- St. Louis • Maritz ­- Fenton • Missouri Bankers Association -­ Jefferson City • Thomas McGee, L.C. ­- Kansas City

Montana • Electrical Consultants, Inc. -­ Billings • St. Luke Community Hospital -­ Ronan

Nebraska • City of McCook -­ McCook • DLR Group -­ Omaha

New Jersey • Conner Strong & Buckelew -­ Marlton

New York • Adorama Camera -­ New York • Allegany-Cattaraugus Schools Health Plan ­- Olean • Credo Community Center ­- Watertown • eHealth Technologies -­ West Henrietta • Eric Mower & Associates ­- Syracuse • Excellus BlueCross BlueShield -­ Rochester • L. & J.G. Stickley ­- Manlius • Lifetime Benefit Solutions -­ Liverpool • Lifetime Health Medical Group ­- Buffalo and Rochester • Lyons National Bank -­ Geneva • MedAmerica -­ Rochester • Monroe Plan for Medical Care -­ Pittsford • NBT Bancorp Inc. -­ Norwich • New York Air Brake -­ Watertown • O’Brien & Gere -­ Syracuse • Oneida Savings Bank -­ Oneida • Partners and Napier -­ Rochester • Sidney Federal Credit Union -­ Sidney • Trek, Inc. -­ Lockport • Trudeau Institute -­ Saranac Lake • Univera Healthcare­ – Buffalo • Universal Instruments -­ Conklin

Ohio • City of Vandalia -­ Vandalia • City of Wyoming -­ Wyoming • Dana Holding Corporation -­ Maumee • Ellison Group ­- Mason • Findley Davies, Inc. -­ Cleveland • Four County Career Center -­ Archbold • Johnson Investment Counsel -­ Cincinnati • Nidec Minster Corporation ­- Minster • Patrick Henry Local Schools -­ Hamler • Premier Physician Services ­- Dayton • Standard Textile ­- Cincinnati • totes-ISOTONER ­- Cincinnati • Vega Americas, Inc. – Cincinnati

Pennsylvania • David’s Bridal ­- Conshohocken • Johnson Kendall & Johnson -­ Newtown • Meadville Medical Center ­- Meadville

Tennessee • East Tennessee Children’s Hospital ­- Knoxville

Texas • Citizens National Bank ­- Longview • Cooper & Scully ­- Dallas • Guaranty Bank & Trust -­ Mt. Pleasant • Industry Bancshares ­- Industry • Military Sales & Service, Co. -­ Dallas

Utah • Morinda Holdings ­- Provo • Nature’s Sunshine Products, Inc. -­ Provo

Virginia • CFA Institute ­- Charlottesville

Washington • Continental Mills, Inc. ­- Tukwila • Harris Group ­- Seattle

Wisconsin • City of Franklin ­- Franklin • Dohmen Life Science Services ­- Milwaukee • Fond du Lac County ­- Fond du Lac • HO Bostrom -­ Waukesha • Lakeland Care District -­ Fond du Lac • McAdams Graphics ­- Oak Creek • Plexus Corp. ­- Neenah • Primex Family of Companies -­ Lake Geneva • Runzheimer International ­- Waterford • Walworth County – Elkhorn • Waupaca County ­- Waupaca

Wyoming • Campbell County -­ Gillette • Wyoming Medical Center -­ Casper • Taco Johns International, Inc. ­- Cheyenne

About Interactive Health Interactive Health (www.interactivehealthinc.com), the country’s leading provider of health management solutions, creates innovative wellness programs designed to increase overall company health and actively engage employees to make lasting behavior changes. Regardless of where a company may fall on the wellness spectrum, Interactive Health has a highly personalized program to meet its needs. By offering health assessments that detect risk at the earliest possible stage, Interactive Health has the capability to immediately intervene and engage at-risk participants with a personalized course of action. Using ActiveEngine, a proprietary algorithmic-based clinical intelligence engine, a unique achievable goal is assigned to each participant based on individual results and health improvements are measured. Interactive Health has a 20-year track record of creating the Healthiest Companies in America.

Wireless Lighting Control System Scales Up for Complex Sites

(May 12, 2015) Bringing Bluetooth and WiFi to lighting controls is nothing new, but scaling them to larger facilities can cause issues. At Lightfair 2015, Sycamore, Ill.-based lighting-connector maker IDEAL announced Audacy, a system suited for large installations that can bring big energy savings.

"If everyone went completely wireless, the need for our connectors would be diminished," says Jim James, IDEAL CEO. "So, our team took a look at it, and we saw a space for a wireless energy-management system to meet changing building codes."

Small control units are installed on each fixture, with ballast added for dimmers. Wall switches and other devices connect wirelessly to the lights. No wired switches are required. The system is fully programmable via a PC or through the Audacy mobile app.

"This is a huge leap forward," says Kevin Borg, assistant athletic director for facilities and project management at the University of California, Los Angeles. UCLA has installed Audacy in most of its training facilities and athletic offices. "During a six-month test, we saved 35% to 40% in energy costs, and that was during the summer when we didn't even have full occupancy. There's a return on value, and the cost is now reasonable," he says.

See original story here.


LARGE SCALE LIGHTING SIMPLIFIED

BY IDEAL INDUSTRIES’ NEW WIRELESS ENERGY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Delivers Up To 60 Percent Energy Savings Per Year

Safe, Secure Installation in One-Eighth the Time of Wired Systems

 

SYCAMORE, ILLINOIS (May 5, 2015) -- Jim James, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of family-owned IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. today announced the launch of the Audacy™ wireless energy management system, targeted for the retrofit, new construction, retail, and institutional lighting markets. “There is tremendous global demand for superior energy management systems that enable facilities executives and design engineers to drive down both installation and operating costs across large-scale projects,” said James. “We expect rapid and substantial growth from an expanding Audacy product line over the next several years.” James said the development team was challenged to “revolutionize our thinking beyond our core business of Wire-Nuts®, but keep it just as simple to install and operate.” In six months, the development team had a working prototype using IDEAL’s reliable pushin wire termination expertise and a proprietary, patent-pending wireless technology that can extend the life of battery-powered devices such as sensors and switches to 25 years. “Our push-in wire termination expertise combined with our 915 MHz wireless technology makes it incredibly easy for facilities managers and building owners to deploy advanced lighting control solutions that had previously been difficult to implement,” said Nolan Bello, Business Unit Manager, Advanced Wireless Solutions. Retrofit Tests Prove Significant Savings Audacy provides wireless control via a mobile app over multi-building lighting systems by automatically sensing and adjusting to ambient light, movement and room occupancy. Completed beta tests of the system have consistently delivered energy savings from 30 to more than 50 percent. The systems can be installed in one-eighth the time of competitive wired systems -- Audacy has been installed in UCLA’s athletic and football facilities. The ability to adjust our lighting according to different situations is extremely important to maintaining an environment conducive to learning for our student-athletes,” said Kevin Borg, Assistant Athletic Director, Facilities and Project Management at UCLA. “Our facilities are scheduled for use up to 18 hours a day, so using the right amount of light at the right times is key to our energy savings.” Borg’s team achieved 35 percent savings in their electrical lighting load by retrofitting Audacy’s wireless devices into existing light fixtures and infrastructure and then implementing simple occupancy, vacancy, task tuning and dimming approaches that the Audacy controls offer.

 Audacy In a Nutshell

  • Occupancy/Vacancy, Daylight Harvesting, Scheduling, Remote System and Scene
  • Control
  • Quick and simple installation into light fixtures
  • Web or mobile control from anywhere Internet access is available
  • Compliance with ASHRAE 90.1-2010
  • Custom control of individual light fixtures
  • Maintenance-free battery life on wireless devices
  • Ability to used on linear fluorescent, can/downlight, and LED troffer fixtures
  • Integration with existing building automation systems
  • Available device pre-configuration away from jobsite

 

About IDEAL INDUSTRIES

IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. is a global, diversified family business designing and manufacturing superior products and tools for professional tradesmen in the electrical, wire processing, data communications, aerospace, automotive and construction industries. The 99-year old company was founded in 1916 on the premise of forging ideal relationships with customers, employees and communities. The company has consistently grown and expanded under four generations of family ownership.

 

About IDEAL ELECTRICAL

IDEAL ELECTRICAL is a Division of IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. The division is a global leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of enhanced energy management systems, products and technologies for professional electricians, design engineers and facilities executives.

Like many executives at large public companies, Carmelle Giblin traded down to a smaller one in order to get her first CFO job. But the cultural shift had to do with a lot more than scale.

Giblin spent 21 years at Illinois Tool Works (ITW), currently a $14 billion company, where she was a divisional general manager during her last few years. Then in May 2013 she took what anyone might call a significant risk by joining Ideal Industries, a manufacturer of tools and supplies for installing and maintaining electrical and data communications cable. The company doesn’t release its sales figures, but it’s certainly many times smaller than ITW.

Most executives who move from public to non-public companies cite relief from the pressure exerted by Wall Street as a positive element of the change. That goes, though far more so, for Giblin at Ideal. It’s a family-owned firm, with the fourth generation in control. A key principle for the owners is for company managers — none of whom is a family member — to run the business with an eye to keeping it viable for many more generations.

That makes Giblin’s role quite interesting. “We put together plans that have very long-term goals and playouts,” she says, “like investing in emerging markets and [investing] money that probably won’t return anything in my tenure, but knowing that this is the right move for the whole business.”

Watch the video to hear Giblin’s compelling observations about Ideal Industries and its future-looking family ownership.

http://ww2.cfo.com/growth-strategies/2015/04/from-quarterly-pressure-cooker-to-ultimate-long-horizon-view-ideal-industries/

Written by: Jim James

The most successful business owners are true to themselves and their customers. They are clear about what they want out of life and business, and possess an incredibly honest and realistic view of their skills, strengths and weaknesses. They have a knack for making customers want them regardless of price and set high expectations for quality. Many people in business get lost in the chase. They forget who they are, what they are working for and what they’re good at. They chase any dollar and wind up behind rather than ahead, always stressed out and scrambling to make a buck.

When I see myself focusing on these much less important things, I stop and ask myself some important questions. Am I making decisions that truly drive my business? Is our work building the relationships we want? Do we have the financial strength to consistently capitalize on the right opportunities? Am I able to live the life I want? Are my employees able to live the lives they want?

Six years ago, I joined IDEAL Industries as president. It wasn’t an easy or simple decision. My head was into my growing career at Illinois Tool Works, while Dave Juday, chairman of the board of directors for IDEAL, was looking outside of the family for someone who could help grow the company for the next generation of owners.

As Dave and I talked, it became clear to both of us that we were coming from the same place. We both enjoyed hard work. We were both comfortable setting and meeting expectations. In the end, we both sought long-term success through building and sustaining an ideal company—one that did right by customers, employees and communities. We both liked to make decisions with the long term in mind. When we planned, we looked at the next generation of leadership, not just the next quarter.

During the last five years, we’ve more than doubled the value of the company, increased family participation in its guidance, bought several companies that make us more valuable and launched game-changing products and systems across the globe. More importantly, we have stewarded the continued development of a company culture that hardworking people want to be part of and find fulfillment in. Drive your company, don’t let it drive you. Listed below are some ways that have worked well for us.

1. Work Hard to Understand Your Unique Value Proposition

It is essential to understand who you are and what you can do for clients that will set you apart from competitors and other businesses. What do you do better than everyone else? Why do clients choose you above others? When you fully understand the true value you bring to clients and employees alike, you can make decisions that have the long term in mind and will be focused correctly.

2. Never Focus on Price

Placing price above value sends the message that your services aren’t as valuable as competitors. Not to mention, when you get in to the price-cutting or discounting game, it’s hard to get out, and you’ll never earn what you deserve for your work. Placing an emphasis on providing value to your customers will ensure you never go wrong.

3. Put a Premium on People

Although it seems self-explanatory, this tip is often overlooked. It’s not just about hiring quality people with integrity; you must take the time to seek out individuals who share your vision for the company. Being on the same page with your employees from day one saves everyone time and energy trying to meet in the middle on important projects. You need to be in harmony with all of your employees—their happiness is just as essential to the long-term success of your business as profits themselves.

4. Set Expectations Early and Often

This applies to employees and clients. Agreeing on a scope of work for each project, talking through communication styles, deadlines and more should be done before any actual work is started. Clients often are vague about what they want or need. It’s important to push them to be specific. This will avoid new requests or changes in the project that can be both costly and time-consuming.

5. Prepare a Contingency Plan

Taking time to think through how to manage a variety of different situations is always a good idea. Whether it’s your company’s response to bad weather delaying a project or how to handle turnover on your team, try to have next steps in place. Thinking ahead and preparing plans with actionable steps detailing how to handle each situation will ensure you’re equipped to deal with the inevitable challenges that come with running your own business.

Author Bio: 

With more than 25 years of experience across several industries, Jim James leads IDEAL Industries with a wealth of knowledge and visionary leadership. A graduate of Georgia State University (MBA) and the University of Wisconsin (B.S. in industrial technology), James also spent 16 years with Illinois Tool Works before joining IDEAL in 2008.

http://www.constructionbusinessowner.com/strategy/business-management/december-2014-managing-long-term






These Are the 8 Most Important New Car Tools of 2014

Four years after declaring bankruptcy and being bought by Ideal Industries, American toolmaker S-K delivers its first new product. With an innovative new ratcheting mechanism that features three pairs of inner teeth, or pawls, S-K's ratcheting wrench rotates a bolt in just 1/3 of the typical arc swing, making it perfect for spaces that allow limited movement. The extra teeth also mean more power, but with the outer set of teeth connected directly to the I-beam frame, the power dissipates evenly. Welcome back, S-K.

 http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/g1672/8-cant-miss-car-gadgets-from-sema-2014-pm-editors-choice-awards/?slide=1

Sycamore, Ill.—At a time when many U.S. tool manufacturers have moved all or some of their production overseas, the revitalized SK Hand Tool Corp. is committed to its lineup of exclusively American-made tools, said Walt Sedlacek, SK’s director of sales and marketing.

After nearly 90 years in business and a number of different owners over the years, the iconic SK Hand Tools declared bankruptcy in June 2010. Of five bidders, four were in Asia and were interested in purchasing only SK’s customer list and brand, and would have shifted production offshore. But a fifth company, Ideal Industries, stepped in and has not only kept the company American-owned but has vowed to produce only American-made tools.

Before buying SK, Ideal had bought two other American tool companies, Sedlacek said. Ideal, a family-owned company best known for its product category-leading wire nuts used in electrical wiring, bought Western Forge, a Colorado Springs, Colo., manufacturer of forged tools for 32 national U.S. brands, and Pratt-Read, which makes screwdrivers for SK and other brands, he said.

SK’s factory buildings in Ohio and Chicago were not part of the sale, and by January 2011, the company was back to producing tools in its new 130,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility in Sycamore, Ill. and at Western Forge. The company now has nearly 3,000 products in its lineup and is continually revamping it through newer equipment and manufacturing processes, Sedlacek said.

“We’ve brought the majority of the tools back online that the old SK had,” Sedlacek said. “SK had its own forging operation, and another manufacturing operation in Chicago. When Ideal bought the business, those two plants were older plants with maybe not the latest and greatest technology. So, they bought the assets of the business, but they built a brand-new state-of-the art manufacturing facility in Sycamore using all of the tooling from the old SK and they’re slowly upgrading it.”

One product improvement SK has made, Sedlacek said, is to its sockets, which are now manufactured to have a cleaner hole past the square part where the ratchet or extension attaches to it. The new socket has more strength because less material tears out during the five-step cold-forging process, which is done in Sycamore. That process is the ultimate in strength, Sedlacek said, which is important to be able to produce strong sockets with thin walls to enable easy access in tight spaces.

Tools such as pliers, ratchets, wrenches, punches, and chisels are hot-forged at the Western Forge plant, Sedlacek said, while final assembly on products such as ratchets is done in Sycamore, where the products are also all shipped to the same chrome-plater SK uses to achieve a “motorcycle-quality finish.” Called SuperKrome by the company, the high-polish, jewelry-like finish delivers maximum corrosion resistance, he said.

“The tighter crystalline structure resists rust a lot better than traditional chrome,” Sedlacek said. “We do salt-spray accelerated testing with competitive products, and we get up to three times better rust resistance when using SuperKrome, as well as a shinier finish. We like to say it has the ‘bling’ of a Harley.”

The professional automotive technician is still SK’s target end-user, although industrial distribution is growing, too, he said. Because the company is committed to U.S.-made tools, there were a number of Asian-sourced tools within the old SK lineup that were dropped with Ideal’s ownership. The company is starting to add some of those tools to the lineup but in a superior American-made version, he said.

“We’re taking a look at where we differentiate,” he said. “We always want to be the best in class in terms of performance. The high end of the tool range is where SK wants to play. What new innovative tools can we come out with that will be best in class?”

One example of this is ratcheting wrenches, Sedlacek said. The old SK company had ratcheting wrenches, but they were made in China or Taiwan.

“So, we just developed a made-in-USA version which operates totally different than all of the existing ones. That will be the big launch this year,” he said, noting that the new product line is slated to roll out this summer.

The new product line underscores what Ideal sees as a strategy for a sustainable competitive advantage, Sedlacek said.

“If you’re a company working with manufacturers in Asia, you can get decent quality,” he said. “But as a generalization, tools made in the U.S. are of higher quality. And every year, the cost of labor in China has inched up, the exchange rate goes up, and it’s more and more expensive to ship from Asia. In the next three to five years, the cost advantage of China is going to go away. We’re proud to be made in America, but we also feel the cost advantage of offshore manufacturing is not going to be there.

“Why not invest in U.S. manufacturing now? As other companies close factories and ship production overseas, why don’t we be the one who’s investing and buying those companies so that when manufacturing does come back to the U.S., we’re poised as the tool giant?”

http://www.partsandpeople.com/node/5951

SYCAMORE, IL, January 10, 2014 – IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC., one of the world's largest manufacturers and suppliers of quality tools, connectors and testing products for electricians and data communications contractors, announced today that Matt Barrett, a veteran electrical industry sales executive, has been promoted from National Account Manager to Central Region Manager. He will report directly to Terry Stevens, the company's Vice President of Sales for its North American Electrical Division.

"Matt's experience at IDEAL as a National Account Manager as well as his prior management experience at both Panduit and IBM give him the skills needed to lead the Central Region into the future," said Stevens.  "As our industry landscape changes in the future,  Matt clearly understands what is needed to meet the market needs we face and I am confident he will be successful meeting this new challenge."

During his tenure as National Account Manager for IDEAL, Barrett devoted his efforts to providing sales and technical assistance for several of the company's top distributors. In his new position, Barrett will lead the IDEAL Central Region field sales team in its pursuit of aggressive market share growth, while ensuring the highest quality customer service and support for its extensive network of electrical distributors. This role is critical to the success of the company's strategic focus to grow sales in the recovering residential, commercial and industrial construction markets.

Barrett earned a BS in marketing from Northern Illinois University and an MBA at Cardinal Stritch University.

To learn more visit www.idealindustries.com.

ABOUT IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC.

IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. has been serving the electrical industry since 1916. IDEAL is one of the world's leading manufacturers of professional quality tools and supplies serving installation professionals in the construction, maintenance, data communications and original equipment manufacturing industries.

Editorial Contacts:

Dan O’Connell O’Connell Communications, Inc. 708-482-0212 dan@oconnellpr.com

Dorothy Heckle IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. 800-435-0705 Dorothy.Heckle@idealindustries.com

SYCAMORE, IL, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 – IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC., today named Joe Saganowich Vice President/General Manager of its SK Hand Tool subsidiary. Saganowich, a 15-year IDEAL veteran, most recently led the company's North American Electrical Division as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. He played a key role in refocusing the IDEAL brand on its core values to gain market share in electrical tools, testers and connectors, while accelerating growth in data communications and other emerging technologies.

As Vice President/General Manager of SK Hand Tool, Saganowich assumes responsibility for leading the development and implementation of the subsidiary's strategic plans, for overseeing its day-to-day operations, and for driving its sales growth. He will report to Jeff Kellermann, Vice President/General Manager of the IDEAL Tool Group.

"We are extremely excited about the energy and direction Joe will add to SK. With his extensive background in sales and marketing, Joe will bring the focus needed for SK to continue to grow and be recognized as the iconic brand it has always been," said Kellerman. "Under Joe's leadership we will continue to bring the brand back as the preferred professional tools for mechanics, technicians, and maintenance professionals."

Prior to joining IDEAL, Saganowich held sales positions with Black and Decker, Sunoco Auto, and Pennzoil Auto.

With a product line of over 3,000 items, including wrenches, ratchets, sockets, screwdrivers, pliers, punches, chisels, and specialty auto tools, SK (www.skhandtool.com) is one of America's leading suppliers to the professional mechanic. Acquired by IDEAL in 2010, SK Hand Tool has maintained its manufacturing in the United States with forging facilities in Colorado Springs, CO and a new, state of the art manufacturing and distribution center in Sycamore, IL. Outlets for SK Hand Tool products include independent tool-truck dealers, auto parts stores, and major industrial catalog.

ABOUT IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC.

IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. has been serving the electrical industry since 1916. IDEAL is one of the world's leading manufacturers of professional quality tools and supplies serving installation professionals in the construction, maintenance, data communications and original equipment manufacturing industries.

SYCAMORE, IL, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 – IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC., one of the world's largest suppliers of  tools, testers and supplies for professional electricians, today announced the promotion of Terry Stevens to Vice President of Sales for its North American Electrical Division. Stevens replaces Joe Saganowich who was recently appointed Vice President/General Manager of IDEAL Subsidiary, SK Hand Tool (www.skhandtool.com).

A seasoned executive with over 20 years of sales and senior management experience, Stevens will be responsible for managing the North American Electrical Division sales organization, its National Accounts, as well as its Customer Service department.

"As Joe leaves the Electrical Group and moves into his new role at SK, it is essential that we continue the focus and momentum of our sales organization," said Nick Shkordoff, Group VIce President, North American Electrical Division. "I have full confidence that Terry's substantial capabilities and experience in the electrical channel qualifies her as the right person for this leadership position. I look forward to working with her to continue to increase our market reach and elevate the impact of our sales programs."

Prior to today's appointment, Stevens served as the company's Senior Sales Manager for the Central Region, a position she held for the past five years. Before joining IDEAL in 2007, Stevens served as National Sales Manager-Consumer Products and Great Lakes Area Manager at Osram Sylvania.

The IDEAL Electrical Division carries all the tools and supplies an electrician needs for easier, more efficient work including industry standards such as WireNut® wire connectors, Tuff-Grip™ fish tapes, Yellow 77® wire pulling lubricants, T-Stripper® wire strippers, and Twist-A-Nut™ screwdrivers, complimented by a comprehensive family of rugged, versatile and easy-to-use test and measurement instruments.

To learn more visit www.idealindustries.com.

ABOUT IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC.

IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. has been serving the electrical industry since 1916. IDEAL is one of the world's leading manufacturers of professional quality tools and supplies serving installation professionals in the construction, maintenance, data communications and original equipment manufacturing industries.

SYCAMORE, IL, June 24, 2013 – IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. has expanded its full line of data communications supplies with a new coax/UTP cable preparation tool that eliminates the need to carry multiple tools or to make frequent tool adjustments based on the type of cable being stripped.

Designed to the high standards of security and home theater professionals, the IDEAL PrepPRO™ prepares virtually any coaxial cable -- ranging from large RG-6 Quad to RG-59 plenum -- with industry-standard 1/4" x 1/4" strips in as few as two turns of its spinner ring. In addition, by replacing the primary blade cartridge with the included UTP/STP cartridge, the PrepPRO can cleanly remove the outer jacket of CAT3/5e/6 cables, doubling its value by replacing the need for a traditional UTP stripper.

Key to the success of the PrepPRO is a spring-loaded jaw design that achieves the continuous balanced forces required to cut cables clean and fast. Blade forces will not relax over time as is typical in other types of cable prep tools, assuring contractors of years of productive use. The ergonomic lever can be actuated to set the blade by thumb or palm grip as preferred by the user.

PrepPRO cost-effectively provides cable installers with versatile stripping power in a compact and rugged form factor that travels easily from jobsite to jobsite. Its contoured body slips easily into pant pockets or tool pouches, plus can clip onto clothing in between cable preparations.

The PrepPRO will prepare coaxial cable for all IDEAL RG-6/6Q/59/6 Plenum/59 Plenum compression connectors. Once prepared, use the IDEAL OmniSeal™ Pro or LinearX™ compression tool to securely terminate the connection and test the new link with the IDEAL Test-Tone-Trace VDV kit sold at IDEAL distributors worldwide.

The IDEAL PrepPRO is immediately available. For more information, visit, www.idealindustries.com.




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