Manufacturing Today - July 2017 - 30

Midwest

Jupiter Aluminum Corporation

burning when Dietrich Gross decided to rebuild. "The
tension and horror were touchable," he recalls. "Even so,
I said, 'Let's rebuild.'"
According to Gross, that decision formed a stronger team spirit within the company. The joined efforts
allowed the company to be back on its feet within 10
months, and just as important the company continued to pay its employees despite the lack of work at the
Hammond facility. The coating lines continued to paint
as domestic and foreign coils were quickly bought to
keep servicing Jupiter's customer base.
The 2009 recession also proved to be very challenging
for Jupiter because the building construction market
was devastated. About 70 percent of the demand dried
up and everyone had to adjust to a new normal. The
housing market plummeted: construction stopped and
renovation decreased dramatically. Being so dependent
on the housing market keeps Jupiter very close to the
American economy and everyone could feel the hardship so many had to live through in the country.

jupiter takes a long-term
view of prosperity and
growth, an approach that
has served it well.

Chevalier recalls how that experience actually
strengthened the company. "The recession experience
was team bonding," he says. "All employees stepped up
to face the new market reality. We added new market segments to our customer portfolio, and improved our service to nurture existing customers. The strategy paid off
and our volume was back up in a year."
The way the company pulled together during the 2009
downturn reflects one of its deeper, driving philosophies
that distinguishes Jupiter from its competitors - one that
emphasizes care and respect for both its employees and its
vendors and partners. "A business is a true human adventure," Chevalier says. "The teamwork goes far beyond its
employees. It revolves around suppliers, vendors and customers. Our respective successes depend on one another
every single day of the year. Forgetting one constituency
of this human equation endangers the whole business.
"People say that character is forged during tough times
and at Jupiter we know it for a fact," he continues. "These
two dramatic events, both the fire and the recession, were
very difficult and challenging episodes in Jupiter's history. In both cases, everyone worked hard to surmount
what seemed insurmountable at the time. And each time,
people and the company came out stronger. "

Long-term view
There is another driving philosophy that makes Jupiter
unique: Its long-term view of prosperity and growth for
the company. One of the benefits of being a privately held
company is that Jupiter's management team can have a
long-term vision without being beholden to shareholders.
Chevalier says this approach continues to serve it well.
"While monthly shipments are important, the vision
of bringing people together in the same adventure is
somewhat transcendent," Chevalier notes. "Teamwork
becomes logarithmic as people working together far exceeds their own total."
30

manufacturing-today.com JULY 2017


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