Ogden • As a former player for the Weber State University football team, LeanWerks president Reid Leland likes to incorporate things he learned on the gridiron into his fast-growing precision manufacturing business.
The company has a board for “chalk talks.” LeanWerks has a game plan and performance indicators.
It sets goals that enable its entire team to reap rewards if the company does well. It has a weekly huddle with all its employees.
Now, LeanWerks even has the equivalent of a brand-new stadium in a new plant and headquarters building at the Ogden Commercial and Industrial Park.
Leland founded LeanWerks as a tool machine job shop in 2003 and soon found growth opportunities in the early stages of U.S. oil field resurgence.
The company uses computerized technology and sophisticated machinery to build parts such as valves, pressure pads and power rings from high alloy carbon and steel. Some of the production caters to oil companies’ specific needs. Companies provide plans of what they need and LeanWerks turns those plans into parts.
LeanWerks now employs 53 people. It kept outgrowing space it was leasing, so in 2012 Leland decided to buy a lot that included an old Young Electric Sign warehouse for about $925,000. He said at last week’s opening of the new facility that he spent nearly another $1 million remodeling the building to suit the company’s needs.
Employees such as Matt Sadauckas of the engineering department appreciate the change.
“The other building was pretty cramped and the light was not good,” he said. “This is much bigger.”
Larry Weir, a quality engineer for the company, said LeanWerks could not keep up with demand at the smaller building.
The manufacturing facility looked like a maze when it was first purchased but LeanWerks removed walls to create an open warehouse feeling. Sophisticated machines that tool steel parts based on what computer programs tell them to make fill much of the space, although there are a few stations were specialized parts can be tooled by hand.
Employees moved into the facility about six weeks ago.
Leland’s strategy seems to be working.
In 2008, LeanWerks employed 20 people when Mountain West Capitol Network recognized it as Utah’s fifth fastest growing company. Today its workforce is more than double that.
It runs three shifts and sells more than two-thirds of its products outside Utah.