Let me start by asking a simple question. Have you ever played the game Whack-A-Mole? You know, where you try your best to hit the pesky rodent when he unexpectedly pops out of a random hole? Well, that is sort of what life has become at Lou-Rich trying to navigate supply chain issues, escalating raw material pricing, quickly changing customer product demands, and lingering COVID-19 protocols to keep everyone in the business safe. It seems every day there are more “moles” than ever before that need to be “whacked”. Having said that, I can also report that the Lou-Rich is pretty darn good at dealing with all the twist and turns thrown our way. I am very proud of the effort and energy everyone at Lou-Rich puts forth every day to meet and exceed our customer needs. Our valued suppliers have been with us along this journey as well, and I want to express my gratitude for their continued efforts.

This is the time of the year we start to put together sales forecasts and operating budgets for the coming year. Given that many of our customers are seeing increases in demand, along with on-boarding several new projects, that means 2022 looks to be a year of strong growth for Lou-Rich. We typically make investments in new capital each year between $2-3M, and next year will be no exception. The “wish list” from employees is currently much larger than that, but that is part of our process to engage many of our employee-owners. For several years now, much of our focus on adding new equipment has been on automation and robotics, which will certainly continue next year as well. I will give an update in the December newsletter on what items made the budget, so look for that next time.

Lee Gulbrandson

Lou-Rich General Manager