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January 2020 Newsletter

 

Welcome To The January Newsletter

As the inaugural newsletter outlined, NCE has and will continue to fulfill their intent at acquisition to grow Sunrise Fiberglass. Their dedication to defending our brand promise while simultaneously investing in the people, processes, and plant that make Sunrise Fiberglass a valued asset to each Stakeholder.

Let us focus on a couple significant milestones on this past quarter:

  • Expanded our surface finish options from sanded/primed, painted, buffed Gel Coat in multiple colors to now include buffed flake finish in a myriad of color options that present a cultured marble look to the eye.
  • Flexed the plant operations to three crews operating over 7-days a week with constrained process steps operating up to 16-hours a day so as to better meet customer demand for on time and budget delivery of products.
  • Persisted through the challenges presented by the launch of a major new customer in their busy season with new equipment, personnel, and processes.

You should find this and subsequent quarterly newsletters shorter with just some select highlights of plant performance and charts of Key Performance Indicators. It will always have snapshots of personnel and acknowledgements of tenure milestones.

As always, please feel free to contact us at newsletter@sunrisefiberglass.com with questions, observations, additions, or other changes that you may seek.

Bernard H. Coyle, Jr
Chief Executive Officer

01

Defending Our Brand Promise

“At the end of the day, regardless of how crazy that it gets, as we walk out the door, it’s like we’re all one happy family. There to help each other succeed at work and at life!

Schenia Fincher (Customer Service Rep)

A foundational element of Sunrise is our culture, which starts from the top yet flows through our entire team. Our internal leadership team has developed and integrated a set of core values into the everyday life here at Sunrise. We begin with:

Integrity — To demonstrate by our deeds the highest ethical standards in all interactions, we deliver on our commitments, but admit our shortcomings, when necessary, and take corrective actions for any problem. We accept the expectation of corporate citizenship to always act environmentally, socially, and economically responsibly.

The best way to demonstrate this is through the voice of our customers. In this issue of the newsletter we will feature Nick Hanna, Purchasing Agent, Rosenbaurer Motors, LLC, the world’s largest manufacturer of Municipal Fire Trucks.

Nick Hanna
Purchasing Agent
Rosenbauer Motors, LLC

How long have you worked at Rosenbauer and tell me a bit about the products that you make there?

I’ve been with Rosenbauer for four years. Globally Rosenbauer is the world’s largest provider of Fire apparatus and equipment. Every year Rosenbauer Motors delivers 300 custom chassis to our body production facilities, each of which is unique unto themselves. They are entirely custom from top-to-bottom. I’m sure that you can imagine how monumental a task that is managing a year-long production of a vehicle and all the parts that go into each order. And, Sunrise Fiberglass helps us accomplish that challenge.

How long has Rosenbauer been working with Sunrise Fiberglass:

From day-1, which was in 2011, when Rosenbauer Motors first incorporated here in Minnesota. So, for nearly a decade, they have been producing fiberglass panels for the Commander™, which is our original and most popular line of municipal fire apparatus chassis.

How has that relationship grown since those initial projects?

We quickly learned that we could depend upon them as much more than your typical vendor; they have been viewed as our fiberglass partner for years. Sunrise Fiberglass has had a hand in the development of all fiberglass components that we use in our vehicles. The process starts with our engineers discussing the plan with Sunrise, then they add-value to our design, mold build, and providing fiberglass manufacturing efficiencies.

Also, we worked with Sunrise Fiberglass in implementing a program that provides Rosenbauer added efficiencies to our manufacturing process. Through this program, they assist us in-managing, and supplying the fiberglass parts we need to keep the assembly line moving when we need them. This hands-off support of maintaining inventory proves the kind of partner that Sunrise Fiberglass is to Rosenbauer Motors, LLC.

If a peer was looking for a fiberglass solutions provider and they asked your opinion of Sunrise Fiberglass, what would you tell them?

I would tell anyone that asks that Sunrise Fiberglass has been a great partner. They have and continue to do what we need them to do and more.

That said, I would definitely recommend Sunrise Fiberglass to anyone that is seeking a fiberglass partner.

02

Quality

“I’m a perfectionist, which is why I love what I do in the development of molds. If they aren’t perfect, then the end product suffers. I’ve been here for 23 years, and I truly enjoy seeing what ultimately is perfectly delivered to our customers.”

Mary Joe Hurrle (Tooling Technician)

At Sunrise, our approach to quality starts with our people and is controlled through the process and not trying to police the parts. To achieve this, we call upon another core value;

Continuous Improvement — To contribute to our competitiveness and long-term success, we take responsibility for improving ourselves, our processes, our designs, and our molds through innovative thinking. By continuously challenging the way we operate and affirming the desire to improve, we assure the profitability that our stockholders, employees, customers, and vendor partners expect.

To many, turning on a light bulb, an invention by Thomas Edison over 140 years ago, is a mindless effort when entering a room. To others, that simple effort is something that can be continuously improved upon or in other words: improvement of process control. This analogy is the basic definition of process control by which bright minds continue to perfect how to control an outcome and other more sophisticated approaches better.

Here at Sunrise Fiberglass, our team strives to improve process control through various approaches focused on Continuous Improvement. The Sunrise approach to control is for the value engineering team to make work instructions to cover the basics in each area and then tailor specific instructions around the part estimate of your part.

For each SKU produced at Sunrise, there are over twenty-some steps, stations, and work areas that the customer project team may use to make a part.

To define which steps to take, our team takes each part through the Sunrise Fiberglass proprietary process, determining what is needed to meet customer expectations on delivery timelines and budgets. Once that the proper protocol is established, the Sunrise team continues to monitor variances in labor/material use as well as internal defects along with customer concerns/returns to achieve the process stability for customer parts.

While unlike the light switch having over 140 years to perfect, we at Sunrise embrace the fact that our customer expects our part manufacturing process to be as effective as walking in a room and flicking a switch to the on position.

So, much as society has for the light switch, the Sunrise team acknowledges it has to stay focused on challenging itself to Continuous Improvement and every day.

03

Our People Are Our Most Valuable Asset

“What’s great about working at Sunrise, is, how management provided the tools and time for people to succeed. They understand that this is a unique business, that can’t be learned overnight. And they’re here to support and provide career opportunities for those willing to give it their all!”
Steve Miller

Sunrise staffing has grown dramatically and in order to maintain our culture and bridge both language and knowledge barriers we have adopted a Lean Manufacturing “Bag-of-Tricks.” By taking this approach we are able to better achieve the quality and delivery that Sunrise customers expect, while enhancing our teams ability to produce and be a valued part of the Sunrise Fiberglass Family.

One example is based upon the fact that since a picture says 1,000 words, we have adopted visual controls to more clearly identify SKU’s. It starts at receiving inspection where the inspector checks the picture library of parts and checks the item versus the picture. If a picture does not exist, the inspector adds it to the library. The bins in the parts cage now have pictures along with part number tags to better assist storing, tracking, and issuing parts.

As the staffing numbers show,

04

Highlighting Key Employees

Here are a few of those that make up the foundation of our diversified workforce. Be sure to check out their profiles.

15th Anniversary
Jeffrey Barsch-Olson
Grind Room Lead

How long have you worked at Sunrise and what position did you begin your career here?

I’m celebrating my 15th year at Sunrise, and when I first started here I pulled parts and then moved to the Grind Room, and haven’t moved.

Over the years, how many different areas have you worked in?

I really haven’t moved and experienced many of the other areas. I truly enjoy the solitude of the Grind Room. I enjoy what I do, I work on different pieces nearly every day and I stay out of the fast-paced operation that surrounds me.

Of all the positions that are available here at Sunrise, is there one that you like to learn more about and why?

If I was interested in making a move, I wouldn’t mind learning about robotics. I’m very intrigued by technology, and I’d view that as a great learning experience.

What do you hope to learn next to further foster your career?

Beyond the robotics area, it would be great to learn more about the financial end of the business. Really learn how things work, and how we are able to keep things on-time and on-budget.

What do you enjoy doing in your free-time?

I do a lot of small engine repair – mechanical work. I also have recently purchased a place in Siren, Wisconsin, and hope to move there soon. While the commute back and forth will add time to my day, it will be worth it!

Oh, and one more thing – I just built my very first chicken coop. (In case anyone is looking for one.)

What would you like to have everyone know about careers here at Sunrise Fiberglass?

If you are looking for a place that you can call home, Sunrise is it. It truly is just like one big extended family. We always are looking after each other. It’s been a great 15 years, and I plan on being here for many more.

Mary Jo Hurrle
Tool Technician

How long have you worked at Sunrise and what position did you begin your career here?

I’ve worked at Sunrise Fiberglass for 23-1/2 great years. I began my career where I stand today, and I hope that will never change.

Over the years, how many different areas have you worked in?

While I have always maintained my current position, I’ve also worked in every other area except cab-assembly. Working in this area just fits my personality. I’m a perfectionist, which is why I love what I do in the development of molds. If they aren’t perfect, then the end product suffers. I’ve been here for 23 years, and I truly enjoy seeing what ultimately is perfectly delivered to our customers.

Of all the positions that are available here at Sunrise, is there one that you like to learn more about, and why?

I wish that I had more knowledge about how the office/administration works. It appears to me that knowing more about the financial end of the business would be great to learn. Not that I ever want to leave my current position!

What do you hope to learn next to further foster your career?

That’s a hard one to answer, I find it really interesting how the family culture has always been here but it just keeps getting better. It would be great to learn how decisions are made that keep things moving in the right direction.

What do you enjoy doing in your free-time?

I bow-hunt, fish and spend a great deal of my free-time outdoors, in the woods.

My real passion is my flower garden – I have been growing some of the greatest hydrangeas this year, they are absolutely spectacular!

What would you like to have everyone know about careers here at Sunrise Fiberglass?

This is a great place to work, clearly I enjoy it here, otherwise why stay for over 23 years? I see the newer employees enjoying the opportunity to be cross-trained. Which, by providing the opportunity allows someone to find a place that best fits. It’s a great place to add skills to one’s abilities.

Terry Wagnius
Lead in Tooling

How long have you worked at Sunrise and what position did you begin your career here?

It’s been a great 18-years for me and right now I‘m lead in the Tooling area.

Over the years, how many different areas have you worked in?

That’s one of the best parts about working here, I’ve learned so much on-the-job. Other than running a chop-gun and robotics, there is nothing throughout the production area that I haven’t done. You see, here at Sunrise, it’s all about getting the job done, and, because we are all so close, nobody ever says – “hey it’s not my job.” If something needs doing, we do it, plain and simple.

Of all the positions that are available here at Sunrise, is there one that you like to learn more about, and why?

I think it would be great to learn more about the CAD area.

What do you like most about your career here at Sunrise?

I truly enjoy the variety, no two days are ever the same for me. I’m constantly challenged with new projects, and I challenge myself to always try and improve the process.

What do you enjoy doing in your free-time?

I love the outdoors, and I’m actually going to school to become a Certified Survival Instructor. I’ve been to Indiana to train and will be going to Florida and then to New York. It’s been a real education for me, not only earning my instructor certificate, but also meeting so many others from across the country. It’s been great!

What would you like to have everyone know about careers here at Sunrise Fiberglass?

I would tell them that it’s never about “me” here at Sunrise, it’s about “we.” How can “we” work as a team to improve our own skills and get the work done that much better? It’s team-work that makes us better.

Pete Johnson
Operations Manager

How long have you worked at Sunrise and what position did you begin your career here?

I’ve only been here for 15-months, but over that short period of time, I’ve been amazed by the commitment the staff has to helping each other out.

What areas of the company do you deal with the most?

Well, the best way to answer that is to talk about the areas that report to me:

  • The Production floor
  • Maintenance & Engineering
  • Customer Service
  • Purchasing
  • Shipping and Receiving
  • Environmental, Health, Safety and Human Resources
  • Basically, everything in the plant other than Sales and Quality

So, as you can imagine, I am involved in a wide-variety of functions, and people. So, of those what do I enjoy most, I’d say the interaction among all the folks here at Sunrise. This is a group of dedicated individuals that go out of their way to pitch in order to get the job done and done right.

Simply stated, it’s the people that I enjoy most!

Of all the positions that are available here at Sunrise, is there one that you like to learn more about, and why?

I feel that it would be great to learn more about the financial side of the business. To be able to dig-down-deep and apply that knowledge to improve over-all operations here at Sunrise.

What do you like most about your career here at Sunrise?

While I’ve only been here for less than 2-years, my 35-plus years in composites has been a real help. So, being able to apply some of my past career experience in an effort of continued improvement here at Sunrise has been very rewarding for me.

What do you enjoy doing in your free-time?

I’m a real family guy. My wife and I left Minnesota in 1990 and have just returned, so it’s great to be home. We all enjoy sports, and I’ve always been active in sports. Something that few know, yet I’m very proud of is the fact that I was a Semi-Pro Pitcher with the Madison A’s.

Today, the Twins are my team to cheer for!

What would you like to have everyone know about careers, here at Sunrise Fiberglass?

I would talk about the culture. Everyone from the CEO to the person at the front desk work as a team and act more like a family than co-workers. It’s truly a refreshing place where you are given every opportunity to turn a job onto a career.

05

Community Relations

We take great civic pride in our connections with our elected official, civic leaders and the Wyoming Community. This video documents a recent visit from Minnesota Congressman Peter Stauber.

Giving Back to the Community

This is our third annual food & clothing drive in support of the Wyoming Methodist Church. Our entire staff gave-big and to help out those in need over the holiday period. Our Sunrise Family does all that we can to assist the church to fill local pantries and provide needed clothing to local families.

06

Conclusions

As we said in the inaugural newsletter, we ponder if we’ve adequately:

  • Changed the Culture.
  • Recruited the needed talent that fit the mold in order to grow the business.
  • Developed the protocols / process controls / documentation to operate on multiple shifts.
  • Delivered the required training for personnel to be successful.
  • Instilled the HSE awareness and maintained the engineering controls to assure success.

The above five items make for many a restless night. We would like to think that Sunrise has done enough to overcome the challenges ahead and will produce smiles from all stakeholders in 2020 but we know we must not become complacent.

Please reach out to us and let us know what is going on with our involvement with you so we can continue our efforts to be a better constituent for you.

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