According to Homeland Manufacturing Founder John Bonislawski, every prospect who walks through the door of his new Happy Valley facility leaves as a customer — and for good reason. The young-ish company, born in 2011, has a reputation for providing superior-level products and service, otherwise unheard of in manufacturing.
“When I tell a customer we’re going to deliver on time, we’re going to deliver on time. Period. That’s it. We go way over the top with customer service. We’re competitive on price, but our quality is second to none. We have really strong manufacturing and quality systems and when people are here, I can show them — not just tell them, but show them — the systems in play,” he says. “The customers come here, they see it, they bring in their engineers, they ask tough questions and they leave confident that we know what we’re doing.”
It’s a guarantee that not many other manufacturers around the world can offer. “People are tired of being overpromised and underdelivered,” Bonislawski says.
He mentions various clients and the problems they’ve had working with both national and international manufacturers. Broken promises on price, late deliveries, up-charges and products that, when they show up, simply don’t work.
Homeland Manufacturing’s dedication to excellence has inspired many businesses to pull their manufacturing from places like China and Mexico, and instead bring it here, to central Pennsylvania.
How do you build a company that excels where so many other manufacturers are failing? It starts with people.
Bonislawski admits that one of his toughest problems historically has been finding the right people to bring onto his team, but once he does find them, he makes sure they stick around. Right now, the company has just over 40 employees.
“We’ve built sort of a network. The people I hire here have been referred by other trusted employees who work here,” he says. “We work hard to keep our employees. People don’t leave. We’re creating a family culture here of mutual respect.”
“I stopped looking for people with ‘experience’ a long time ago,” Bonislawski notes. “I look for two things: integrity and a work ethic. If a potential employee has integrity and they’re honest and they want to work and are raised right, I can teach them to build anything. Our employees are building circuit boards that are in space, under the sea, and everywhere in between.”
Homeland Manufacturing is bringing in employees from surrounding Pennsylvania regions to join its industrial “family.” It’s also bringing together other Industry 4.0 companies in Happy Valley, for everyone’s benefit.
Bonislawski points to many local tech companies on his client roster as well as local hardware engineering firm Warlowe, who he frequently brings in on client projects, and vice versa.
“My customers are absolutely astounded when I bring Warlowe into a new project. Their design services, and more importantly, customer service is second to none. Warlowe is working with customers out on the West Coast and they're bringing us in on those projects. Those West Coast clients are also astounded, when they’re getting their orders from us on time, and they actually work and they’re 20% less in cost than what it costs to make in California,” he says. “We’re working collectively to grow each other’s businesses… We’re working together in our own little microcosm here, helping each other grow and keeping it local.”
"Those West Coast clients are also astounded, when they’re getting their orders from us on time, and they actually work and they’re 20% less in cost than what it costs to make in California.”
No local company is too small for Bonislawski to welcome into the fold. “I’m happy to work with startups, because sometimes startups become large companies,” he says, pointing to the growth and success of startup KCF Technologies.
“There’s a nucleus of engineering innovation, design innovation and manufacturing innovation driving a resurgence of manufacturing in Centre County,” he sums up. “And my mission is to create manufacturing jobs and promote this resurgence.”
Interested in learning more about Homeland Manufacturing? Check out their website at www.homelandmfgsvc.com.