Keim, a manufacturer of custom wood products and a regional distributor of building products for commercial and residential projects, plans to invest $1.5 million at its Holmes County facility to modernize its inventory management system and train its employees to use the new technology. The fourth-generation, family-owned business began operations in 1911 as a rough lumber mill with four employees. Today, the company has nearly 500 employees and conducts business in a 50-acre complex with more than 700,000 square feet of millwork production space, warehouse,
office and retail space.
“We are excited to announce plans to make an additional investment in Holmes County that will support our transition to a modern computerized warehouse management system,” said Jim Smucker, President of Keim. “The renovated space will be used to train 400 of our workers on the new system as well as to train new employees,” he added. Company executives expect the increased efficiency and associated revenue growth will result in the creation of 35 new jobs within three years of the project’s completion.
According to Smucker, the investment is an important part of Keim’s community business strategy. “Moving to a modern warehouse management system will create an opportunity for Keim to contract with small, local companies to distribute their products into out of state markets,” commented Smucker. Smucker and the management team at Keim believe the investment will increase efficiency resulting in the creation of new jobs. According to Smucker “We anticipate out-of-state sales will increase as the company becomes better positioned to service existing customers and to add new ones.”
According to Mike Jacoby, President and CEO of OhioSE, “JobsOhio and OhioSE are thrilled that Keim is making this investment in Holmes County and continuing it’s nearly 110-year commitment to product quality, superior customer experiences, and a dedication to excellence established by the Keim family over four generations ago.”
The JobsOhio-OhioSE team worked closely with Keim representatives and is providing $75,000 via JobsOhio Workforce Grant to assist with the training of current and new workers.
Keim’s training initiative is expected to impact other Holmes County businesses too, as Keim will make available the training space and technology resources to other companies. “The project has the potential to be a transformational force in the community, providing access to training opportunities to hundreds of small businesses,” said Mark Leininger, Executive Director of the Holmes County Economic Development Council. “We believe that such training has the potential to exponentially boost business growth by enhancing the interconnectivity of our local small business network and enabling small shops to reach otherwise inaccessible markets,” Leininger added.