A reputation for quality
Business View Magazine interviews Natalya Carola of Schadler Industrial, as part of our focus on best practices in industrial and commercial services.
Schadler Industrial (SI) of Kutztown, Pennsylvania is a family-owned and operated business that provides industrial and commercial services including welding, piping, plumbing, rigging, and general mechanical repair and installation. The company was founded in 2010 by James Schadler, who supervises the field employees and bids all projects. Natalya Carola, his daughter, oversees the office, and Katrina Schadler, his wife, handles the finances. “James has approximately 30 years of apprenticeship and onsite experience, and when we registered the company, we had a different vision for Schadler,” Carola recounts. “We were focusing on local plumbing projects for residential properties, but the demand took us in a completely different direction.”
“James started receiving phone calls from some of his old customers when he worked as a foreman for a different company and that moved us to go into the industrial direction” Carola continues. “One of our first customers was Niagara that specializes in water bottling. We did a couple of small welding jobs and then the jobs got bigger and bigger. So, we began to focus on industrial machinery repair and installation – welding, rigging, pipefitting, installation of large piping systems, machinery assembly – basically, anything on an industrial scale.”
Evidently, that decision has worked out well for the company as its sales have been increasing by at least 30 percent every year. In fact, Schadler Industrial was recently named as one of America’s fastest growing private businesses for 2019, by Inc. 5000. In addition, all of SI’s growth has come about without having to do any marketing. “All of our new customers are based on word-of-mouth advertising,” Carola states.
According to Carola, about ten percent of the company’s work is in Pennsylvania, with the majority occurring out of state. “We bid projects nationwide,” she explains. “And if we get the job, we mobilize to that state from anywhere from three to five month’s duration. We travel anywhere in the United States. Right now, we’re registered to do business in 15 states. Our employee count fluctuates due to the nature of the business and we have an average of 20 employees. We also have a complement of subcontractors to supplement the work of our crews and also to handle the portions of the project that we do not specialize in, such as ductwork and insulation.
“The typical client is a food and beverage manufacturer; some of our biggest clients are Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Niagara. Whenever a customer upgrades to new equipment, we’re the one they call. They order machines that come from anywhere around the world and we’re the guys that receive it, offload it, get it into the plant, stage it, assemble it, and pipe it in.”
Carola believes that SI has several advantages over its competition, not the least of which is the quality of the work it performs and the company’s ability to complete projects within budget and on schedule. “James makes sure that every project is completed to perfection and expects nothing but the best from his team,” says Carola. “He holds everyone accountable for their actions, and goes above and beyond to make sure that every plant has a very organized and clean look. The piping systems in food plants are very complex and we try to make them look as neat and tidy as we possibly can for the customers. We also use the best grade materials – anywhere from nuts and bolts to the high-end valves and instrumentation. We want to make sure we purchase quality materials that will last. Also, we guarantee our services for at least a year after a project completion.”
As is the case with many manufacturing companies these days, one of SI’s challenges is finding, training, and retaining skilled workers. Carola admits, “One of the toughest things about running this business is finding and retaining employees. In addition to finding workers via word-of-mouth and job sites, such as Indeed, Carola has turned to social media. “I’ve found a new outlet on Facebook,” she reveals. “There are a lot of groups for welders and skilled laborers in the construction field, and I’ve been getting a lot of résumés back from that. Our main objective is to train the employees that we have now into leaders.
What won’t change in the future is Schadler Industrial’s pride in its work and employees, and “always making sure that the customer is fully satisfied from the beginning to the very end,” Carola says. Owner, James Schadler, adds the following: “The skill, knowledge, and dedication of our employees are the reasons we are successful and growing, each year. We look forward to building our team and teaching our employees to be leaders in our industry. We take pride in the reputation of our company and the quality of our work.”
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AT A GLANCE
WHO: Schadler Industrial
WHAT: A provider of industrial and commercial plumbing and piping
WHERE: Kutztown, Pennsylvania