Employees and leaders from Briggs & Stratton Corporation joined state, county and city leaders on September 18 to celebrate the grand opening of the company’s new Commercial Products facility in Sherrill, N.Y.
In 2004, Briggs & Stratton Corporation acquired Ferris Industries – manufacturer of commercial-grade outdoor power equipment – in an effort to diversify its product portfolio and expand its business to serve the growing commercial landscape industry. Since then, the company has seen tremendous growth in its commercial business, necessitating an expansion of its Ferris facility, previously located in Munnsville, N.Y.
The new Sherrill facility manufactures commercial lawn care products from Briggs & Stratton’s Ferris, Simplicity, Snapper, Snapper Pro and Billy Goat brands.
“This expansion is the result of strong sales growth of commercial products the Company has achieved over the past several years and will position it well for continued future growth,” said Todd Teske, chairman, president & CEO of Briggs & Stratton Corporation. “In 2013, commercial engines and products were less than 13% of total sales; and now, they represent more than 30% of our sales.”
“We would like to thank the State of New York, as well as Oneida County and the City of Sherrill officials for their efforts in making this expansion possible. This is really a testament to the great workforce in this state and region and could not have been done without their support,” said Harold Redman, senior vice president and president of Briggs & Stratton’s Turf & Consumer Products Group.
At the celebration, nearly 500 employees were present and recognized for their hard work, flexibility and dedication in the midst of the move.”
The new facility and commercial sales growth resulted in the creation of approximately 50 new, full-time jobs in the Sherrill facility. While 600 employees currently work at the facility, it has nearly 60 positions currently available in all areas of the business: most notably in assembly, weld, fabrication and paint in addition to positions to support its growth through quality, manufacturing and supply chain.
With the grand opening of the Sherrill facility, Briggs & Stratton also hosted its National Dealer Event. Approximately 450 dealers attended the event, which included tours of the Commercial Products facility, an indoor trade show, dealer education, as well as an outdoor demonstration area where attendees could experience firsthand a vast array of Ferris, Simplicity, Snapper, Snapper Pro and Billy Goat equipment.
Teske said his message to dealers is that they are a really important part of what Briggs & Stratton does, and that Briggs & Stratton works in concert with its dealers to keep up with changes in the market and be leaders in providing power to people.
Redman added that, “This [dealer] channel does the best job of servicing and supporting the commercial cutter – bar none.”