Supplier Member Profile: Morse Manufacturing
January 16, 2024
Morse Manufacturing Celebrates 100 Years
By Nicole Needles
A lot can happen in 100 years. We’ve had 18 presidents, world wars and global pandemics. Morse Manufacturing was there for it all. Founded in 1923, it focused on the automotive industry with various inventions, getting a jump on the changing industry. In 1943, the grandfather of Nate Andrews, the current president of Morse Manufacturing, bought the company, expanding it to its main product: drum and barrel handling products. It is still the top manufacturer of its kind today.
“It’s daunting to think back on the legacy of an organization like this, certainly from an ownership standpoint. Being within the family makes you feel like you have a lot riding on your shoulders to ensure you don’t run the business into the ground. I’m the third generation, and the third generation is notorious for running it into the ground,” Andrews said. “But we’ve been very successful in not doing that. In fact, we are at the top of our game. We’ve never been bigger, stronger or more agile than we are today in our 100-year history. So that feels really good.”
Andrews says the most critical component of the company is the employees. There are 100 years of experience among the current employees, which has impacted those individuals and their families. The Morse Manufacturing team got to bask in this realization at its anniversary party, where it also marked a combined 700 years of tenure for everyone, from new employees to retirees.
“Many places say they’re a family business,” Andrews said, “But we truly try to practice that with the employees. It’s easy for me to say what we do is different here. But when people come to visit, they see it firsthand. It makes me incredibly proud.”
He mentions that when dealers visit the facility and see all the products showcased, they walk away raving about the employees and company culture more than anything. It’s these genuine reactions to the Morse Manufacturing family that Andrews believes sets them apart and comes from a culture of care for employees.
The consistency of camaraderie built in the company is even more impressive, considering how times have changed throughout the last 80 years. There have been various developments, from catalog shopping to the rise of offshoring.
“Our products have changed quite a bit. What was normal 20 or 30 years ago is no longer normal for ergonomics, efficiency and everything else,” Andrews said. “The need for operational efficiencies has certainly increased. But, more profoundly, the need for immediate information and availability of products has increased.”
Where does an organization go from this milestone? Morse plans to stay heavily involved in MHEDA. The organization values the relationships that the association has helped build and has high praise for the MHEDA members it works with. In the same realm of relationships, Morse Manufacturing is investing in its international relationships and the advantages and experiences that come with that.
“I expect within five years we’ll have a robust market presence in Europe. We are the world leader in drum handling equipment and sell products worldwide. But there’s a huge opportunity for us to develop that,” Andrews said. “Through that, we’ll see significant sales growth within the next five years. That’s very exciting.”