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Anchor Hocking: Melted, Poured, and Sculpted for a Refined Experience


The manufacturing world has all the time been a supply of innovation, creativity, and technological development. As the world was present process fast transformation resulting from globalization, manufacturing, automation, and provide chain sophistication, glass manufacturing was not left behind.

Starting from humble beginnings in Lancaster, Ohio, Anchor Hocking was on the forefront of machine-made glass forming know-how. The group shortly grew to become a frontrunner in glass tableware, extending its distribution world wide. Anchor Hocking was based by I.J. Collins in 1905. The firm’s focus was simple- manufacture on a regular basis glass tableware merchandise at costs folks may afford!

With a imaginative and prescient to achieve each family, the corporate is producing and distributing glassware to a number of industries. From retail and hospitality industries to floral and candle sectors, Anchor Hocking has a glassware presence in every single place.

Continuing this legacy of development is its present CEO, Mark Eichhorn. With nearly 25 years of enriched expertise within the glass manufacturing trade, Mark continues to make sure that the corporate adapts to the altering tide of the know-how revolution in glass manufacturing and stays true to its “American Made” roots.

Synonymizing “World’s Best” with “American Made”

Since its launch in 1905, Anchor Hocking has been one of many main U.S. producers of shopper glass tableware. It manufactures and distributes glassware from its services in Lancaster, Ohio, using over 900 devoted associates. Its important glass product classes embrace bakeware, meals storage, drinkware, pantry storage, serving, combine & measure/meals prep, candle, and floral.

Noting further firm markets, Mark expresses, “Anchor Hocking can also be a number one producer of glassware for eating places and resorts, jars for the aromatic candle trade, and vases for the floral trade.

Today, Anchor Hocking continues to be acknowledged as a frontrunner within the manufacturing and advertising and marketing of glass bakeware, meals prep, and meals storage glassware. It can also be the trade chief in supplying glass containers present in pantries and counter tops throughout America. Its Heritage Hill and Montana-style jars have been in manufacturing for the reason that ’70s (Heritage Hill) and ’90s (Montana), respectively.

Mark says, “You will discover these merchandise on counter tops in properties throughout America…together with as seen in most house kitchen renovation reveals! We are the second-largest producer of glass bakeware within the U.S. and the main provider of measuring cups and mixing bowls. We delight ourselves on offering sturdy glassware at a fantastic shopper worth!

The marvels of such a consumer-centric focus have introduced the corporate and the group’s management into the highlight.

Band-wagoning with Unified Leadership

As stated, “success involves those that dare and act,” and so is the case with Anchor Hocking’s success. Blessed with a unified management, the corporate’s govt staff of Mark Eichhorn, CEO, and Bert Filice, President, have labored collectively for over 20 years.

Overseeing the Manufacturing, Engineering, and Distribution segments are V.P.’s Chris Norris and Brent Rock. Leading the monetary group and sprouting an age of recent entrepreneurs are Jamie Keller, CFO; Marc Yoder, CIO; and Michelle Manning, VP of Merchandising.

Walking down reminiscence lane and revisiting his journey of just about 25 years, Mark notes, “Both our President and I entered Anchor Hocking within the Finance division again within the Eighties. Through the years, we have been each promoted into more difficult positions. Although at one level, each of us left the enterprise for a time period, we each returned and have labored collectively at Anchor for greater than 20 years. Jamie, Chris, and Brent have been with Anchor for over 14, 15, and 20 years, respectively. Marc and Michelle are relative newcomers, each becoming a member of the corporate in 2019. I consider I can converse for the group after I say we discover the glassware enterprise to be difficult, charming, and rewarding.

Sculpting the Creativity

Glass manufacturing processes are method outdoors the “norm” for producing shopper merchandise, or any merchandise for that matter. While different glass manufacturing operations use comparable processes, the manufacturing of glass tableware requires a a lot better funding in folks. Each piece of glass produced is hand-selected, inspected, and packed.

During the manufacturing course of, every bit is inspected to its high quality specs earlier than being packed for cargo. Mark mentions that different glass industries can produce at a lot larger speeds as a result of the inspection and packing processes might be automated. But whereas these factories could produce a handful of various gadgets, Anchor Hocking produces over 500 distinctive mould shapes. Therefore, the choice, inspection, and packaging processes can’t be simply automated.

Advancing with Technology

Keeping tempo with creativity and know-how, Anchor Hocking’s glass engineers and manufacturing leaders have launched extra superior forming strategies and upgraded the method tools to extend the speeds and yields of the corporate’s glass-forming operations; enhance security and glass high quality.

We have benefited from technological advances in refractory manufacturing, that are utilized in furnace building, that has considerably elevated the helpful lives of our furnaces. The similar goes for enhancements within the software program controls for operating our furnaces, contributing to vital reductions in pure fuel consumption, improved glass high quality, and readability,” notes Mr. Eichhorn.

Weathering the Storms

Anchor confronted lots of the similar challenges that different firms confronted throughout the latest pandemic: repeatedly forecasting gross sales volumes downward; looking for methods to preserve money, adopted by a fast adjustment to an sudden surge in demand from a shopper inhabitants pressured to work from home for a lot of months.

Speaking in regards to the challenges, Mark shares, “Some of the extra distinctive challenges we confronted at Anchor Hocking included: re-engineering every of the manufacturing traces to realize secure social distancing whereas nonetheless staffing the traces with the required variety of folks; working in an excessive high-heat surroundings carrying masks…and the potential private security dangers they introduced; and retaining the manufacturing traces operating 24/7 regardless of the elevated each day call-offs as our associates tried to grasp and cope with the illness, consistently sharing considerations of exposing fellow staff to the illness and the toll it may tackle them, their households, and so on.”

He mentions that, whereas demand has stayed robust, Anchor continued to battle to workers the plant on the ranges required. In 2021, the corporate had 80 to 100 open positions. More lately, it has decreased the labor shortages to 50-60.

With a further capability growth deliberate in 2023, our staffing wants will develop by one other 100 positions,” says Mark.

Envisioning the Future

With its excessive delight and concentrate on its “Made in America” roots, the corporate has continued to take a position considerably in development in 2022 and 2023.

Anchor’s investments embrace growing the group’s melting capability by 40%, including three new glass forming machines, and extra investments in its folks and facility. The firm has expanded its apprenticeship applications, elevated wages, and invested in improved coaching strategies. At the Inspired Home and Housewares Show in March, the management staff launched an intensive assortment of thrilling new merchandise and designs that may grow to be the premise for a lot of Anchor’s gross sales development in 2023 and past.

Words of Wisdom

Mark has been across the glass manufacturing trade for nearly 25 years, and he believes that the trade has a large spectrum of alternatives for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Extending his sensible phrases to the aspiring enterprise leaders, he notes, “Gain an in-depth understanding of the prices and money necessities of the enterprise. Specifically prices of manufacturing and upkeep in a 24/7/350 days a 12 months operation.”

Mentioning his journey of pursuing data, he shares, “To this finish, I began within the firm as Cost Accounting Manager. There was no higher place to be taught and perceive the small print of the prices of manufacturing, money/capex necessities, and product and buyer profitability.”

Leadership Hacks that Scaled Anchor’s Success

Inclusive management has all the time been one of many primary tenets of Anchor Hocking. Mark believes in respecting the workforce. Sharing the organizational practices that facilitate mandatory honor and respect to the workforce, he mentions that Glass tableware manufacturing is a 24 hours per day, seven days per week manufacturing operation that requires distinctive dedication from operations managers, supervisors, and manufacturing facility associates.

He says, “While our clients don’t know what it takes to make a high quality piece of glass tableware which will promote for lower than a greeting card: a number of furnaces melting 200+ tons of molten glass each day at temperatures reaching 2800 levels; 14 manufacturing traces, every producing 20,000 to 80,000 items of glass a day; our 900 associates do.

“Every day they enter by way of the gates, they reveal their dedication to creating probably the most sturdy family glass at a fantastic worth delivered on time to our clients. Associates right here at Anchor Hocking and the management staff perceive the each day challenges, and we’re honored to be a part of it! Anchor Hocking’s biggest useful resource is its devoted associates. They deserve administration’s respect each day,” notes Mark.

Concluding his sensible phrases for the aspiring leaders, Mark shared his recommendation for the potential buyers contemplating coming into into manufacturing Glass Tableware. He places, “Glass Tableware manufacturing is a comparatively small phase of the glass trade. The excessive fastened value of operating a glassware plant 24/7/350 requires excessive plant capability utilization to soak up the elevated fastened value construction. Greenfield plant investments simply exceed $100 MM. As a end result, I don’t anticipate seeing any new entrants manufacturing glass tableware within the U.S. anytime quickly.”

Awards and Accolades

Anchor Hocking has set trade requirements and is persistently hustling to enhance the U.S. glass manufacturing trade. Acknowledging such efforts, Anchor has been on the fringe of receiving many awards and recognition.

Most lately, the corporate has been honored by HSN as their New Supplier of the Year for F.Y. 2020.

Customer accolades are difficult to realize. Anchor Hocking competes with all shopper items suppliers for buyer recognition. Within the assorted housewares departments, Anchor competes with suppliers of dinnerware, cookware, devices, kitchenware, silverware, plastic, and glass storage, metallic bakeware, and the listing goes on.

Internally, we’re targeted on offering high quality glass tableware merchandise at a fantastic worth; on-time and full shipments, incomes a better share of the retailers’ shelf, gaining new clients, 4 and 5-star on-line product evaluations, and sustaining open communications with our retail companions. These are the important thing determinants of our success and manifest in improved earnings and money flows,” concludes Mark.

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