Mark Andy, a manufacturer of presses for the narrow web industry, laid off 21 of its US employees in mid-November, both at the Chesterfield, MO, headquarters and at the Comco plant in Milford, OH. Company President Paul Brauss said the reduction in workers is a reponse to a “leveled out” marketplace following a period of high investment.
“By the end of 2004 we saw a burst in the marketplace, a lot of it driven by the equipment tax incentive,” says Brauss. “In that time frame we saw 25 percent growth in the domestic market, and we had everything we could do to keep up. At that time we decided to make some strategic investments — in new sales personnel, in engineering development, in our IT department — that were in line with our strategies.
“Now, at the end of 2005, the market has leveled out, and did not continue at that fourth quarter rate of a year ago. We looked at our spending, which had not leveled out with the market, and said that we have to be prudent and not hinder the strategic advances we made in 2004 and through 2005. So we had to get costs back in line.”
Personnel reductions, he adds, were in all areas of the company.