What Recession? Pennsylvania Company Continues Growth, Opens New Facility

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Alternate Heating Systems, manufacturer of solid fuel and biomass boilers, continues growth in challenging economic climate.

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We have done some hiring and will be looking to add some more workers; assembly workers, shipping, and material handlers

Bolstered by cutting edge innovation and with decades of experience, the Alternate Heating Systems LLC has experienced such an increase in sales volume of its Wood Gun Wood Gun and Coal Gun Coal Gun boiler lines that their former facilities could no longer keep pace with demand.

“Last year was a groundbreaking year,” said Patrick Conley, the company’s Director of Dealer Sales. “Production couldn’t keep up with sales. We were forced to turn away potential dealers due to our backlog. Industry-wide demand was up last year, and our superior products pushed us right to the front of the struggle to match demand with production.” On his hopes for 2009 Conley says, “All I know is that production says they can build what we can sell. So, we are in the midst of expanding our dealer network as well as looking for tradesmen to move our products. Of course, products this great really sell themselves”. This confidence is reinforced by the solid growth of customer interest the company is experiencing.

To handle product demand, Alternate Heating Systems has invested in several major expansions. Their first move was to add an additional 13,000 square feet of fabrication space to their Harrisonville facility. Mark Deike, Production Manager of the Harrisonville Location, spoke of improvements at the facility he supervises. “The biggest thing is that there has been a strong push for making a team effort to drive the production flow. With the new facility and addition of several overheads, we have eliminated the need to share equipment giving each welder greater independence and the ability to get more done.”

Almost while the paint was still drying on the fabrication expansion, leadership at Alternate Heating Systems decided to bring relief to their Assembly, Electrical, Refractory, Shipping, and Warehousing employees. “Things were really cramped,” says Darren Bricker, who manages those departments. Thus, the decision was made to move approximately half of the company’s workload 20 miles east to St. Thomas, PA. There, Bricker was delighted to find a 55,000 thousand square foot facility for his employees to utilize. “It’s great, more organized, room to breathe,” said Bricker. “We can inventory things in a much more organized way, and now we have room for lots of stock.”

Although, he is thankful for the new found increase in space, Bricker was quick to add that more relief was needed, but not of the facility kind. “We have done some hiring and will be looking to add some more workers; assembly workers, shipping, and material handlers”. Alternate Heating Systems intends to use the St. Thomas facility as both a production and warehousing site. After expanding by over 68,000 square feet in less than a year, many would be satisfied, but not the folks at Alternate Heating Systems.

“We are far from done growing. Last year was record-setting, but records are made to be broken and this one will be broken fast”, said Conley. “The market is great, we have the best products out there, and we are building a great team to drive our growth."

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Mike Purnell

Patrick Conley
Alternate Heating Systems, LLC
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