On a recent, relatively mild spring day, visitors to Spiceland, Indiana, would have witnessed something strange. The streets of this 800-plus population town were filled with more than 700 people, some walking, others driving, all headed for the same destination: the old Spiceland gym. Residents didn’t bat an eye, though. This migration is an annual event: people heading for Draper’s employee meeting.

Each year Draper management welcomes every employee to discuss how things are going, and what the future holds for the company. Here are four major takeaways from the 2018 edition:

We’re stronger than ever.
In 2017, we made a big splash with our rebranding, and the news that 2016 had been our biggest and best year ever. We found out that was no longer the case. 2017 is now the biggest and best year ever! There were many reasons for this, including the fact that some of our major competitors have moved production out of the country, creating quality and delivery issues.

We had several nice high-profile jobs in 2017. Among those highlighted were:

  • Gym equipment installation at the Nike’s Manhattan Soho store
  • Window shades for Apple Wolfe, Apple’s new office complex
  • External motorized Venetian Blinds for a new Google building
  • Custom louvers for the Wilshire-Grand, the tallest building in the United States west of the Mississippi
  • Custom rotating louvers above the new debating chamber for the Canadian parliament

We aren’t going anywhere.
While some of our competitors moved production elsewhere, we stayed put in our hometown, Spiceland. Despite continuing rapid growth, we’ve leveraged our space to accommodate the additional work and create even more capacity, in the process improving our production methods for even better results. And if the need for more space appears on the horizon, we’re ready for the expansion.

Bigger things are coming.
Taking care of the customer is the most important goal of a business. Draper president John Pidgeon stressed this will once again be a core objective in 2018. But while our values aren’t changing our markets are. To take advantage, we are continuing to invest in new technologies and new solutions. In the coming months, we’ll have a big announcement about the launch of a new initiative offering products and solutions for a more custom experience. That’s all we’re saying now, but stay tuned for more!

We’re going to need a bigger boat.
Sales growth means the need for more people. Last year Draper topped the 700-employee mark for the first time. While this has been great for us and the surrounding communities, it meant a real struggle to shoehorn everyone into the Spiceland gym. In addition to using the bleachers, this year marked the first time that additional seating had to be added on the main gym floor. If the growth trend continues, we may one day have to move a few minutes down the road to New Castle to use their 9,300-plus seat fieldhouse, the world’s biggest high school basketball gym!

Not every company holds an annual meeting for every employee. Doing so underlines Draper’s commitment to its employees—a value that has remained unchanged since 1902!

To learn more about Draper, click here.

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