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From Passion to Payout: The Success Story of Kory Anderson

Anderson Industries

A recent advertising campaign tells us that great things start in American garages, naming companies like Amazon, Disney and Hewlett Packert. Add Anderson Industries to that list.

At the age of 22, Kory Anderson started the company, which now boasts sales of $16 million per year (and growing) and includes 110 employees.

Anderson started his business doing portable welding and machine work for on-site repairs. He first started making foundry patterns as part of his steam building hobby. It didn't take long for the foundry to notice his skills and recruit him to start making patterns for them. That's when Anderson bought his first CNC machine - a computer controlled machining center - which allowed him to make 3D complicated patterns. Anderson didn't have any experience with a CNC machine but taught himself what he needed to know.

At this point, Anderson had one employee and was still working out of his garage. That's when he bought the former KO Lee factory. When they first moved in, they were only using a fraction of the space which encouraged Anderson to continue growing. "I was always motivated to take up more of the building so it wasn't so empty," Anderson said.

One of Anderson’s biggest challenges has been starting a manufacturing company in the middle of an economic crisis. While companies were moving manufacturing in-house and firing employees, Anderson was looking to get his company off the ground, a task he accomplished by going after the specialty markets and doing the work that was too complicated for companies to do in-house. It worked. In 2011, Anderson made the decision to acquire All Service Manufacturing, expanding their business to Mapleton, North Dakota.

In 2010, Anderson took over as president of Horsch, LLC, a company his father began with the German company Horsch. Anderson saw the new challenge as an opportunity and Anderson Industries began doing a majority of the fabrication for the Joker line, a high-speed compact disc developed for Horsch.

If you ask him what’s made him successful, Anderson gives a lot of credit to his employees. Two years ago, he came to the realization that being a “doer” wasn’t enough for his growing company, and he needed to become a “leader.” He set aside time each day to develop the leadership skills he needed to create an exceptional company culture. "It's more motivating for me to look at the number of employees we've grown to," said Anderson. "We want to provide for our team members and also help them develop to reach their full potential."

Anderson believes his first responsibility is making his team members successful both personally and professionally. His team members must embody values like accountability, excellence, innovation, professionalism and integrity — the standards he holds himself to every day.

When one of Anderson’s mentors asked him what his goal for the company was when he started, he said it was simple: “I want to double every year.” That’s exactly what he’s done, taking his company from a garage shop to a multi-facility, multi-million dollar operation.

To learn more about Anderson Industries, visit www.anderson-industries.com.

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