Employee Ownership Supercharges Business at Windings,Inc.

Employee ownership has supercharged the business of Windings, Inc. in unique ways says Heather Braimbridge-Cox, president and CEO of the company which is a manufacturer of custom motors, generators and electromagnetic components.

Reduction of waste and rejects, and a culture of “intrapreneurship,” are two key benefits that she cites in a recent interview for the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) in which she speaks on the challenges and rewards of leadership in an employee-owned culture. 

“For example,” she notes, “at Windings everyone is looking out for an opportunity to cut waste or to reduce rejects. As a result, we have seen our total cost of reject and rework go from 11% to 4.5% of our total product cost in the last two years, and it’s still trending down. That is a phenomenal success for a company manufacturing custom electric motors, generators, and related components.” 

She also cites the culture of ownership at the company. “If you foster an ownership culture, you don’t have to be involved in every detail. At Windings, we like to call it “intrapreneurship”: thinking like an entrepreneur inside our own company. We give employee-owners the authority to self-direct, collaborate on complex problems, take initiative, and make on-the-spot decisions that are right for the customer and the company.” 

Groundbreaking ceremony in October for new headquarters 

Separately, Windings has recently been renovating and expanding an existing building which it purchased for its new headquarters in New Ulm, MN. The 70,000 sq ft facility will accommodate the phased consolidation of its three existing facilities in the area. “Consolidating into a single location will significantly increase our operational efficiency and effectiveness,” said Seth Visser, vice president of operations, “and the additional square footage will allow the extra capacity needed to support our future growth plans.” 

The interview was published in the NCEO Ownership Report May-June 2019. To read more, visit: https://www.windings.com/nceo-interview-ceo/