In the early 2000s the company, then known as Morton Welding, had been family-owned since 1946.
In 2004 the owners decided to sell the family business to a private equity group.
Morton Industries has had a tumultuous few years, enduring fire, bankruptcies, and many shifts in ownership.
It’s now back again under local ownership and, most important, has restructured to become a customer-focused organization.
Ultimately, the benefits of being part of an organization with locations around the world didn’t pay off.
More than that, NGP continued its heavy focus on the on-highway commercial vehicle market; supplying off-highway customers just wasn’t its niche.
However, not long after came another setback: The old BSI facility caught fire.
But the company rebuilt and expanded into a 154,000-sq.-ft. “The Morton team was able to rise from the ashes as a stronger company, with the support of Nelson Global Products and its customers,” Baughman said.
Morton’s story shows just how challenging this market is, and yet also how resilient a fabricator can be facing those challenges. It has steadied itself, upped its quality and delivery game, and has prepared for a future of growth and long-term ownership stability.
“With tremendous support from employees, the Morton team did not miss any customer shipments.”At this point Morton was set to become a major tube fabricator serving global customers—when the commodity bubble burst and demand for construction equipment took a nosedive.
“When Caterpillar sneezed, we caught a cold,” Baughman recalled.
It’s a far smaller organization, employing about 300, down from the 1,000-plus it employed in 2012.
But over the past year company leaders have focused inward and reorganized the business to meet or exceed the expectations of current customers and, ultimately, grow the customer base.