Valley Screen Process Earns Chamber Honor
Valley Screen Process Co. Inc. of Mishawaka, Ind., was awarded the Small Business of the Year Award last week by the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County. The company has been in business since 1967 and employs 49 people.
Valley Screen Process provides graphics to RV, boat and cargo trailer manufacturers.
Valley Screen Process coped with extremely difficult business conditions in 2008 and again in 2009 by instituting a series of cost cutting measures including layoffs, pay cuts and reduction in benefits, according to a news release. Valley Screen’s entire team sacrificed for the good of the whole company, and the supreme group effort was a major factor in the company emerging from the downturn stronger, and successful, in 2010.
Its primary source of business is the RV and marine industries, both of which were hit extremely hard by the recession. The recession forced the company to think more creatively, to become more efficient, and to diversify. The time that normally would have been devoted to filling customer orders was channeled into new product development.
In addition to traditional layoffs, the Mishawaka company instituted rotating layoffs. “We had key people we couldn’t lose,” President Karen Barnett, said, “so, we shared the burden.”
And employees looked at new products the company could produce, but never had the time to explore. Through those efforts, Valley Screen Process entered the fleet industry and architectural graphics market, despite there being no extra budget for new equipment, materials or human talent. They worked with the resources they had on hand.
“They had a can-do attitude,” Barnett said, noting how employees also came up with the idea of selling custom graphics for kid’s spaces through an online store — OleeKids.com.
Today, the company is looking at expanding its work force of 49 in the art and production departments.
“We could have rolled up in a little ball and kind of hoped it would pass over, but we didn’t want to do that because we knew it would be giving up,” Barnett said. “Now our primary markets have come back and we have the additional business in new markets to help us achieve long term stability.”
Valley Screen is a certified woman-owned, large format screen and digital graphic manufacturer located in Northern Indiana, specializing in decorative graphics for recreational products, wraps and lettering for vehicles and fleets, and window and wall graphics for home, office and retail spaces. Call (574) 256-0901 or visit Valley Screen Process’ website at www.valleyscreen.com for more information.