March 07. 2013 11:00AM - Last modified: March 07. 2013 11:54AM

Alto-Shaam expansion to add 110 jobs

Alto-Shaam, Inc., a foodservice equipment manufacturer in Menomonee Falls, plans to add up to 110 jobs at its newly expanded facility. There are currently 300 workers at the plant.

Brad Tusing, marketing manager at Alto-Shaam, said the number of jobs added over the next three to five years will be dependent upon growth.

"The actual jobs that we'll be adding will be related to the gaps as we grow," he said. "Those aren't completely clear to us right now where those needs will be."

The company is in the process of completing an $8.3 million, 26,000-square-foot expansion of the manufacturing floor.

Alto-Shaam is bringing work from out of state suppliers in to the Menomonee Falls facility.

The company closed a facility in Mexico at the end of 2008 and kept its numbers flat in Menomonee Falls due to the economic downturn, Tusing said.

"However, it certainly has given the Menomonee Falls operation the ability to undergo our current expansion and our future anticipated growth."

The company's growth has been driven by the insourcing of the Mexico operations, a culture of continuous improvement to reduce costs and several new products, he said.

"We have gone to market just in the last 12 to 18 months with three significant new products that is definitely kind of becoming a game changer to how our equipment is being used in the field," Tusing said.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker visited Alto-Shaam at the end of February to view the expansion and hear about the company's growth.

At the visit, the company also announced it will pay 12 percent on its employee gain share program. The annual bonus plan, available to qualified full-time employees, is based on openly shared corporate performance for profits and cash.

Alto-Shaam engineers and manufactures commercial cooking equipment, including cook and hold ovens, combi ovens and banqueting systems, for global distribution.

"The centralization and realignment of various automated equipment and manufacturing processes works to drive cost reduction, improve product quality and further apply Alto-Shaam's lean production principles by reducing scrap and improving raw material utilization," the company said in a release. "Investments in automated robotic welding, laser cutting and creation of a central fabrication unit will improve employee productivity and increase capacity to meet customers' expanding global demand."