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Member Spotlight - Sirmax North America

Sirmax IMG 1356b

๐— ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฆ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐˜๐—น๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ โ€“ ๐—ฆ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜… ๐—ก๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ต ๐—”๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ

Lorenzo Ferro, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Country Manager

Anderson and Madison County have been blessed with the addition of several multinational companies in the past few years. Included in that group is Sirmax.

Sirmax is an international supplier of plastic compounds and resins for appliance and automotive parts, power tools and packaging. With worldwide headquarters near Venice, Italy, and plants in India, Poland and Brazil, Sirmax spent nearly one year looking for a North American home and decided on the former Guide Lamp site on Andersonโ€™s southwest side.

Lorenzo Ferro, Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Country Manager, remembers, โ€œWe had an agreement with Whirlpool to serve them in the United States. We needed then to have a more local presence for our U.S. customers.โ€

Sirmax conducted an extensive search for the right location, visiting sites in Kentucky, North Carolina, and seven or eight sites in Indiana. They compared logistic costs for inbound and outbound materials depending on location and felt that Anderson, with its proximity to I69 and CSX rail, would meet their needs.

Ferro recalls, โ€œWe met Greg Winkler and we had good feelings that the city of Anderson would be very supportive. We had less than one year to build a facility to meet requirements from Whirlpool.โ€

โ€œWe could have used existing facilities, but we felt Anderson was the best mix with its location and incentive package. This used to be an old GM plant and we felt the city was nearly finished grieving over GM, so we thought it would help the community move forward. The city was already adept at manufacturing and we were confident we could find the right talent here.โ€

Sirmax is a capital-intensive company and while they may not require many employees (around 30 at the Anderson site), they feel that quality employees are in supply. Says Ferro, โ€œWe turned out to be right where quality is concerned. Weโ€™re happy to see many other companies recognize the quality of employees and relocate here as well. One problem weโ€™ve found, though, is that in the beginning we were able to find them, thanks to the manufacturing background of Anderson, but now we are struggling to continue to find quality employees.โ€

For the future, Sirmax occupies 144,000 square feet over 26 acres. With room to grow, Ferro expresses hope for expanding to two or three times their current footprint. โ€œNow, we are producing polypropylene compounds locally, but with our global strategy of multi country and multi product, we want to bring more products that we are already manufacturing in India and Europe. We see Anderson as the North American headquarters for Sirmax.โ€

Ferro feels the North American market and European market are similar in size. With nine plants in the world, Sirmax plans to grow here in Anderson and North America. He also projects increasing the current Anderson workforce from 30 to over 50, eventually.

โ€œWeโ€™ve spent time with the local Manufacturers Roundtable as a good tool to meet other companies that might have the same issues we have. One common issue is the lack of skilled labor, so we are trying to partner with other industries and institutions to help Anderson and the community to teach and prepare more skilled laborers. There is just not enough.โ€

As a member of the Madison County Chamber, Ferro recalls, โ€œLast year when we had the ribbon cutting, we had great support from Darla Couch, Samantha Pancol, the City of Anderson and the Chamber. The Chamber links us to our potential customers in the area. We look forward to learning about other opportunities and activities that we may not be aware of yet.โ€

Ferro also reminds us that โ€œAs a business, we were attracted to Anderson. Now we need people to join the vision. We want the money made in Anderson to be spent in Anderson.โ€

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