Manufacturer marks milestone with new brand, website, outlook
STAFFORD SPRINGS, CONN—Willington Nameplate celebrates its 50th anniversary with a sharp new website, logo, brand and a more expansive view of their work. The second-generation family business has grown over the past half century from a one-man operation to more than 80 employees and $12M in annual revenue.
The manufacturer’s current customer portfolio consists of roughly 1,500 active customers for whom they provide durable labels and nameplates, some of which withstand prolonged exposure to severe elements, sunlight and other adverse environments. The majority of Willington Nameplate’s products inform, instruct and caution users of their client’s products.
“We used to think of what we produce as a nuisance commodity,” says General Manager Brett Greene. Through working with West Hartford strategic consultants Fathom, Willington Nameplate began to look at their business differently. “While nameplates aren’t often high on the priority list for engineers and designers, they do play important roles in safety, logistics, and more,” continues Greene. “Would you buy a car without a VIN tag?”
Fans at Gillette Stadium, Lincoln Financial Field (home of the Philadelphia Eagles), and other major sports venues along the East Coast are able to find their seats thanks to plastic or metal tags made by Willington Nameplate. With many customers in the pump and valve industry, most basements across the US contain various types of products made by Willington, providing invaluable guidance to plumbers and technicians. Willington Nameplate products adorn a wide variety of US military equipment, from weapons and vehicles, to armor and satellites.
“The more we thought about it, we realized that what we really do here is enable essential communication,” explains Greene. This philosophy extends not just to Willington Nameplate’s customers, but to its employees as well. With a wide variety of metal and non-metallic materials at their disposal, and a dozen different processes to make products ranging from durable photo anodized to chemical etching, employees are empowered to work together to achieve solutions.
“It’s very much a family atmosphere,” says Nancy Blanchard, 80, who has worked at Willington Nameplate as a press operator and inspector for 42 years and says she never thought about working anywhere else. “I’ve seen a lot of my co-workers here grow up.”
President Mike Goepfert attributes the root of the company’s culture to its founder, his father, Marcel Goepfert. “He never asked somebody to do something that he wouldn’t do himself,” says the younger Goepfert of the elder. “Most of the time, he’d be doing it right alongside you.”
That approach commanded a great deal of respect. After a 1978 fire, employees, friends, and customers pitched in to get the factory up and running within a week. A true entrepreneur, but not a born manager, Marcel Goepfert (who was still involved with the business until his death last year) set a tone that his son has been able to build on. After acquiring Decorated Products four years ago and two more companies since then, Willington Nameplate’s revenue has grown by a third.
“Everything is coming together in terms of our quality system and our engaged workforce,” says Mike Goepfert. “We’re excited to be presenting a brand that reflects what we’ve built here.”
About Willington Nameplate
Willington Nameplate was founded by Marcel Goepfert in Willington, Connecticut, and is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary. The company moved to Stafford Springs, Connecticut, in 1970. Mike Goepfert became President in 2009. In five decades in business, Willington Nameplate has provided labels and nameplates for over 10,000 customers. Today, Willington Nameplate is proud to serve the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers), aerospace, automotive, and defense industries, as well as many others. http://wnpinc.com/