American Posts, LLC Receives ‘End-User Efficiency Initiative of the Year’ Award

American Posts, LLC of Toledo, received the End-User Efficiency Initiative of the Year Award during the Platts Global Metals Awards, a competitive awards program honoring excellence and accomplishments in the global metals industry. Ceremonies, held May 23 in London, were attended by industry leaders from around the world.

The accolade honors the spirit of innovation as exemplified by an end-user of metal, such as in manufacturing. In this case, it recognizes the innovation of American Posts in the manufacture of steel u-channel posts.

The story behind the award lies in American Posts’ success in overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds. When it was founded in 2005 as a subsidiary of Universal Metals, LLC (also of Toledo, Ohio), there were several other U.S. companies stamping out those ubiquitous green posts used by homeowners, farmers, landscapers, Department of Transportation and contractors. Within two years however, competition from Chinese producers left American Posts the “last u-post standing” in the United States.

As American Posts struggled to compete, founders Bill Feniger and son, David realized they could either throw in the towel or compete by becoming more efficient than the Chinese themselves. The decision was made to make the investment in an automated production line, a move that would place American Post head-to-head with their Chinese competitors.

Their competitive determination paid off. American Posts went from producing 2,500 posts per day with 15-20 people on three different machines to three people on one machine producing 15-20,000 posts per day. Operating at this level of efficiency, American Posts was able to go head-to-head with the Chinese who were fueled by an $8.00/day labor pool and government subsidies.

American Posts increased its market share of U.S. sales from 2% in 2005 to 20% in 2012. From 500,000 units in 2006, to 5 million just six years later, the firm is still growing. In two more years the company projects it will capture a full 40 – 50% of the sales of u-posts within big box stores.

“Our company motto, ’Buy a Stake in America,’ is a statement of urgency for America,” says Bill Feniger and David Feniger. “America needs to return to the principles of self-reliance, particularly in manufacturing.

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