SIC-Lazaro Comes Out of Year-Long Turnaround Stronger, Hires New GM

October 16, 2018 - SIC-Lazaro, Milwaukee, a manufacturer of OEM counterweights and weldments for heavy-duty equipment and elevators, is coming out of a year-long turnaround orchestrated by sales and marketing firm, the Vx Group, Cedarburg, Wisconsin. 

"This is an exciting time for SIC-Lazaro," said Kenneth J. Rawson, who recently joined SIC-Lazaro as general manager. "Over the last year, the company has stabilized and started growing sales. Now, more than ever, we’re running leaner and stronger."

Rawson’s hiring capped a massive restructuring begun in 2017. 

The American arm of a Spanish company, SIC-Lazaro opened its Milwaukee plant in 2011 and over the years worked with the Northwest Side Community Development Corp. and the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. to fund its in-house growth. However, market shifts stalled the company’s efforts to appeal to domestic manufacturers of heavy-duty equipment and elevators. 

"SIC-Lazaro was in dire need of some assistance," said Ed Samera, vice president of management and operations at the Vx Group. "We took a good hard look at what SIC-Lazaro was doing right, then used that to guide the creation of new growth initiatives."

Under the Vx Group’s guidance, SIC-Lazaro began to focus on value-added designs that feature customized counterweights made from high-density concrete and steel instead of traditional steel weights. 

SIC-Lazaro also started offering heavyweight metal fabrication, a unique capability because its AWS D1-1 Certified welders can work on larger weldments than many other companies can. 

Earlier this year, SIC-Lazaro launched a new product line for heavy-duty equipment: custom-engineered Optimal Density Counterweights. 

By using mixed fillers, such as high-density concrete, steel, and lead, these counterweights give engineers the flexibility to design weights that meet their requirements and save expense, compared to weights that use higher-cost materials.

The company’s exhaustive search for a new general manager led to the hiring of Kenneth J. Rawson, an experienced manufacturing leader whose experience includes improving on-time delivery, reducing cost of quality and lead times, and acquiring and keeping new customers. 

As general manager, Rawson leads efforts to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of SIC-Lazaro's manufacturing operations and production capabilities.

Following a year of changes that have completely overhauled SIC-Lazaro’s manufacturing capabilities, stabilized its workforce and launched new manufacturing flows to meet customer shipment demands, Rawson said the company’s outlook is positive.

"With all of these changes, SIC-Lazaro is more focused, more responsive and more competitive," Rawson said. "We are optimistic for the future, and we are ready for anything."