There is no “typical” day at Brilex Industries, Inc., an Ohio-based company specializing in the complete manufacturing of heavy equipment and machinery for a diversified customer base and end users in capital equipment-intensive industries. One day may be focused on crafting power circuit breakers for a two-million household municipality, the next on fashioning turbines fired by natural gas for a Fortune 500 company. What is consistent, however, is Brilex’s focus on offering a broad array of products skillfully fabricated, machined, and assembled by in-house crews comprised, in part, of top-certified fitters, machinists, assemblers, welders, and inspectors. Founders and brothers Brian and Alex Benyo share with Profile their simple yet effective approach to being a heavy (metal) hitter.
How did you start out in this business?
Alex: Brian and I were raised with an entrepreneurial mentality and, with Brilex, we saw a need we believed we could serve effectively. We purchased a small “sheet-metal” shop and started out with a team of four people, a 6,000-square-foot building, and a 10-ton crane. From there, we built the company based on our vision of providing customers with a professional, project-management approach to complete equipment supply. Combined with talented people and continued investment, this vision led the company on a path of rapid growth that continues today.
What lessons shaped you into the executive you are today?
Brian: Being raised in a very supportive and encouraging family who focused on hard work and strong values shaped Alex and I into the individuals we are today. Our parents believed in the fact that your future will be what you make it to be, and they also taught us that it is paramount to share your blessings by helping others along the way.
What do you feel are Brilex’s unique philosophies?
Brian: Unlike many companies who focus solely on the product they produce or the service they offer, Brilex chooses to focus on the people who make it all possible. Our philosophy is “Our people are our strength.” Without our employees, we would not be a successful company in our industry, and we are thankful for their hard work and dedication.
Alex: Another philosophy we have is that overall customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal. If we are given the opportunity to supply a customer with the product they are seeking, Brilex strives to exceed that customer’s expectations. We achieve this goal by taking a project-management approach to all of our ventures.
What factors do you feel have contributed to your company’s success?
Alex: Brilex is located in the heartland of heavy manufacturing, but we believe our human resources are what set us apart from the competition. Our people are exceptionally skilled and have a strong work ethic, and we continually invest in not only our people, but also our equipment and facilities providing capabilities beyond what most of our competitors can offer.
Brian: We also believe that we are no better than the other people who contribute to this company and are just as accountable. There can be no divide between the shop and administration as we can only succeed as one, and we strive to set this example every day.
Expound on the area that you feel is your strongest competency.
Brian: Our strongest competency is managing the manufacturing of a project for our customers. We have honed this skill over time by developing processes and procedures to verify compliance and to communicate progress throughout the manufacturing phase.
How do you cope with challenges?
Alex: You have to believe in the future, even when it looks like there may not be one, so we focus on growth through diversification of industries served and customers within each industry. This approach, however, can provide challenges in that the expectations of each vary considerably.
Brian: Right now, the greatest challenge to our industry is the shrinking pool of skilled labor. I currently serve as an officer of a local manufacturing coalition focused on indentifying and addressing workforce issues and needs because I see this issue having a significant impact on the future of this industry.
What industry trend is currently on your radar?
Alex: Access to quality medium-to-heavy manufacturing resources has been decreasing over time. The smarter companies are strategically aligning themselves with a manufacturing partner they can rely on. Brilex will continue to dedicate our resources and investments to customers who think in this strategic fashion.
Brian: Continued diversification and growth. This approach has been one that continues to work for the company so, for now, we will continue on this path and look forward to seeing Brilex and its people continue to grow and prosper.