Gathering around the grill for more than 30 years
Naz Cavallaro -- Casual Living, 3/1/2013 2:00:00 AM
Onward Manufacturing is a family owned and operated business that enjoys family gatherings and spending time with friends over a delicious grilled meal and that has been bringing enjoyment to the experience of gathering around the grill to every grill made.
Onward has been dedicated to the manufacture of barbecue grills for more than 30 years. It is the only product the company makes.
"Decades of experience in building and cooking with high quality grills have taught us what it takes to design and build a grill that performs well in any environment, and with grills sold in over 34 countries, backed by a worldwide network of distributors and a comprehensive inventory of genuine Broil King components, you can trust us to be there when you need us," said Ken Hempen, VP of sales for the USA.
Since 1906, the company has been under the leadership of the Witzel family and has gone through a number of iterations as a manufacturing and distribution business. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, they focused on barbecue grills in 1984 and since have grown to be one of the top tier global manufacturers and distributors of quality gas grill products. Since 1995, the company has been owned and operated by the third generation of the Witzel family - brothers Ted, Terry and Tim.
Observing industry trends and how category segments were developing, the Witzels made a strategic decision to continue to invest in North American manufacturing, distribution and customer support, contrary to moving manufacturing off shore.
"Building barbecue grills in Waterloo, Ontario; Huntington, Ind.; and Dickson, Tenn., wasn't the easy choice," said Terry Witzel, company president. "Finding an overseas manufacturer would have been easy, but drawing on our business experience, we understood that sacrificing long-term goals for short-term gain was not a sound strategy."
In 2009 at the opening of their 400,000-sq.-ft . factory in Huntington, Ind., Ted Witzel, chief executive officer of Onward Manufacturing Company, had this to say: "We are very confident about the benefits provided by manufacturing in the United States. A highly skilled workforce, efficient production practices and access to high quality materials will enable us to provide our customers with a high quality product while maintaining competitive prices. We are proud to support the North American workforce and look forward to working with the Huntington community."
Onward operates factories in Waterloo, Ontario in Canada and in Huntington, Ind., and Dickson, Tenn., in the U.S., making them one of the largest manufacturers of grills in North America. The facilities are fully integrated with in-house design and engineering, tool and die making, precise metal stamping and fabrication, powder epoxy painting, porcelain enameling, injection molding, aluminum die casting, final assembly and packaging, supply chain and distribution.
OMC is committed to the entire manufacturing process, ensuring it controls the quality from start to finish. The company continually strives to buy components from competitive, domestic sources such as purchasing steel from local mills and ensuring that quality will always be first and foremost.
Onward continues to build a reputation for quality, durability and cooking performance across its portfolio of branded grills, led by the flagship Broil King brand, and includes Broil- Mate, Huntington, Sterling and GrillPro as well as Broil King, Barbecue Genius and GrillPro branded accessories.
Three decades of experience manufacturing Broil King grills in North America and distributing globally has taught them a lot. The company philosophy is to make the consumer's outdoor cooking experience as relaxing and comfortable an atmosphere as can be delivered. "Grilling is for everyone and we want our customers to feel confident and proud while entertaining family and friends around the grill," said Ted Mealing, director of marketing. "Whether it's a casual neighborhood barbecue or a holiday feast, Broil King grills have helped millions of people enjoy the outdoor cooking lifestyle."
Choosing a strategy that focused on producing superior performance grills that are competitive across all mainstream market price points was a significant challenge, but has been rewarded, as consumer purchase behavior and trends recognize the value of purchasing a design engineered performance grill that will last.
The flagship brand Broil King has successfully built a market presence around the world by working with independent and specialty retailers, enabling them to participate in the profitable mainstream business with premium North American-made Broil King gas grills.
BROIL KING, MORE THAN JUST A GRILL
Onward knows that in order to make the consumer's experience exceptional, they have to be more than just a grill to retail partners. The feedback from independents, distributors and specialty shops that Broil King offers a significant competitive advantage and allows them to achieve realistic margins continues to bolster the Onward channel strategy.
The manufacturer strives to constantly interact with its customer base either directly or through its representative and distributor network in both formal and informal means. That helps its retail partners highlight advantages such as:
■ North American-made quality grills across the full range
■ Broil King brand and position complements their store brand and position as a specialty retailer
■ Supply chain advantages from North American factories and distribution centers
■ North American factory based warranty, parts and customer service support
Broil King also offers fully branded merchandising programs, including video content to educate and excite consumers, Broil King premium accessories and in-store and online staff training for product and sales knowledge.
Producing grills in the U.S. and Canada has allowed Onward to directly employ North Americans, as well as support local suppliers for steel, aluminum, wire components, machinery, local packaging for corrugated cartons, printed manuals and service providers in the trucking and logistics industry. While the company leaders would prefer to source all components domestically, in some cases it is not viable or possible to do so.
They expressed pride in Onward's domestic manufacturing facilities, skilled workforce and the quality gas grills that it produces. Over the next 30 years, they look forward to meeting more customers and consumers who enjoy gathering around the grill just as much as they do.
We would love your feedback!