As the most tumultuous year in recent history mercifully nears its conclusion, it's time to look back on the 12 months that was.
For CompanyWeek Utah, that's not a bad thing; we covered some of the most compelling manufacturers the Beehive State has to offer in 2020, including these five standouts.
Owner and CEO Rich Ballantyne saw a path to growth through modernization at the longstanding Salt Lake contract manufacturer, but notes that it involved shedding its image as a top-notch job shop. "It's too episodic and you're too dependent on the whims of the market," says Ballantyne. "To do that, we're trying to up our game in terms of automation and change the perception of our customer base that we're not a job shop, we're a production shop."
Founder Steve Hall's vision of the perfect vehicle has hit cruising speed with Vanderhall's three-wheeled roadsters that go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds. For the 2022 model year, Vanderhall is releasing the Navarro, its first four-wheeled (and four-wheel-drive) vehicle.
Under new ownership, the longstanding Springbar Tent has entered a new era of hybrid manufacturing. Chris Meehan's November profile of the company unpacks its model of making high-end tents in Utah and working with a partner in China to meet demand.
Gregory Daurer's September profile of the craft spirits standout examines the origin of such curveball labels as Kümmel, Penellen, Oread, and Notom. Co-founder Alan Scott says his passion lies in "exploring botanical spirits beyond gin as one of the core passions/parts of the business."
Founder Matt Sutton is breaking new ground using additive manufacturing for consumer goods and "craft plastics." Leveraging an innovative 3D-printing head and a robotic arm, Sutton makes eye-catching lighting fixtures and furnitures, one product at a time.
Eric Peterson is editor of CompanyWeek. Contact him at email@example.com.