NATDA Magazine Sept/Oct 2017 NM_Sept2017WEB-ilovepdf-compressed - Page 36

IN 1992, Rob Ikola started a two-person utility trailer manufacturing operation in a converted barn located on his property. The small operation expanded to three people when Brandon, his 16-year-old son, joined the team. As the operation continued to grow, Ikola’s wife, Tammy, even quit her career in insurance to focus on the small, family business as the full-time Office Manager. That small, family business, known as Fabform Industries, Inc., has grown to a 35-employee business located in a 45,000 square-foot facility in the Pacific Northwest. Fabform Industries, Inc. now manufactures utility trailers and horse trailers under the names “Versatile” and “Vision” respectively. After learning every role within the company and graduating from college, Brandon assumed a leadership role in late 2013 by taking the mantle of General Manager and Vice President from his father. Just as Brandon spent his time with the company in his youth, his son, 5-year-old “future CEO” Tyson, does the same and is often found at the facility with his father and grandparents. Tyson’s nameplate has already been made for him to one day take the mantle from his own father. 36 “I learned the ropes of the trailer industry from my parents and, if my son is interested in the future, I would hope to get the opportunity to pass that knowledge on,” Brandon explains. “We have grown over the years, but we have made it a point to keep a “close knit” family style culture in which everybody feels they have a voice and are valued as individuals.” For this forward-thinking, family business, the future of the company, intended to pass down from generation to generation, is always an important focus. Fabform Industries, Inc. strives to reduce their carbon footprint. As such, they have installed a solar-powered system to reduce electricity costs, incorporated a paint resolver, use a closed-loop recycling phosphate wash system in the prep process before painting and are in the process of incorporating lean manufacturing throughout the facility. NATDA Magazine