Ericco Manufacturing: 2023 Manufacturing Excellence Awards
In the last half of 2022, Ericco Manufacturing added 15 employees, a roughly 50% increase in headcount. The chief reason? The company’s ability to move in a new direction—one that is playing to its strengths.
Since Ericco’s founding in 1976, its primary customer was Thief River Falls-based Arctic Cat, which manufactures snowmobile and ATV components. “They’re still our biggest, best, and most long-standing customer,” says company president Ben Erickson, a grandchild of founder George Erickson.
A few years ago, Ericco began expanding its customer base. By chance, a former Arctic Cat employee who was now working at Warroad-based Marvin contacted Ericco and asked whether “we’d be up for a whole new opportunity,” Erickson recalls.
Early in 2022, Ericco began manufacturing extruded aluminum-framed window screens for Marvin. “Since we had a lot of experience with extruded aluminum, they decided to bring us in as the main supplier for that product,” Erickson says. To boost productivity, Ericco’s tool and die department engineered and built most of the equipment involved in the assembly process, including an innovative automated staking table that makes it easier to crimp the screens’ aluminum framing.
In the past few months, work for Marvin accounted for nearly 25% of its total revenue, and Ericco expects that to rise to about 35% by the end of this year. (The company’s annual revenue is around $6 million.) While Arctic Cat and Marvin account for the bulk of Ericco’s work, the company also has attracted a diverse roster of custom projects, machining components for manufacturers of portable dance floors, airport lighting systems, and other powersports companies.
Ericco is still a family-owned company. Erickson, his mother Sally, and his sister, Trudy, cite that as a source of the company’s strength. It also has allowed the company to be flexible when opportunities arise.
Location: Viking (near Thief River Falls)
Specialties: Powersports vehicle and aviation components, window-screen assembly