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November 2017
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Unirak celebrates 25 years of success with new technologies
Eileen Mozinski
Eileen Mozinski

Unirak bills itself as “the best pallet rack company” in the nation.

The company manufactures racks ranging from pallets from stock to “state-of-the-art dynamic hybrids” and is marking a quarter century in business this year. The anniversary year has been marked by production developments and new efforts at social media outreach.

Unirak makes pallet racks for large, 4,000-plus pallet distribution centers along with custom racks for certain niche markets. They come in hundreds of hi-gloss colors and are designed to be highly durable, according to the business website.

Based in Taylor, Michigan, Unirak officially opened the doors to its current manufacturing facility in 2007, a move that increased warehouse space by 100 percent and allowed for powder coating finish to be applied to company products, according to a business press release. “The new facility and processes will equip us to better serve professional material handling equipment dealers,” said then-president Dan Dorian, in the statement.

This year, Unirak commissioned a new made-to-order rolling mill that will “dramatically impact product offerings” with seven new beam profiles, according to the business website.

Besides pushing Unirak into “previously unavailable markets,” the effort will allow for better provision of customer needs, according to the business. The company added a third robotic cell to its holdings in 2014 to improve consistency of its accessories, and this year purchased a hi-speed full bundle tube cut-to-length unit that will greatly increase the part volume into the robotic cells, the site said.

All of this will drive down cost and improve efficiency, and will build upon the company's stated goal of helping dealers win repeat business. Unirak is “constantly looking for more leads and projects to add to (the) dealer base,” the business site said.

These interior efforts are being coupled with a project aimed at building Unirak's online presence. The business has already made some efforts in this avenue by creating and posting interactive brochures and videos for the Unirak website. These are the types of outreach developments that others in the industry now say is essential. Social media marketing used to be seen as something outside the purview of business-to-business manufacturers like pallet rack manufacturer Unirak, but this philosophy is rapidly changing.

“There was a time when many in the manufacturing industry viewed social media as a nonstarter for B2B marketing,” said a recent article by SBN Interactive. “But as the global economy continues to transition online, digital content strategy has become more important.”

Of 223 U.S. manufacturers polled last year, SBN found half were using social media but many of those said their strategies could be more effective, underscoring the need for clear digital strategies among manufacturers, according to SBN, a small business content provider.

In a 2013 opinion piece for Forbes, contributor Louis Columbus wrote that business-to-business marketers need to “get real” about the need for social media in engaging customers.

“Social media is how the current and next generation of B2B customers are choosing to learn about new solutions and stay current on brands they are loyal too,” he wrote.

“It could just be the catalyst that reconnects them with their customers and ignites innovation through marketing, sales, and product development.”

Eileen Schmidt is a freelance writer and journalist based in the Greater Milwaukee area. She has written for print and online publications for the past 12 years. Email editorial@mhwmag.com or visit eileenmozinskischmidt.wordpress.com to contact Eileen. 

 
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