Akron Services Inc.
Akron Services Inc. has been providing fertilizer and grain to customers across Illinois as a state licensed grain dealer and warehouse since its early inception in the 1970s. Independent and family-owned for more than half a century, Akron Services provide its products and services with a focus on quality and customer service, earning them a loyal customer base of satisfied farmers.
A family business from the start
Lawrence Wagenbach, founder of Akron Services, started the business from inside his house over 50 years ago. Throughout those years the company expanded to five locations throughout Illinois, and was incorporated in 1979.
In the first step to setting itself apart from the competition, Akron Services grew from a home start-up to a family business when Lawrence’s son, Tim, joined the company fresh out of college in 1986. Tim Wagenbach is now vice president at Akron Services, and three of his siblings work at the company as well. The family-run company was more approachable than a larger corporate grain dealer might be, and similarly, provided something a little different than the traditional cooperative. “The level of service you get from a family business is different than what you might get from a cooperative,” explains Tim. “We set ourselves apart by being independent and family-owned.”
Expanding to meet demands
From trucking services to commodity brokerage, Akron Services runs the gamut with the services it offers to its clients. “We service farmers and sell them fertilizer, chemicals, and do custom application as well,” says Tim. The company also buys and processes corn, which led to the addition of a feed retail business to its facilities in 2010.
Akron Services has locations in Edelstein, Brimfield, and Glasford, Illinois, and employs 45 people year round. The company’s three main locations house its office headquarters, and two additional locations are used seasonally as well.
To continue to meet the needs of its customers, Akron Services has been in the process of building a sixth location in Cramer, Illinois. The office and grain facility are expected to be completed during the fall of 2016, with the rest given an expected completion date for the same time the next year. “Once we get the next facility up and going, we’ll want to just maintain and be steady with our workflow,” says Tim.
The new facility will provide more space for product storage and processing, meeting the growing demands of an ever growing customer base for Akron Services. “Things are pretty steady. We are more of a middle man, so volume is the thing that hurts us the most,” Tim says. “In recent years, that hasn’t been much of an issue.”
Providing the best for customers
As its new facility nears completion, Akron Services has started adding specialty grains to its roster of products. Non-GMO soybeans are the newest seeds to be added to its product list, and the company now is a full service pesticide retailer as well. Herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides from a scattering of nationally renowned companies are stocked by Akron Services. The company even offered a service to develop pesticide programs tailored to its clients specific field needs, and also facilitates the application of these products if need be, by scheduling crop dusters and high clearance sprayers to fulfill its customers’ demands.
With a steady stream of business, the economic downturn was barely noticeable to Akron Services, instead, the company found challenges were more easily managed in day-to-day business. “Our biggest challenges are regulations and government restrictions,” says Tim. “Second to that are employees and finding people who have a good work ethic.” Akron’s employees join in on a company that has been fueled by its family values and dedication to its clients since its early inception.
Continuing its tradition of over a half century of customer satisfaction, Akron Services has been providing the best quality product to its clients and expanding to meet their higher volume demands.
With a focus on family and independent to its core, Akron Services Inc. will continue to be satisfying customers as it extends it reach across the Illinois grain market for many years to come.