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Miller Manufacturing Company: Proud to be Made in the U.S.A.
Miller Manufacturing Company (Miller Manufacturing) is a manufacturer and international distributor of farm, ranch and pet products. “Most of our farm and ranch products are made in the United States,” says Dan Ferrise, CEO of Miller Manufacturing. The Minnesota-based company serves the United States, Canada and over 30 countries worldwide.
Miller Manufacturing was founded in 1941, initially manufacturing galvanized poultry feeding and watering products under the Little Giant brand. “Although we carry-over 900 products in our catalogue and can be found in nearly every farming store in the nation, we still carry these original products,” shares Ferrise. “These original products are still some of our most profitable. We make products that withstand the test of time.”
The manufacturer remained family-owned and -operated until 1996, when Dennis Frandsen – of Frandsen Corporation – purchased Miller Manufacturing. Over the next 17 years the company continued to prosper, acquiring quality brands such as, Hot-Shot, Pet Lodge, Springer Magrath and Double-Tuf.
Miller Manufacturing understands the importance of American-made products to farmers, ranchers and hobbyists. This is why the company is committed to United States manufacturing of products for the use in the farm and ranch setting. According to Ferrise, 95 percent of the company’s farm and ranch products are designed, manufactured and distributed in the United States.
“All of our employees work in the United States,” says Ferrise. “Miller Manufacturing’s parent company, Frandsen Corporation, is also committed to United States manufacturing and employs an additional 1,000 United States employees. This commitment to United States manufacturing allows us to respond more quickly to our customers’ demands while streamlining supply chain and distribution process.” This mentality benefits Miller Manufacturing as a company, as well as the company’s employees and customers, in addition to United States parts manufacturers, as well as the communities in which Miller Manufacturing products are manufactured.
Hobby Farmers and Enthusiasts Building Business
Dan attributes the company’s success through the recession to the increasing popularity of permaculture, self-sustainability and the backyard enthusiasts. “The concept of backyard poultry has really kept us going strong,” explains Dan. “People all over the country, even in New York City, are raising their own small flocks to produce eggs. Our target market is the backyard hobbyist.”
Miller Manufacturing currently owns a 310,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center. “Since 2005 we’ve consolidated multiple plants into one facility here in Glencoe, Minn., where we have 190 employees,” details Ferrise. “In spite of the economy, we recently expanded our facility by about 24,000 square feet. We have further expansion plans to add an additional 60,000 square feet in the future. We’ve seen significant growth every year.”
Fostering Growth through New Products
Miller Manufacturing invests in new product development and initiatives. According to Ferrise, staying innovative is one of the most important aspects of the business. Of course, the team agrees, as Miller Manufacturing draws inspiration for new products by going to the source: the consumer.
“We spend a lot of time in the field,” shares Ferrise. “Every year our executives go to state and county fairs. They talk to people about how our products are working or not working for them. Some of the best ideas we’ve had have stemmed from these informal meetings.”
According to Ferrise, the company typically releases 10 to 12 new products a year. “The breadth and depth of our product offering really drives our company to the forefront,” stresses Ferrise. “We own many patents and work to protect them. Miller Manufacturing has captured the majority of the market share and continues to do so through the development of new products and technology.”
Miller Manufacturing supplies virtually all of the farm and equine stores in the country. “We usually have at least 100 feet of shelf space in any given store,” explains Ferrise. The company strives to provide customers with a multitude of options and product lines. Miller also offers incentives such as prepaid freight for customers that optimize resources by shipping in full truckloads.
The manufacturer is currently working on furthering its poultry products, which have been a huge success since its founding. “We’re developing a significant number of new products for our poultry line directed at meeting the needs of the growing suburban poultry segment,” shares Ferrise. “These products are designed to meet functional needs while also addressing the desire to have visually appealing and stylish products.” The company is also building on nesting box technology. “Our nesting boxes allow for easy cleaning, which helps control pests and unclean environments,” adds Ferrise.
That is not all Miller Manufacturing has to offer, though. “We’re also the largest manufacturer of cattle prods in the world,” details Ferrise. “Our brand Hot-Shot is one of the most recognized and well-known in the industry.”
According to Ferrise, the Miller Manufacturing team is dedicated to improving the Hot-Shot product by implementing European standards that apply more stringent animal control measures. “We’re the leader in the market with this kind of technology,” he adds.
Leading the farming and animal supply industry for over 72 years, Miller Manufacturing has earned its well-renowned reputation. The company focuses on communicating with consumers to generate a wide range of products that work for the customer at a competitive price. Miller Manufacturing Company continues to deliver the most innovative, useful products while being committed to Unites States manufacturing.