Client Spotlight | Dotson Iron Castings
“We’ve all heard the expression that you can be treated like a number,” Rick Sellner, safety and environmental employee at Dotson, said. “We are treated like human beings here, where everybody knows everybody, and everybody knows everybody by name.”
Dotson prides itself in keeping consistent communication with all employees within the organization. Everyone is encouraged to learn and engage with organizational objectives, as well as contribute recommendations to support Dotson’s commitment to lean manufacturing.
“If an employee has a sense of vertical integration,” Jean Bye, Dotson’s president and CEO, said in a Foundry Magazine article. “They understand, and have more confidence in their knowledge of, that which happens both before and after their specific task.”
“No matter what they’re doing, if he or she comes in to work and is excited about what they’re doing, it’s that excitement that we’re trying to promote throughout the organization,” said Denny Dotson, former president of Dotson and now United States representative of the World Foundry Organization.
Dotson displayed this reputation when a significant fire took place at the foundry in September 2017, during which Dotson’s leadership team installed a “comprehensive three-part plan focusing on employees, customers and rebuilding the foundry.” While continuing to pay employees, the company offered its services and volunteer help from its employees to various community organizations in the Greater Mankato, Minnesota area while it worked to restore production facilities.
These efforts were recognized by the Manufacturing Leadership Council who recently announced Dotson Iron Castings as a Manufacturing Leadership Awards winner for outstanding achievement in Collaborative Innovation for its disaster recovery project.
Dotson Iron Castings is also “frequently recognized for its design capabilities, highly regarded for its technical standards, and well appreciated by [over 150] customers for its product quality and service,” according to Foundry Magazine.
“We want to provide each of our customers with great products in a fast, flexible and cost effective manner,” Bye said. “Our vision is to become the world’s most agile foundry and machining facility.”
With a history tracing back over 140 years in the iron foundry business, Dotson is a company built on a diverse history that goes back to 1871 when a German immigrant named Laurence Mayer brought his family to Mankato. Starting in 1943, three generations of Dotsons have operated the business, which is nearly half of the company’s history.
Dotson pours ductile iron exclusively, melting over 100 tons of ductile iron castings daily. The company provides iron castings solutions for a variety of manufacturing markets, including agriculture equipment, heavy truck, industrial equipment, and construction.
“One of our claims to fame is, most of the semi trailers and tractors that you drive by on the freeway, there’s probably a Dotson part on there somewhere,” Sellner said.
The company’s ability to provide excellent products along with a quick execution of each project is what sets them apart from others in the iron foundry business.
“We have five-day lead time, which is unheard of in the casting world,” Sellner said. “Our short lead time is very beneficial to customers who are very conscientious about their inventory.”
Additionally, Dotson customers enjoy a value-added “service coordination of machining, heat treatment and painting.”