Modustri makes a sweet move

Hostile takeovers might make business headlines, but there is nothing sweeter than Modustri's recent friendly takeover.

The Grand Rapids-based tech company that designs and builds digital measurement tools for the heavy equipment industry was faced with space and growth challenges: too many new hires and not enough room.

So, the company, which is based at 38 Commerce Avenue SW, made an offer to the owner of their next door neighbor's business that was preparing to close, Sissy’s Sweet Shoppe. Modustri would take over her lease payments in October and purchase more than 180 pounds of candy she had in her inventory. A sweet deal.

Brian Steketee, founder and CEO, says that once the additional space was acquired, the second order of business was what to do with the almost 200 pounds of candy in inventory? He pulled his team together for a little brainstorming session.

"How can we turn this into a positive event for everyone?" he asked.

One idea quickly resonated.

"How cool would it be if we could send it to the troops?"  The answer? Very cool.

Modustri donated all the candy to Operation Gratitude, an organization that creates care packets for overseas military. The team spent an entire day packing the candy into 14 extra-large boxes that were later shipped out. Steketee attributes much of the sales and job growth to a recent strategic alliance  with Caterpillar, the construction machinery and equipment company based in Peoria, Illinois.

"We've been hiring so fast, it's been hard to keep up,” Steketee says.

He says the firm has six new hires this fall and more job openings waiting to be filled. He anticipates the 30-person firm will grow to 54 employees in 2016, and he categorizes these as all great, well paying jobs: developers, mobile and UX designers, and back office administration help.

To learn more about Modustri, you can check out their site here.

Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor
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