Dear Valued-Customers and Partners,
We are excited to announce the combining of Eberhard Manufacturing Company and the Illinois Lock Company into a single organization to create a focused platform to drive increased growth. By unifying the mission of the newly combined commercial, engineering and manufacturing teams we strongly believe we will immediately create more value for our customers and end-markets. In addition, with the deeper commercial focus, we will attain the Voice of Customer (VOC) faster and in return, speed the delivery of innovative new solutions to our end-markets.
These two organizations bring a combined 230 years (1879+1930) of technical sales, engineering, design and manufacturing experience in access and security hardware. By combining the best of each organization and strategically positioning our new commercial engine, we will drive increased marketshare in both core and adjacent opportunities that the two separate entities could not capture alone. The combination of Eberhard and Illinois Lock will now offer "ONE" solution for our customers with the broader standard product line. Simultaneously, we bolster our custom engineering capabilities to design unique solutions for specific application challenges of our customer base. Our global manufacturing teams will continue to support our ability to execute and launch these new solutions through our combined footprint.
Our announcement will kick-off our process today, 06 August 2020. As the first step in our new structure, we are pleased to announce the following advancements. Jim Woidke will become Eastern's new Chief Operating Officer and Jeff Fleming will become the Managing Director of the newly combined company, effective 08 September 2020. Jim Woidke joined Eastern in January 2017. Jim has been the Managing Director of the Eberhard Manufacturing Group for the past 3+ years - growing the business and improving its performance significantly during this period. Jim was previously President and COO at SIFCO Industries. Jeff joined Eastern to lead the Illinois Lock Company as the Managing Director in January 2017. Jeff's deep background and experience in the access hardware industry (Southco, Inc. and Illinois Tool Works) lead the transformation of the Illinois Lock Company by aligning new product development efforts to quickly reward and expand our position in key markets.
In the meantime, there is no change to our current business practices or customer experiences. As those two important processes begin to develop, we will proactively communicate any changes and enhancements specifically to reduce any potential challenges for you and your organization. We will be communicating on a consistent basis at the beginning of each month to update our customers, partners, and team members on our progress. Our next announcement will focus on the full leadership team and commercial structure of the newly combine organization.
If we can help answer any immediate questions, thoughts, or concerns, please contact your normal customer service representative, or email our leadership directly. We appreciate your support as we better prepare our business to meet the demands of your future business.
Sincerely and with enthusiasm,
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