Business is good at Neapco Components, where the Beatrice company is celebrating its latest expansion adding offices to its Industrial Park location.
Neapco held a ribbon cutting for its newest expansion last August.
The additional 13,000 square feet in the northeast corner of the company’s factory in the Industrial Park is used as office space to accommodate 65 people, with 57 workers initially using the building.
Neapco General Manager J.C. Stiles said workers were previously scattered throughout the property, and it’s beneficial to have office workers now in one location.
“The expansion offices are working great,” he said. “We have the same staff, and having them working there in one office has benefited us quite well. It’s definitely good for us out here.”
It was previously stated the total cost of the office addition and a test lab was $1.3 million, including a $300,000 grant awarded by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.
The company produces driveline components for a variety of companies and currently employs around 360 workers.
Neapco’s largest clients are Polaris and Ford Motor Company.
Stiles said the company keeps a generally even ratio of products for manufacturers as well as replacement parts.
Neapco also produces heavy-duty parts for the ag market. While that market has been down with recent ag prices, Stiles said diversification is what’s made the company so resilient over the years.
“This division has always been diversified for 26 years,” he said. “We’ve gone back and forth a bit, but probably no side has ever gotten below 25-30 percent. We were hard hit back in 2008 like everybody else was, but we’re still here. That diversification is one thing that helped get us through.”
Stiles has been with Neapco for 26 years, starting in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. He came to Nebraska in 2012.
The company’s previous expansion was more than four years ago when Neapco added a 100,000 square foot building to its campus. The expansion was dedicated in March 2011.
Neapco was the first business to locate in the Beatrice Industrial Park in 1981.
Stiles recalled the company’s history, and said the move was a bold one, as the company moved to the area to be near New Holland, which had a large presence in the area.
“It was a very big risk, and it almost failed,” he said. “In 1981 the ag market was booming … the ag market died, as it does every so often, and we had committed to the building and had nothing to put in it.”
Neapco Plant Manger Daune Culver, who has been with Neapco 19 years, said the city helped the company get its start in what was a new location.
“The city of Beatrice helped organize to bring industry to Beatrice,” he said. “They’ve continually added on to it, and it grew.
“The companies I’ve worked for were a bit larger than this. That doesn’t matter, but it does change your whole perspective of how you look at a company when you’re helping it grow and helping the client figure out what to do next and those kinds of things. It’s a totally different perspective.”
In addition to diversifying to make products for a variety of vehicles, the company also produces parts for solar panels.
Specifically, Stiles said Neapco makes parts that allow solar panels to move, tracking the sun.
Reach Scott Koperski at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ScottKoperski.
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