by Adam Marcum
Crane Consumables has been in business in Middletown for more than a decade, specializing in custom barcode labels for customers all around the world, but when you ask Rod Crane, owner of Crane Consumables, what exactly his company does, his answer may come as a bit of a surprise.
“It’s not about us, it’s about them. That’s what we do.”
Crane walked away from his 30-year career to start Crane Consumables in 2007 without a single customer or machine to his name. He had grown tired of corporate culture and longed for something different. Ten years later, his family-owned company now has more than 40 employees, all of which he considers a part of his family.
Much has changed along the way and they have quickly outgrown their first three facilities, becoming a rival to many of the same corporate giants Crane once worked alongside. Barcode labels might seem simple on the surface, but Crane Consumables utilizes 600 different dies to manufacture more than 100,000 different products.
What sets them apart is the way they build relationships, both with their customers and within the organization itself. “It’s all about treating customers with respect and giving them a good product at a fair price,” says Crane. “Bigger isn’t always better. Some companies have lost touch with customers and they don’t have an intimate relationship with them. We’re small enough that when someone calls, we know them and they know us.”
The employees at Crane Consumables are important because they’re a part of that relationship and always go the extra mile to say “yes” to customers in a pinch. But for them, it’s so much more than just a place to work.
If you take a walk around the building and ask each employee what Crane Consumables does, the first reply has something to do with labels, but when pressed for what the company really does, the responses take on a new meaning.
“The label business allows us to do what we’re really here to do, and that’s to educate and develop our employees.”
Whether that means financial coaching, flexible schedules or sending people back to school, Crane Consumables works to create second chances that employees wouldn’t have otherwise. Last year, six people were able to purchase their first homes.
Rod Crane co-chairs The Chamber’s Education/Career Path Task Force to help prepare students and young adults for whatever future they might choose. “I care about these efforts because these are some of the problems that I see here. There is a social responsibility that companies have to develop students and employees. If you can find a way to help these people become better citizens and provide them an opportunity to grow and make a decent living, then that’s what we’re here to do.”
Mission: Crane Consumables delivers products that improve traceability and efficiency. We are known for:
- Consistency of service and quality
- Meaningful relationships
- Work smarter
- We empower employees to make decisions. We value an environment where continued learning is part of our culture.
- Strive to be better
- We challenge ourselves and continually push for better results
- We treat ourselves and those around us with respect. We keep our commitments. We don’t take short cuts and always act with the highest level of integrity
- We acknowledge those who helped us get us to where we are today and use our good fortune to advance those around us.
- Act Responsibly
- We are good stewards of all that we have. We consider the impact of our decisions.
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