2024 Governor's Conference on Economic Development
Philip, SD – When Governor Kristi Noem says South Dakota is Open for Business, Jerry Kroetch, president of Scotchman Industries in Philip couldn’t agree more.
Scotchman has been doing business in Philip, SD since the 1960’s when Jerry’s dad, Art, started a small salvage yard. Today, his company has been transformed into one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of the Iron Worker. How did this transformation take place? “Between the tax climate, the quality of workers, and the quality of life, you aren’t going to find a better spot to do business in than South Dakota,” Kroetch said.
A quick glance at the company shows an evolution from cattle oiling to portable corrals to hydraulic ironworks. It was in 1966 that Scotchman Industries purchased the patent for a hydraulic ironworker, the first machine of its kind in the world, and began manufacturing ironworkers. This machine, using hydraulic pressure, created up to a 35-ton force that could punch, bend and shear metal.
Since that time, Scotchman has added advanced measuring systems, programmable feed systems, and a handful of other products to their lineup. As the world and its markets change and expand, Scotchman Industries continues to grow and adapt.
In addition to Scotchman’s ability to adapt with the times, customer service continues to be one of their most important values. Jerry explained, “My customer service department is the most important thing that we have. I think that should be the most important thing anybody has. We will never have an automated answering system. We will always have an actual person on the other end of that phone call to answer and assist you with your needs.”
And Kroetch is quick to point out that he hasn’t had trouble attracting good people to work for him in this town of just 750. “We’ve never had trouble finding employees. I’ve heard it from numerous employers throughout the country. When they find an applicant from the Midwest- they’ll hire them in a heartbeat. Our work ethic is second to none” he concluded.