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10 Simple Ways to Treat your Employees This Holiday Season

By: Luke Frey – Sales Manager at Rees, Inc.

It’s the Holiday season. A time to be cheerful, a time to spend with family and a time to show others how much you care about them. Not just your family and friends, but those you work alongside as well. So if you’re in a management position and need some suggestions as how to treat your employees well this holiday season, look no further. Let’s start with the basics.

  1. Have chocolates and peppermint coffee available in the break room.
  2. Send each of your employees an e-mail letting them know why you appreciate them. (could be tough for large companies)
  3. Give them an extended lunch their last work day before Christmas.
  4. Pick a day to have Carolers parade through the facility with Christmas songs for a brief time period. (We don’t want to completely kill productivity ;))
  5. If you have a TV in the break room, have Christmas movies playing on it throughout the day.
  6. Have a day where your employees can bring their kids to see Santa. (If hiring a Santa infringes on your budget, seek out the employee who most resembles Saint Nick.)
  7. Have your employees do a $10 white elephant gift exchange during their lunch break. Throw in a half day off work to the individual who brings the most bizarre gift.
  8. Put up a bulletin board in the break room and have your employees bring in a goofy Christmas photo to hang up. Nothing increases company morale quite like laughter.
  9. Assort the refrigerator in the break room with various flavors of eggnog. (you’re probably noticing a theme here. But hey,people love food!)
  10. Assure their safety by putting Rees products on your equipment (Sales people everywhere roll their eyes. Hey, I have to throw in a sales pitch somewhere!)

All joking aside, if there’s one thing we know how to do here at Rees it’s take care of our employees. They are the backbone of our company and deserve to be treated for their hard work and dedication. So… all you managers out there: please take some sort of initiative this holiday season to make sure your workers know how much they are valued. Their appreciation will be reflected in their work. Merry Christmas!

Top 10 things you don’t want to hear from your Plant workers

By: Luke Frey – Sales Manager at Rees, Inc.

In manufacturing there are primarily 2 categories of people that allow a company to operate successfully: Those who make the product and those who sell the product. While I prefer to be the latter, my job cannot be done without the former. Our plant workers are the people we depend on at the ground level. A good product is produced due to the hard work of skilled and dedicated laborers. That being said, let’s take a look at what we don’t want to hear from those people in the plant.


  1. “Nail-gun fight!”
  2. “Has anybody found Fred’s gold tooth lying around or should we still be looking?”
  3. “Twenty bucks says I can beat the robot in an arm-wrestling match.”
  4. “Honestly, I just mix the green liquid with the pink liquid, start mashing buttons, and hopefully everything comes out looking okay.”
  5. “Who wants to play ‘Race the crash-test car.’?”
  6. “Did you know that you can drive a forklift with no hands?”
  7. “Hypothetically speaking, what would be my limit on beers per shift?”
  8. “What do we make again?”
  9. “If you play your angles right, you can ride the conveyor around the whole plant in 10 minutes.”
  10. “What a busy day. Had to cut my morning break down to 3 hours.”


While it is enjoyable to sit back and laugh at humorous scenarios, one thing that is NOT a joke is workplace safety. There are people in manufacturing environments that suffer from life-altering injuries, due to lack of safety, equipment malfunction, etc. These are the type of incidents that we must try and prevent. The people you depend on are those you must protect. A good workplace provides an environment in which its workers can KNOW that their safety is a top priority. This means assuring that the proper safeguards are used on equipment AND that workers are properly educated and trained on what steps must be taken to optimize the safety of their selves and their co-workers. We at Rees are grateful for the opportunity to provide products that can help keep people safe in the workplace. We appreciate your business and hope that you will continue to depend on our products for providing added safety throughout the years.

The Beauty of Manufacturing

By Luke Frey – Sales Manager at Rees, Inc.

The industrial revolution is an iconic time frame in History, which took place between the mid 1700’s and 1800’s. Many of us have covered this topic in History class, but probably never really picked apart and assessed how it correlates to life today. Before this revolution began, manufacturing took place on a small scale, often in the homes of individuals who had developed the skills needed to produce a product. What the industrial revolution provided was the proper equipment and ability to mass produce these products at a more efficient rate, with a higher quantity of output.

All of this got me thinking… what if the industrial revolution never happened? What if from the 1700’s to present day nothing changed in the process of how we produce goods? Manufacturing never took off. No high tech equipment, no new machinery, nothing. What would life look like today? Please bear in mind, there is no real way to know how history would have played out and there is always the rare possibility of advancement in various industries. Therefore, what you read here is simply my desire to explore how things would look given that things simply didn’t pan out.

The year is 2018. You wake up to the sound of… a rooster? You don’t have an alarm clock, because such thing was never invented. The technology just wasn’t uncovered to produce such a device. So for right now, a rooster is your best bet. You slip on the leather shoes your wife purchased from the cobbler down the street and throw on the thinly lined clothes that she mended together for you. It’s time to start the work day. You go outside and hop on your bicycle, as your means of transportation are limited. You see, the automotive industry never really took off. There was this Ford guy that had some pretty bright ideas, but he simply didn’t have the means to put these ideas into action.

After a ride down Main Street, you finally arrive at your destination. Your little blacksmith shop isn’t much more than a barn, but it’s enough to provide a steady income. You see, trade jobs like this are a necessity. Everyone is taught from a young age to learn and develop a skill that will allow you to contribute to society, thus allowing everyone’s provisions to be met. College is a narrow road, as education never really took off either. Developments in science have remained somewhat stagnant over the years, as the testing we now know and rely on simply doesn’t exist. All the machinery scientists would have used to study the world were never put into production. If any of these machines do exist, they’re only available to the wealthy and may never even get into the proper hands of those who could best use/produce them.

After a few long hours at work, you decide to take a lunch break. This consists of roast beef, mashed potatoes, and a glass of milk. The potatoes came from your local farmer, while the beef and milk came from the cows your neighbor owns. With no means to mass produce these products, you must have a local source in order to get your hands on such things. Upon finishing your lunch you remember that you were supposed to pick up something for your wife at the drug store (which is where most of your goods are purchased) but you can’t remember what it was. You’d like to communicate with her, but you have no real way to, seeing as though that dreamy iPhone X simply doesn’t exist. The best you can do is ask your assistant to ride his horse to your house and retrieve the message. He obliges.

After a long work day, you finally go home to your family. As evening advances, you light the lanterns in your house and prepare for bedtime. It’d be great to have electricity, but without the mass production of these goods this luxury simply isn’t available. So instead of winding down this evening by watching ‘Seinfeld,’ browsing the internet, or shopping on Amazon, you simply play a board game with the family. This is not a bad thing by any means, as family time is quality time. Your options are simply… different than maybe desired. This all resembles a typical day for you in 2018. No TV, no car, no radio to hear the ramblings of Mr. Trump (you have to read a newspaper for that). Just… another day.

Thanks for taking the time to take a break from your day and daydream with me for a little while. I understand that there is a lot that was left out of this, but it is my hope that you understand the basic concept. The ability to mass produce products has been essential to our advancement and has affected social, economic, technological, and scientific aspects of life. It is quite possible that the wealthy would have had the means to advance beyond the rest of the population, but for the sake of this article I decided to assume that they either hoarded those goods or were unable to bring together the right amount of talented individuals to produce such advancement. So if you work in manufacturing, I hope you take pride in what you do. Your small role influences the lives of many in such a simple, yet powerful, way. I also hope you appreciate the work of those that have gone ahead of us to bring such advancements to light and allow us to have the luxuries we do today. I know I sure do.

Manufacturing: A Young Person’s Game

By Luke Frey – Sales Manager, Rees, Inc.


“Go to College. Get a degree. Do something with your life,” is what my generation grew up hearing from adults. It almost became an implication that if you didn’t go to college, you would end up working at some dead-end, minimum wage job. The type that is intended for high school students to work at during summer vacation. The myth that you need a college degree to have a successful career is something that we need to crush. The solution? Let’s get these young people educated on their options and introduce them to a new avenue: The World of Manufacturing.


My father grew up in a generation where upon completing high school most kids opted not to go to college. During that time period, the 50’s and 60’s, most small town kids either went to a vocational/trade school or picked up a job working on the family farm. My father never went to college and spent 20+ years as a press operator, as well as working various jobs involving tools and machinery. He was able to support a family of 6 and now lives on 16 acres in a log home, enjoying retirement. The point is this: he was educated at a young age how to use tools/machines and developed the necessary skills to churn out a steady career. I believe we need to emphasize the same concept today to show young individuals how they can discover a career path they will enjoy without needing a college degree.


The biggest issue today is that most kids in our public school systems simply aren’t exposed to the options that exist in manufacturing. Some high schools do offer shop classes, yes; but usually as an elective that the majority of the student body either dodges or takes because they need to fill a slot in their daily schedule. What we need is to spark the passion and excitement. I mean, we’re talking about spending your days playing with drills, big machines, saws, and even in some cases robotics, and getting paid to do so! We’re talking about the opportunity to take basic elements and use them to create something right in front of your own eyes. Manufacturing provides the opportunity to contribute to the production of goods upon which our society relies. The opportunity to make an impact on the world. And most importantly, this industry can provide a steady lifestyle while spending your time doing something enjoyable (You may notice I am really hounding on this point. I hope the message is getting through.).


I spoke with a lady that runs a stamping press at our plant and she stated that she truly enjoys her work. “I get to spend my work hours playing with this machine and listening to music all day,” she said (I’m not saying all companies have a radio playing overhead in their plants, but it certainly is a nice addition). You see, we’re not just looking for young men.. We want young INDIVIDUALS. So what I’m simply proposing is that if you are in a position to bring these opportunities to light, whether it be that you’re involved with the local school-board, community foundation, etc., please find a way to get these ideas in front of young people. Find a way to push for these programs to be more exposed, revamped, and adequately supported, from both a financial and administrative standpoint. In our county we have an Economic Development Center that uses its resources to get inside schools and invite students out to machine shops/factories to learn about the different types of machines and how they’re used on a daily basis, as well as what opportunities are out there. That, my friends, is really the only way that we are going to capture the minds of these young individuals and build a foundation for a strong future. Small business are still the backbone of America and we need to do everything in our power to recruit vigorous young people to keep that trend going.

Why I’d Choose Rees

Why I’d Choose Rees

By: Luke Frey – Sales Manager, Rees, Inc.

I have had the privilege of working at Rees, Inc. for just over two years now. As is with most jobs, the first year was very much centered on learning. Learning about the products, learning about job requirements, learning about industry trends, company history, and so on. As I’ve learned about Rees and what we can provide, I’ve developed an admiration for the product we contribute and its level of quality. Is this bias? Perhaps, maybe a little. So I had to ask myself… how would I view Rees from an outward perspective. If I was a manager at a stamping press manufacturer or a conveyor systems manufacturer, what would my view of Rees be? Let’s take a look, shall we?


Inquiry: I visit the Rees website and begin to browse their products. The materials used seem to be very durable, as the body of most products look to be quite heavy. Some products are approved for rugged weather applications, while others are not. Regardless, there seems to be a broad enough selection to cover my needs. Maybe I’ll give one of these buttons a shot.

Purchase: Upon looking at the site, I’m having trouble finding what I’m looking for. I call and get a customer service rep. Not an automated machine, not a menu of options. A person. Within a few minutes, my questions are answered. I find a Push Button and add it to the checkout cart. I slightly cringe at the price. Will the performance of this thing outweigh the cost? I certainly hope so.  Payment = Complete.

Receiving: I am surprised to find that I receive the product within 3 days of ordering. Apparently it had been shipped out the next day. In the industrial world this is a big deal to me. The sooner I get it, the sooner I can get my equipment up and running. I like that.

Performance: Just by feeling the push button in my hand, I can tell this thing is heavy duty. In fact, it literally is heavy. No cheap plastic. No worrying about dropping something on it in fear that it might break. Just solid, durable, material. The button is ergonomically designed and works well on my equipment. My machine operators have no complaints. No issues thus far.

Conclusion: The quality of life is what makes this product worth the cost. Sure, I could buy another brand and replace the switch more often. But this product might last me 30 years. In the long term, it’s quite cost efficient. So yeah, I’ll choose Rees. Because they deliver.

The statements/analysis above is largely based on what I hear/read from those who are using the Rees product. Their feedback fuels my perception. Combine their thoughts with the facts we gather concerning the products (lifespan, performance, technical issues, etc.) and that’s why I can form this conclusion. Biased? Perhaps, slightly. But True? I like to think so.