B&L Information Systems Named to 20 Best Places to Work in SWM

The nominator of B&L Information Systems argues that without that company, “it is safe to say Bridgman and the surrounding area would not be the same.” They make the software that makes it possible for you to turn on your LED lights. Read about that in the story below. The company, serving metalcasters worldwide, is a regional success story staffed with “collaborative, innovative, and friendly people,” making a huge difference for not only the clients they serve, but the people who work there. The family-owned and operated values that emanate from B&L are legendary in the lakeshore community. It’s an American manufacturing success story that, when celebrated for earning a slot on the Moody on the Market 20 Best Places to Work in Southwest Michigan could well lead to “skies over Southwest Michigan ablaze with a fireworks celebration” honoring their win. The work/life balance including wellness benefits and educational assistance makes B&L Information Systems a top draw for talent from across the spectrum.

What is the name of the business you are nominating? 

B&L Information Systems

Who are the owner(s) and/or principals in this company?

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Philip Laney

Business Contact Information

Debbie Wishart

4707 Rambo Rd

Bridgman, MI 49106

How many people work at the company you are nominating?

40

Tell us the story behind the nominated company. What does it do, and what sets them apart from other companies in the region?

B&L Information System creates ERP software for foundries, die casters and investment casters. In business for over 40 years, B&L is a leading area technology provider and has now partnered with Southwestern Michigan College to provide a class in ERP in the fall of 2020. This is the same kind of investment in technology and education B&L has provided for years through the Dick Laney Memorial Scholarship Fund, investing in the STEM lab at Bridgman middle school, and investing in individual employee education.

In your own words, why do you think this company deserves to be declared to be one of the 20 Best Places to Work in Michigan’s Great Southwest?

B&L is an underground regional success story! I know we do not seek credit for the good work B&L does in the community or for bringing intellectual talent to the Southwest Michigan area with our relocation program, but, without B&L, I think it is safe to say that Bridgman and the surrounding area would not be the same.

What makes workers proud to say they work there, and keeps them a part of the team?

B&L makes a difference in our town and within an important sector of the manufacturing industry. As a leader in metal casting ERP, our software helps the industry be stronger and grow. We teach foundries, die casters and investment casters to understand their job costs, inventory and have a single source of data that helps them run successful businesses. B&L is part of the American manufacturers’ success story and we couldn’t do that without our team.

Let’s pretend you’re writing a review for Yelp! or Trip Advisor. Give us your best recommendation for the nominated company that would make the rest of us wish we worked there, too.

Located near the beautiful Lake Michigan shore, nestled in the heart of vineyards and hops farms, for over 40 years B&L has been creating software that enables manufacturing companies to flourish. Join us!

What three key words best describe why this company is a Best Places to Work caliber company?

1. Collaborative…2. Innovative…3. Friendly

As a Best Places to Work company “Super Hero,” what are the two most magical “Super Powers” this company has on a day-to-day basis? (i.e., Ability to read minds, fly, invisibility, etc) And why?

Super Power One Ability to read minds (We don’t really. But our highly experienced and trained team often seems to read customers’ minds on what they need!)

Super Power Two Shape shifting (Our software “shifts” to fit the type of metal caster we work with, even if they are different from each other in metal type or process.)

Tell us about the leadership of the nominated company and what they do to:

A] Keep spirits and motivation high? Phil Laney – Phil is the best at looking at a difficult situation and seeing the good that came out of the experience

B] Keep innovation and fresh ideas advancing? Joe Harmon – Joe is constantly challenging his team and the rest of the company to find ways to make processes easier and less cumbersome for the customer

C] Keep communications open? DJ Medlin – DJ is both the hub of all training information and scheduling as well as the lead of our internal special events committee. She leads the charge on keeping everyone in the know.

Explain a specific “wow!” moment in this company’s history that is virtually “Hall of Fame” or “Best Practices” worthy, as an example to other companies in the region.

Last year, the shipping supervisor at one of our clients quit with no notice. Inventory on the dock waiting to go out. One of our business consultants dropped everything, drove over and spent 2 days entering invoicing and shipping information (as well as setting up processes and training staff) so the company could keep working. This is the kind of service B&L gives clients, always.

Best Places to Work have a reputation for not only working hard, but also for playing hard. How does the nominated company:

A] Honor or reward success? At our Christmas luncheon we have service awards. We also call out team successes one Friday a month in an all-company meeting.

B] Socialize as a team? Annual family outing, employee appreciation dinner and a Christmas lunch.

C] Get involved in community events? In addition to regular community support of events and organizations, every year, in May we pick a charity and our company has “Casual for a Cause” Fridays at $5 per day. Whatever is raised by employees is matched by the company and donated to the selected charity.

D] Celebrate life? Over lunch, if a team member has had a significant event (wedding, great vacation) we share pictures and stories. Additionally, life milestones like weddings and babies have their own small celebrations.

Write a brief, but compelling, recruitment ad telling people about why they should come and work there, too.

B&L supports a culture of work/life balance that includes wellness benefits and educational assistance. You will find the company to foster a collaborative atmosphere among colleagues and with clients that you won’t find in most other businesses. Join us and learn how your technology-savvy can support American manufacturing.

What one thing is special about your nominated company that most people in the community have no idea actually happens there, but should be shouted from the rooftops because it’s that cool?

We make the software that makes it possible for you to turn on your LED lights. (Really, one of our clients makes a filament used in most LED lighting.) Our customers are also responsible for getting you to work safely. (Most cars have die cast brake parts.) Using B&L’s ERP helps these companies know their costs and stay in business to serve you.

Give us three employee perks or benefits that you think make the company you have nominated worthy of a Best Places to Work trophy?

1. Family owned with family values

2. A 4% safe harbor 401k match

3. Floating holiday for your birthday

If this is your company and you win, write the best headline ever for your company newsletter describing your successful selection to the list, and be as specific as you can about how you would celebrate the win if money were no object.

Today the skies over SW Michigan are ablaze with a fireworks display for B&L’s win as Best Company to Work For! (Be sure to look up tonight at 9:15pm.)

Tell us anything else you want about this company that you suddenly realize we haven’t asked you about, but you’re sure will be the thing that puts you squarely into the winner’s circle! (Wait a minute! Can you put a square in a circle?)

You can put a circle in a square. And at B&L we do that by being inclusive of what our customers need and what our consultants learn working with customers. We value input from staff and customers – in a formalized structure most B2B companies don’t have – to make our company better and our software the best.