Everything Matt Tyler touches at Vickers Engineering on Glendora Road in the Harbor Country community of New Troy revolves around how to make the lives of his employees better. Since founding the company more than 50 years ago, Vickers Engineering has evolved into a world class precision machining company. Despite meteoric growth, Tyler and his crew have steadfastly maintained their core values of quality, reliability, outstanding people, and customer service. State of the art equipment on the shop floor, skilled employees who love what they do and amazing customers bring great pride to this manufacturing firm just a stones throw from the waters of Lake Michigan. The nominator says, “Vickers is a place where if you work hard, show up and follow directions, the future is yours,” adding, “There is no end to how far or what direction you can go, so long as you show interest and put in the work.” Armed with the “Super Power” of Empathy, Vickers management has the ability to feel the emotions and needs of employees, and create a solid workplace where everyone treats one another like family with full support for each other. Best of all, in spite of the current workplace challenges facing many companies, Vickers team pulled together “in a world where labor is tight and time is tighter,” to launch more projects in a short amount of time than ever imagined with close to 20 part launches with high-profile customers. “Every person in the building played a part in it!” That’s teamwork. That’s Vickers Engineering. Read on for more of the story that has earned them a spot on the 20 Best Places to Work in SW Michigan for 2022.
What is the name of the business you are nominating?
Vickers Engineering, Inc.
Who are the owner(s) and/or principals in this company?
Business Contact Information
Vickers Engineering, Inc., 3604 Glendora Road, PO Box 346a, New Troy, MI 49119
How many people work at the company you are nominating?
Tell us the story behind the nominated company. What does it do, and what sets them apart from other companies in the region?
Established in 1970, Vickers has evolved into a world class Precision Machining Company. While experiencing compounding growth, Vickers has been able to maintain its core values: quality, reliability, outstanding people, and superior customer service.
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?
Vickers is a family oriented company. Everything we do revolves around how to make the lives of our employees better. In the last year, Vickers has made huge strides in helping to balance work and life; while making coming to work fun and rewarding.
What makes workers proud to say they work there, and keeps them a part of the team?
Items established in the last year that set Vickers apart include revamping the entire compensation package by increasing the base pay for market competitiveness, offering $1,000 sign-on bonus’ and $1,000 referral bonus’.
For production workers, a weekly production incentive reward program is established as is a monthly/annual perfect attendance award. Don’t forget the safety bingo program! Vickers offers a robust cafeteria style benefit package (offered at 90 Days), and a safe harbor retirement plan (with match!).
New to 2022 is a progressive 6-month review process where you can earn up to $2.00 more year-over-year. PTO is given at 90 days with an additional day of PTO for your birthday. And if you have served, you will get Veterans Day off! Summer time affords us to have company events and celebrations with food trucks and weekly spirit contests! We have a newly remodeled break room with air conditioning and seating to encourage mingling. We also have a summer time Keep Kool Program which ensures that all employees are hydrated with Gatorade, ice, popsicles and cooling rags. People treat each other with respect and gratitude. Annually, there are Round Table lunches with the CEO to give a voice to everyone in the company.
Vickers has state of the art equipment, skilled employees and amazing customers (a source of pride all of itself!). Promotion from within is a high priority. 45% of our workforce has been promoted from within. And 80% of our staff (from production to admin) have machining experience.
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.
Vickers is a place where if you work hard, show up and follow directions – the future is yours. There is no end to how far or what direction you can go; so long as you show interest and put in the work. Vickers employees treat each other like family and support one another.
What three key words best describe why this company is a Best Places to Work caliber company?
As a Best Places to Work company “Super Hero,” what are the two most magical “Super Powers” this company seems to have on a day-to-day basis? (i.e., Ability to read minds, fly, invisibility, etc) And why?
Super Power One: Empathy: Ability to feel the emotions and needs of employees.
Super Power Two: Accomplishment: Ability to get the jobs done, regardless of whose job it actually is.
Tell us about the leadership of the nominated company and what they do in order to:
A] Keep spirits and motivation high? — Matt insists on annual company events, even in lean years, to keep morale up. He’s funny and fun and interacts with everyone the same. He never makes anyone feel less than or unworthy of his time. Ever!
B] Keep innovation and fresh ideas advancing? — Matt attends conferences, peer groups and media events to stay current on corporate innovations. He also works closely with extremely advanced customers which push our abilities outside our comfort zone at times. But each time that happens, we learn and grow even bigger!
C] Keep communications open? — Matt conducts round table events annually with every member of the team. He walks the floor to talk to new hires and long term employees alike. His door is always open for anyone to voice concerns or offer positive feedback.
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.
I would say that 2020-2022 has been a challenging time for us – but definitely a WOW moment. We’ve watched everyone pull together, in a world where labor is tight and time is tighter, to launch more projects in a short amount of time than ever imagined. There were close to 20 part launches with high profile customers. Every person in the building played a part in it. It was the definitive showing of how anything can be accomplished with teamwork.
Best Places to Work have a reputation for not only working hard, but also for playing hard.
A] How does the nominated company honor or reward success? — We post publicly, we offer incentive rewards in the form of gift cards or company clothing. We announce the honorees in all company meetings.
B] How does the nominated company socialize as a team? — Company parties, events and spirit days.
C] How does the nominated company get involved in community events? — Locally we participate with Toys for Tots (our very own Greg R is the head of the regional chapter). Our continuous improvement manager also moonlights for the St. Joe Robotics team. She took them all the way to nationals this year! We also have a few local events we sponsor AND participate in. Such as Run for the Center of the World (New Troy) and the Thanksgiving Day run.
D] How does the nominated company celebrate life? — As a close-knit company, everyone is family. We gather together for bake sales, fund raisers, auctions and other events to help anyone in need.
Write a brief, but compelling, recruitment ad telling people about why they should come and work there, too.
Are you ready for a rewarding career in manufacturing?! Look no further than Vickers Engineering!
We offer competitive wages, lots of perks and benefits and the opportunity to grow and learn with your friends.
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?
At Vickers no problem is “only the employee’s problem.” The employees know that they can go to HR with any issue and they will get either answers or direction on how to get answers, from finding help with child care or utilities to helping write a budget. Plus there’s a candy jar there!
Give us three employee perks or benefits that you think make the company you have nominated worthy of a Best Places to Work trophy?
- Level Up Review Program (Every Six Months for up to $2.00)
- Receiving PTO and Benefits at 90 Days
- Production Incentive Awards (Meet rate, get a gift card)
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.
YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME! Because of you, Southwest Michigan now knows that Vickers is on the move! To celebrate, we have rented out the casino for the weekend. Everyone will be given a room key and an allotment of funds for the casino, restaurants and shops.
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?)
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