More Demand Equals Expansion for Collis

By Clinton Herald Staff

To keep up with demand for a new product, Collis Inc. has expanded its manufacturing facilities into the building that formerly housed Air Vent.

Collis Inc. is in its second century of doing business in Clinton. During the first 100 years the primary commodity manufactured in Clinton was wire baskets and shelves for the refrigeration industry. Customers include Whirlpool (Amana) GE, Subzero, Viking, Electrolux and Dometic.

Over the years, refrigerator components have transitioned from wire shelves to glass shelves and from wire baskets to plastic baskets. To replace those sales, Collis found new customers and products to stay in business but many of their customers have moved plants to Mexico and the products Collis makes are going along with them.

To continue to stay in business, Collis formulated a plan to manufacture new products. The Collis team, with help from its parent company SSW Holding Company Inc., designed a glass shelf that retains spills. This shelf is built without a plastic edge like most glass refrigerator shelves and allows for more storage and a sleeker look.

Whirlpool/Amana were the first to order these shelves in late 2013. Since then, the sales growth has exceeded the current available capacity at Collis. This growth required them to look for an additional location for manufacturing.

Collis worked with the new owner of the former Air Vent building, Pete Clausen of Clausen Warehousing and Trucking, and is in the process of moving the glass-shelf business to this facility. Collis is working with all of the major home appliance customers to sell more glass shelves, and at the same time, working on several projects to build the core wire business.

Collis has added more than 100 jobs in the past 12 months, with an annual payroll in excess of $7 million.

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