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2024 Family Biz Awards: Horst Engineering & Manufacturing Co.

Horst Engineering is a contract manufacturer of precision machined components for aerospace and other high-technology industries. Its core processes include Swiss screw machining, turning, milling, grinding, thread rolling and assembly. It makes more than 3,000 unique parts for mission-critical systems, helping people fly safely.

Tell us about your recent accomplishments.

We persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic and are still feeling the effects of its disproportionate impact on the commercial aviation industry. The people, supply chain and inflationary challenges are ongoing, but we have learned much from the experience.

Since 2019, we have acquired a 50-year-old building, executed a massive renovation, and created a state-of-the-art factory. Our subsequent move and consolidation from four smaller buildings were hard, but they positioned us for future opportunities.

Prior to the pandemic, most of our business came from the aerospace and defense sectors. We have worked hard to diversify and now make ultraprecision components and tooling for other industries.

What are your family values and how do they contribute to your business success?

We have five core values: Team HORST, responsiveness, precision, skillfulness and perseverance. As a family-owned business, we didn’t have to work hard to develop these. When you have been around for three generations, you have experienced many business cycles.

Long-term thinking comes naturally, and that benefits the innovation required to be an advanced manufacturer.

Where do you see your business in the next five years?

We are focusing on our industry diversification effort while still growing our main aerospace hardware business. We have room for growth at our factory and will consider partnering with customers and companies who share our values and desire to grow.

Do you have a business succession plan?

Our business depends on a dedicated group of non-family managers, and we are always thinking about the future. We have many longtime team members who are like family, so succession is not just about ownership.

In our family, we foster entrepreneurial thinking and education at an early age. This will help us when the succession picture becomes clearer.

Click here to see the rest of the 2024 Family Business Award Honorees

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