Autotec Succeeds In Several Transitions
by Debbe Skutch
Sometimes one transition is not enough.Autotec has recently been through several.With succession to the next generation came changes in culture, focus of the company, family dynamics, family location, and management style.As founder, John Schuster has sold his company to his son-in-law, Thomas Ballay.The company, the family, and the changes they have made to successfullyenhance each other tell an inspiring story.
In 1971, John had a vision, much courage and just a little luck. He left his position with an engineering firm to act on his entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to design his own machines.He had only his mechanical engineering degree, two drawing boards, a partner, and no capital to speak of. The company now manufactures machinery, mainly in the packaging industry, for customers all over the country.
John:We became Autotec because the name Automated Technologies was not available.Our primary job was to design a machine related to the cassette industry. The design progressed very well but due to the large scope of the project and limited capital, the decision was made to pursue more conventional projects.We evolved into an engineeringservice and designed machinery to enhance automation. After time, I bought out my partner.Design was my forte and the jobs just kept on coming little by little. More…