Clickstop Donates Webbing for Children’s Library Bags

Last month, Clickstop donated extra materials to a children’s library program in Banks County, Georgia. Leftover webbing, used to make ratchet straps, will be repurposed to create handles on library bags that will be given to children who receive a new library card or visit the library for the first time.

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Clickstop owns and operates several brands that serve diverse markets. Banks County Public Library approached Clickstop’s flagship brand US Cargo Control about the possibility of donating extra webbing the brand uses to manufacture straps and other tie down equipment for the trucking and transportation industry. Company leaders felt it would be a missed opportunity not to help.

“The webbing we donated was leftover from the manufacturing process,” Clickstop Chief Culture Officer Jim Mayhew explained. “Why wouldn’t we donate it to a program that is helping children learn to read? Those materials could have easily been wasted.”

Employees in the company’s manufacturing department custom cut the webbing to the size needed for the bags. Clickstop then shipped enough vibrantly colored pieces to create handles for 50 bags.

The bags will be assembled by a group of seniors who belong to a church sewing club in the Banks County community. All materials for the bags are donated, mostly by generous community members. Though over time, program leaders began to worry they may not be able to keep creating the library bags because of the cost of materials, especially the webbing for the handles.

That’s when Banks County Public Library Manager Stacy Krumnow went online and began asking companies to donate scrap materials. Very few responded, but then she found Clickstop.

“We are so excited and thankful,” Krumnow said. “If it helps one child boosts his or her confidence to love to read then Clickstop has made a difference in the future of that child and our community.”

Just this summer alone the library has distributed 50 reading bags to kids. The library also provides tutoring and lunch programs for children in the community, and works closely with the school district that serves about 2,600 students in the area.

Clickstop takes pride in its philanthropic culture. For years the company has supported its own local, eastern Iowa community in the form of fundraisers, clean-up events and family sponsorship. That passion pushed the company to think big and develop its own non-profit organization, Clickstop Cares, which supports underprivileged children and families in the surrounding area.

“The desire to help others is a core value and essential part of our identity as a company,” Mayhew said. “At Clickstop, we expect greatness in ourselves and work to inspire it in others.”

Thinking Big and Making it Happen

Thinking Big and Making it Happen

CoreValuesSignage-Manufacturing_Page_2One of the first things visitors to Clickstop’s office see is the company’s mission statement. It’s displayed on a monitor just inside the front entrance, along with the six core values that guide the growing business.

The mission statement is unlike most in that it doesn’t speak to quality, service or any other traditional business buzzwords. Instead, it’s about its employees: “To create a business that is sustainable, enjoyable, and provides opportunity for those seeking it.” That’s because the company’s leadership team knows the success of the business starts with employees who enjoy their job and look for opportunities to better themselves and the company.

Clickstop was founded by CEO Tim Guenther in 2005 when he began selling ratchet straps and other cargo control merchandise on what has now become the company’s flagship brand, USCargoControl.com. The company now also operates five additional brands from its Urbana location. Products range from tie down straps (USCargoControl.com) and fasteners (FastenersPlus.com) to insulation (EcoFoil.com) and plastic storage boxes (JustPlasticBoxes.com and SpaceSavers.com).

“While we began as an E-commerce business, we’re much more than that now,” says Guenther. “We’re different in that we also focus on building relationships with our customers. We have the websites for ease of ordering, but we also have a sales team ready to serve our growing business-to-business customer base. We’re excited about adding more capabilities to our operations. We’ll be adding things that meet our customer’s needs while supporting our Mission Statement through the creation of opportunity.”

As with the company’s mission statement, its core values also focus on empowering employees. One of those- “Be Adventurous! Embrace & Drive Change” is evident in the growth the company continues to experience. While new businesses often achieve quick growth in a short period of time and then level off, Clickstop has managed to make the Fastest Growing Companies list six times in just seven years, a feat no other area company has done.

Driving change is a constant at the company: in 2011 the business and its 34 employees moved into its new offices near the Hwy 150/I-380 interchange. Less than two years later, a warehouse expansion added another 43,000-square feet to the building which allowed for the company to create a light CoreValuesSignage-Manufacturing_Page_3manufacturing department for its US Cargo Control brand.

The changes in that area of the company are remarkable, even by Clickstop standards. In 2013, just a few employees and sewing machines made up the department, sewing ratchet straps. Today, over 40 employees make up the department, which includes a growing second shift to handle the increasing number of orders. Clickstop now has nearly 120 full- and part-time employees at its Urbana office and there is talk of another building expansion on the horizon.

With the all of the growth and changes taking place, Clickstop’s Chief Culture Officer, Jim Mayhew, says it critical that the core values that drive the company are woven into each department, every day.

“One of our favorite core values here is ‘Expect Greatness in Yourself & Inspire It in Others’ because it embodies what we really do strive for every day. Greatness isn’t a destination; it’s a journey to consistently improve. Clickstop inspires excellence in each person and the results of this are reflected in our growth.”

This article first appeared in the Corridor Business Journal on May 25, 2015.

 

Clickstop Recognized as One of the Coolest Companies in the Corridor (Again!)

Clickstop received recognition as one of the coolest employers in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids business corridor. This year, it ranked fourth on the large category list of Coolest Places to Work compiled by the Corridor Business Journal (CBJ).

Clickstop is one of only two companies to place on the list three years in a row. Clickstop won the mid-size company category in 2013 before topping the list as the overall coolest company last year. Growth over the last year bumped the company into the large-sized categories, which ranked businesses with 100+ employees.

Clickstop CEO Tim Guenther accepted this year’s award along with his family and several employees Tuesday, June 16 during a breakfast at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Cedar Rapids.

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The 24 companies featured were recognized for creating some of the most engaging and rewarding work environments in eastern Iowa. Employee responses to a satisfaction survey helped the judges assemble the list.

“This award is especially meaningful to us because it’s based on honest responses from our employees,” Guenther said. “We want our employees to work hard, but we also want them to be happy.”

Clickstop owns and operates several brands out of its two facilities in Urbana, Iowa. The company serves diverse markets ranging from the cargo control and moving industries to energy efficient insulation, fasteners and plastic storage containers. The company began manufacturing tie downs and other cargo control equipment for its flagship brand US Cargo Control several years ago.  Since then, the brand has flourished.

The company’s rapid growth trend has continued into 2015 as well. It recently announced plans for a multimillion dollar expansion that will bring an estimated 100 new jobs to the area. The new expansion is being driven by the company’s growing manufacturing sector. Officials expect to break ground on the project in the fall.

“A lot of great things are happening at Clickstop, and our award-winning culture has helped spur our growth,” Guenther said.  “We’re excited to see what the future holds.”

During the Coolest Places to Work banquet Clickstop showed a fun video. Watch below.

Video by Amy Hummel

Clickstop Unveils Plans for $6M Company Expansion

This week, Clickstop announced plans for a multi-million dollar expansion that will bring an estimated 100 new jobs to the area by the end of 2018.

Company Founder and CEO Tim Guenther unveiled his preliminary plans when Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham came to tour the Urbana based company on Wednesday, June 17. Durham visited Benton County as part of a local economic event hosted by the Benton Development Group. Her visit to Clickstop was just one stop as she sought to better understand the needs of businesses in rural Iowa.

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Clickstop owns and operates several brands out of at its two facilities in Urbana. The company serves diverse markets ranging from the moving and cargo control industries (uscargocontrol.com), to energy efficient insulation (ecofoil.com), fasteners (fastenersplus.com) and home storage solutions (spacesavers.com & justplasticboxes.com).

Clickstop is experiencing rapid growth. This is the company’s second building expansion since opening its Blue Creek Drive office in 2011. In the past decade, Clickstop has surged from a handful of employees to more than 120. Two years ago, the company began manufacturing tie-down products for its flagship brand US Cargo Control. Since then, the brand’s customer base, product lines and manufacturing sector have boomed.

Recent Iowa Workforce Development numbers show a decline of 3,200 manufacturing positions from March to April of this year. Clickstop is bucking that trend as it added a second manufacturing shift in January 2015 and is still hiring to date. With plans to break ground on the 53,080 sq. ft. expansion in September, the company’s capabilities will increase with a larger office, manufacturing space and room for additional employees. About half of the projected jobs added will work in manufacturing.

“We are extremely fortunate to have experienced such success in a short amount of time and we know our location in Urbana and the resources available here have helped us along the way,” Guenther said. “This announcement is positive for Clickstop, our local communities and Iowa’s economy.”

Watch the video below to see the announcement made by Clickstop Founder & CEO Tim Guenther.

Video by Amy Hummel

Lunch While You Learn or As We Say Lunch-N-Learn

Lunch-N-Learn.   That may be a new term to you – unless you work at Clickstop.

Lunch-N-Learn events are just what they sound like. Grab your lunch, sit among your co-workers and learn about a subject, hobby or organization that sparks your interest.

Clickstop makes it a priority to give employees opportunities to grow professionally and personally. Lunch-N-Learn sessions are one of many resources available to educate employees about activities and organizations available outside of work. Guests have included medical experts on stress management and digestion to organizations like Junior Achievement, and today’s speaker, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Clickstop has also invited its own employees to talk and teach about their passions. Sara loves to garden and taught us how to grow plants and vegetables. As a result, Clickstop planted a garden on site. Joe is always up for a game of disc golf and wanted to share his knowledge of the sport with his coworkers. Now, Clickstop has a disc chain set on company grounds were workers can enjoy the fresh air and a little competition during their breaks. I have even taken advantage of this opportunity. I talked to the company about an event near and dear to me – RAGBRAI. My co-workers learned about training methods and what to expect during the hot, summer bicycle ride that takes you across the state of Iowa.

This program is great because it opens people up to new opportunities.  All you have to do is eat your lunch and listen – it really doesn’t get much easier than that.

— By Amy Hummel, Clickstop Employee

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