Diversification keeps company strong

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Reynoldsburg’s Dynalab Inc. is a model of central Ohio’s potential for manufacturing the future of technology close to home.

“We know we have good management, good associates and good customers, so we’re very optimistic about our future,” company founder and owner Gary James said.

“Manufacturing’s contribution to the economy is the creation of goods, which creates value. Without manufacturing, this country will have a very bleak future.”

James said current regulations and tax structures are a challenge to manufacturing in the U.S.

“We need the government to get out of the way and let us be creative,” he said. “Manufacturing is at a disadvantage because of the regulatory and tax structure, and if things don’t change, manufacturing businesses like ours won’t be here long term.”

But Dynalab remains successful even in a tough economy, James said.

That success is built on several basic principles.

“Our business model is a simple one: Provide a service that others need at a fair and reasonable price, treat customers and fellow associates with respect and in a way that any individual wants to be treated, and keep an open mind toward opportunity,” James said.
The company is diversified across three primary businesses, according to James.

• Dynalab Electronic Manufacturing Services makes electronic circuitry for a variety of uses, supplying components to several Fortune 500 firms around the world.

• Dynalab Test Systems is an industry leader, used primarily in the transportation industry worldwide for testing wiring harnesses and components used in vehicles.

• GPAX is a specialty packaging system for automatic manufacturing component feeders, allowing for the automation of manufacturing processes that use nonstandard-size components.

“We currently have a contract to build the smart (electric) meters,” James said. “We produce as many as 100,000 smart meters a month. Besides that, we produce about 225,000 printed circuit boards a month for other contracts.”

The smart meters, used by power companies such as American Electric Power in Ohio, allow for remote meter-reading, tracking usage statistics and disabling service remotely, something James said makes high-turnover properties easier to manage.

“When you consider, say, an apartment complex on campus that has new tenants every year or so, that’s a lot of billing changes and switching service on and off,” he said. “These meters allow AEP to do that remotely.”

Dynalab currently employs more than 250 people and sometimes reaches more than 300, depending on the workload, according to James.

“Part of our success is attracting and retaining good people,” he said. “Most of our management and many of our production people have been here 20-25 years.

“It gives me a lot of pride to know that I’m a product of the local school system, and I’m proud of how we give back to the community, supporting Angel Flight, STEM programs, youth basketball programs and other philanthropy.”

James said the STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and math) are important to preparing youths for future jobs and providing a workforce that enables entrepreneurs to choose central Ohio to set up businesses.

“The skill sets required to support our manufacturing are the very things that programs like STEM are providing,” James said.

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