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Last Update: Monday September 20, 2021

Key Idea: Listen to the Next Generation

Joe Glenn helped to reinvent the company his grandfather started and now it is positioned for growth in the old-fashioned business of metal spinning.

Key Question:


Respect them and listen to their ideas.

Q:  What did Joe propose that has turned out to put the company on competitive footing?

A:  He said they had to get rid of over 100 customers by changing their product line.  Joe determined that making lots of little products for lots of customers kept them vulnerable.  By re-tooling and focusing on spinning metal into very large and very heavy parts, Glenn Metalcraft carved out a niche where they have nearly no competition.

Think about it

Do you respect the younger generation?  Do you hire young people then give them a chance to help you strategically?

Clip from: Glenn Metalcraft, Inc

Princeton, Minnesota:  Visit a heavy metal shop where making it in America means making huge metal parts for trucks, tractors, and heavy equipment.

In this video, you will meet two generations of the Glenn family and take a quick walk around their business, Glenn Metalcraft.  Pictured here is the grandson of the founder and today's CEO of the business, Joe Glenn.  You'll also meet Joe's spirited Mom, Ginger. 

In 1983 Ginger and Dennis Glenn formally bought the business from Joe's grandfather who started it all in 1945. However, when Dennis died 2005, there was a huge sense of loss and both of them at times felt quite alone without their favorite friend and strong hand.

But, Joe has squarely picked up the reigns.  He has analyzed both the local and the global competition, he's made some straegic decisions, and the company has narrowed its focus and it has flourished in tough times.

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Glenn Metalcraft, Inc.

Joe Glenn, President

1502 South 14th Street
P.O. Box 446
Princeton, MN 55371
800 388 5355

Visit our web site:

Office: 800 388 5355

Business Classification:

Year Founded:

Listen to the Next Generation

GINGER GLENN:  Spinning is magic. 

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Ginger Glenn owns Glenn Metalcraft located in Princeton, Minnesota and soon her son Joe will buy the 30-employee business from her.

GINGER:  We do metal spinning and it’s a very unique process of forming metal over a pattern on a lathe.  It is literally magic.  The metal forms before your very eyes.  It’s so unique that there are only 70 or 80 in the United States of America.

Glenn Metalcraft was founded by Joe’s grandfather in 1945.  In 1983 his parents, Ginger and Dennis Glenn, bought the business.  It makes metal parts for customers like CNH Global, Heil Trailer and John Deere.

GINGER: There’s been lonely times. There’s been hard times.  Even now. This recent threat of offshore. We’ve been through tough times and somehow we sort of buck up and put our shoulders together and we march forward and this time truly this marching forward has been done by Joe and Joe Roberts.

JOE: A key point was the business plan that Joe Roberts and I put together six years ago now and migrating towards heavier gauge, larger diameter parts. And expanding in that niche was probably the main reason that we were shielded with a lot of the out sourcing that’s been going on in manufacturing.  Some of our parts are 200-300 pounds a piece and shipping them overseas is quite difficult.

JOE:   We did divest of about 100 customers in that process that did not fit the business plan.  The parts are large, thick. High strength alloys are difficult to push. And there was a lot of learning curve in developing processes. You’ll see that we are flooding with coolant in the spin forming machine and we are the only company that I know of that’s doing that.  The creation of this niche is what has kept us alive and thriving.

JOE:   The company’s going to be here because of that vision and focus and dedication to the customer.  The employees are very involved in our success and  are exciting about the future.  

GINGER:   If you really want a good team your job is to find out what’s special about each person and let them shine. 

JOE: Change is a constant and we’re willing to embrace it and they look for the opportunity in it. I think the reason for our success is that we have been able to adapt to market conditions and cater our services to meet the needs of our customers which is changing constantly which forces us to evolve our processes and techniques so that we can continue to be here 60 years from now.

GINGER:  For a series of months now we’ve had to buy a lot of pizzas and have a lot of parties to celebrate new record month billings. It’s thrilling to see everyone reap the reward.

JOE: In years past I used to go to my Dad for help. Who passed away in October of 2005. 

GINGER: I do think there are slow learnings and there are crash courses. I believe losing his Dad was a crash course. 

JOE: We spent all of my 35 years together and ten years very close inside the company and I learned a lot from him.  I am who I am today because of him.
GINGER:  Joe knows this business. He has worked here enough years that he has learned.  Now he goes to the cemetery. We don’t have a monument yet but we have a bench.  We all go consult. I think Glen Metalcraft is going to be in great hands and that’s exciting. 

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