“We have no cleaning people. We have no bosses. We don’t spend all of our time working. We watch the light, the birds and the sky,” says Ralph Skalleberg, entrepreneur and owner of the new 51.000 square foot Skaltek headquarters in Forsyth County. About 20 people work here daily (or all the night if they feel like it) in a space to accommodate up to 200.“We wait for thunderstorms to enjoy the show of lightning, swaying trees and torrents of rain on our 38 acres, 60% of which will never be developed,” Ralph adds.“We all work in large open spaces and we share ideas and tasks. We dress casually, so that we can think freely, do tough manual labor tasks, or even clean the bathrooms.”
What kind of business is going on in this new headquarters with a mindset like this? Skaltek’s niche is to build machines to package cable with the least possible packaging material and precise amounts of the cable itself. The idea is that customers pay less for their branding and minimize costs all along the supply chain. Skaltek machines in the showroom/teaching arena allow customers to test drive the latest designs, and learn how to operate most efficiently. Machines are conceived with a minimalist philosophy, operating at the lowest energy possible, yet running extremely fast.
Another dimension of Skaltek equipment is color, primarily blues and red, which Ralph has selected to optimize the experience of operating and being around the equipment. Even the grey floor of the showroom and assembly area has a calming effect. “My whole family has an art background, and we understand the potential of colors to impact the brain and the spirit.”
“We’re in the empowerment business, where each person fulfills their own dreams…and is very productive to satisfy our customers,” says Ralph with light in his eyes. “We like to think of ourselves as a model for others, who view success as a vehicle to support community and the environment. Of course, the bottom line matters.
Our current margins tells that story by itself.
Text by Martin Koepenick
SACC-GA Board Member