Q. How did Rainier Precision get started, what was the seed?
A. Rainier Precision is a manufacturing company mostly known for it’s production of DRI-Z-AIR®, a non-electric dehumidifier which has been in the retail market for 73 years. Rainier Precision was founded by my grandparents, over 62 years ago. My background is in technology and distribution and my wife’s is in purchasing and accounting, so these skills translate well into running a manufacturing business here in the United States.
Q. What’s with the name? where did it come from?
A. Rainier Precision is named by my grandfather, who was the head guide on Mt. Rainier from 1933 to 1937. Precision is due to the precision we provide in our manufacturing operations. Originally a machine shop providing aerospace components, they expanded into thermal plastic injection molding in the 1950s and today that is our primary focus.
Q. How many employees?
A. We don’t provide specific company information due to the competitive nature of our industry. We relocated our existing employees to our new facility and have added people to our staff since moving here.
Q. What has been the success, opportunity over the last year?
A. Moving an entire manufacturing facility from Seattle to Redmond during record forest fires and a pandemic which shut everything down for a while made for some interesting problem-solving related to logistics and getting everyone where they needed to be on a schedule — while at the same time trying to preserve some sort of revenue stream cover our expense and keep our customers happy.
Q. What role did COVID play to help or hinder?
A. COVID hindered our ability to get things done according to our schedule. We started planning our move many years ago and had to make some last minute changes to schedules and our construction timeline due to the lack of resources at times. Thankfully, we are really good at solving problems and, while I will miss the intensity and scramble taking apart and putting together all the pieces of our manufacturing operations, we can now focus our energies in solving problems for our current customers and future customers here in Central Oregon.
Q. Looking forward, what is your prediction for 2021 for your business?
A. I wish we could see some sense of normal by the end of this summer, but I believe a real recovery will be many years away. I am seeing some supply chain issues for the next 12-24 months as factories determine how to best proceed in resuming normal operations in a safe manner. Prices for some supplies have dramatically changed which I believe will have to settle out at some point. This could mean some form of market correction if factories don’t resume output fast enough to meet demand. Also, the retail market environment has changed. Will this change endure? Only time will tell. •