That’s how he’s known. Let’s just say the leader Scott Rysdon of Sioux Steel Company takes an atypical approach to successfully running his family-owned business. An approach that he jokes could leave people thinking his Board of Directors begins each meeting with a heartfelt “Koom-bay-yah.”
Rysdon assures me that his company, which provides progressive engineering solutions for grain storage and handling, isn’t a hippie fest. He says it is one that puts their customers, first. Sioux Steel’s slogan reads “Your complete satisfaction as a customer is our best advertisement” and Rysdon insists that’s the truth. If you go the extra mile for the customer, he says, the customer will reward your company with loyalty and dedication.
“Honestly, when people believe that they’re being served and you care about them, they turn around and care about your other employees and the customers,” Rysdon said.
He adds that the same principle applies to his employees.
“All I’m trying to do is tie them together in sort of a bond,” Rysdon said. “It’s not like we’re all wearing hemp clothing and sitting around burning incense, you know. But, we’re trying to tie people together in something more meaningful than just a job.”
And offer them more than just cash. Rysdon says he artfully melds a bonding atmosphere with a competitive edge in the market by complimenting average wages for his employees with more valuable “perks.”
“We try to keep those programs as competitive as we can,” Rysdon said. “We don’t pay the top wage. We don’t pay the lowest. We try to stay in that fifty percentile and then add from there things that add value to their lives that are more important than just dollars. You keep them working for more than money. That’s what I believe.”
Rysdon says his company is about more than just money too. Established in 1918, Sioux Steel has been operating for three quarters of a century. Rysdon says his company has met such lasting success because the company’s vision has remained focused on the long-term, not the quick buck. Instead of chasing after quarterly earnings, Rysdon says Sioux Steel continually focuses on offering its customers the progressive ag engineering solutions it promises by identifying consumers’ needs.
The competition might undercut Rysdon’s operation and sacrifice principles to get more sales in the short-run, but he runs on the “boy scout” mentality of integrity. His goal is to provide consumers quality service and operation that endures, while remaining competitive.
“We’re not going to roll over,” Rysdon says. “In my mind being a boy scout isn’t rolling over. You’ve got to be prepared and tie a different knot. And sometimes you’ve got to tie it pretty tight and make sure that you hit them hard, but at the same time there are certain areas we’re not going to compromise on.”
With a firm commitment to lifetime warranties and the pursuit of new opportunities, Rysdon sees no reason why Sioux Steel won’t maintain another era of lasting success.
And, maybe earns a full sash of merit badges along the way.