Faulk County Record
Common Sense Manufacturing has now moved its headquarters to a new building just off Highway 45 between Faulkton and Cresbard.
“This building was two years in the planning,” Melius said. “We just moved in about a month ago and we’re loving it. We needed the space, there was no question that we had to expand from the shop on my homestead.Every time we needed to make something different we had to spend time putting stock and equipment into storage, and getting out the stock and equipment we’d need to make something else. With this building, everything has its place, every place has it’s own workstation, and things can get done very efficiently.”
“There is also the issue of our power need, I needed to install three-phase power, and running that kind of power out to the farm just wasn’t feasible,” Melius explained. “Also the township road we live on was never meant to have that many heavy trucks go up and down it day in and day out. And snow removal during the winter, well winter time is our peak production time, but when you spend six hours of the day clearing snow out so that your guys can come to work, well that just puts more pressure on everything. And unloading all that steel stock . . . we had a lot of logistical problems at the home place that simply won’t be a problem anymore.”
This new complex is huge. Really huge. Fully loaded semi’s can drive inside and with the use of three bridge cranes, freight can be hauled anywhere in the building. Also, finished Common Sense products can be loaded directly from the manufactory floor and shipped out. Several work stations have gotten upgraded equipment that can bend and cut steel to programmable lengths and measures. In short, everything on the production floor can be done more safely and efficiently.
“Also our air filtration system is top notch,” Melius said. “The OSHA standard for welding is that air should be completely recycled every ten hours. Ours does it every five.”
The new building includes a new employee break room with kitchen and showers.
“It can be dirty work that we do, and sometimes our truckers make long hauls, so if they need a shower we want it to be there for them,” Melius said.
There are multiple bathrooms along the facility, as well as a new suite of offices.
“We designed it to have a spare office originally, but our solar division became so popular that I hired Wayne Vincent as our full-time sales rep for everything solar,” he said. “We’ve just moved in and we’ve pretty well filled up all of our space, and I could honestly use one more production bay,” Melius said with a laugh.
As Common Sense has more time to settle in at their new location, Melius said that he plans to add more concrete for parking as well as landscaping and creating display copies of every product Common Sense makes and sells out on display along the highway.
“There are still folks who don’t know what it is exactly that we do, and this coming Friday is the time to find out. Our peak production time is during the winter; we work like mad from Labor Day until May and have anywhere from 10-18 employees working for us at any given time.
Lots of our guys farm or do other seasonal work in the summer months. It’s an interesting dynamic. I’m hoping a lot of our guys and a lot of local folks will come around for the open house so that people can get an idea of what it is we do. We’ve already been giving a lot of tours out here and people are welcome to come on out and see us.”
Learn more about the history of Common Sense Manufacturing and Kelly Melius’ involvement as a Dakota Rising entrepreneur in these stories previously covered by Dakotafire.