Putting the “Custom” in Customer

The Weekly Report – March 20, 2023
Faribault-based Trystar fills a gap in the electrical power industry by offering customized solutions when the grid needs a boost.

A less reliable electrical grid, combined with an increased need for dependable power for special events and sensitive industries, has created a market for businesses that can keep the power on.

In the current issue of Enterprise Minnesota® magazine, writer Amanda Dyslin profiles Trystar, a Faribault-based company that does just that, providing solutions to back up, augment, and–in the case of natural disasters–replace power from the standard electrical grid.

Serving the construction, health, special events, health care, data, and utility sectors, Trystar has carved a niche in the market by offering individualized solutions. “We’re a custom-solutions provider for the electrical power industry, which is billions of dollars big,” says Trystar CEO Andrew J. (AJ) Smith.

“Most within our industry have made it their business model to create thousands of the same thing over and over again, and they’re not willing to customize the product,” Smith says. But with electrical grid issues, each situation is different, and that’s where Trystar has filled a gap.

Demand for Trystar’s equipment and services has grown exponentially as the power grid has become increasingly overworked. “We will end 2022 at about 2.5 times the size we were just a few years ago,” says Smith.

Its rapid growth has come with challenges. Trystar has added tens of thousands of square feet to its facilities in recent years. At the same time, demand for employees has exploded. There are 200 employees in Faribault and more than 100 others at the company’s other locations. The need for new hires has increased 20-30% each year, says Trystar’s human resources director Vanel Sanchez.

To help shape the company’s future leaders, Trystar began working with Enterprise Minnesota business growth consultant Abbey Hellickson in the spring of 2022. Sessions with the company’s current and emerging leaders have covered communication styles and employee communication techniques.

“We wanted to give them a common language in leadership roles,” Hellickson says.

Trystar’s approach is to develop its current talent. “Because we have such great employees, the best thing we can do is train them to advance within the company,” Smith says. “We also want a consistent set of tools and management philosophies.”

In an industry that is pressed for labor, Trystar’s reputation for a family-like culture, where employees help each other and rally around to serve the customer, has helped it attract new hires. “Most of the time, your best recruitment and staffing comes from networks of your employees, and the environment we’ve created has allowed us to do better than most,” Smith says.

Read more about Trystar in the current issue of Enterprise Minnesota® magazine.

WIDSETH architecture and engineeringUpcoming Events

Enterprise Minnesota has manufacturing workshops and events coming up. Learn more and register on our Events page.

Industry News

Some manufacturers finally get break from rising prices. Are consumers next?
March 17, Star Tribune

A Minnesota nonprofit proposes facility to make chemicals from corn, sugar beets, even dandelions
March 15, Star Tribune

Introducing: First modular hotel in MN is being built in Owatonna
March 15, KDHLradio.com

Gray Tools adds Minnesota warehouse in Brooklyn Park
March 14, Industrial Distribution

More Minnesota companies join plastic film recycling effort
March 14, Star Tribune