When entering an elevator, people usually aren't captivated by the various buttons and symbols strown about the cabin. Logically, people are just looking to get to their floor destination.
However, the people at SCS Elevator Products Inc. often take a look at those markings. After all, it is their handiwork.
The Red Wing-based company specializes in making elevator Braille and signage, safety barricades, and push buttons. The firm is International Organization for Standardization certified.
Dave Muelken, the general manager of SCS, said it helps that the products they create are required, but the service they sell helps many.
The company was founded in the 1970s by Robley Cook, a visually impaired man who wanted to help others by creating Braille signs.
Cook passed away in 1983, with Donna Anderst purchasing the company in 1986. The company has continued the vision of Cook, creating a variety of different products over the years.
SCS uses plastic injection molding, die casting, and metal stamping to create their products. The company has 75 employees, with the work being incredibly "labor intensive," according to Muelken.
The signage isn't something that's easily stamped and mass produced. Rather, it takes many employees in different sections of the production floor in creating the signage. The details have to be perfect, not a letter or number off kilter.
The products the firm sells don't just stay around the community. Muelken estimated the company ships products out every week, with orders coming in frequently.
Muelken, along with Jamie Kells, who works in the marketing department, said their products are likely ones that are overlooked.
"No, because I think it's not a product that everyone uses," Kells said.
"I think they use it, but they take it for granted," Muelken added. "They go to St. James (Hotel), they get onto the elevator and push the fifth floor. They push a button."
But being overlooked isn't always the case. Shortly after 9/11, an SCS floor marker for the World Trade Center buildings was found in the rubble.
"It's pretty neat to think of where our products go and the people we're helping, when you talk about the World Trade Center, the children's hospitals ... it's pretty cool," Muelken said.
SCS has recently patented a panel of buttons that have a variety of colors as well. Muelken said they hope to continue to develop various types of buttons and symbols in elevators for many years to come.
Kells has been with the company for just a month, but has found the company is a warm and welcoming place to be.
"You can feel the culture is amazing," Kells said. "If you go out on the floor, everybody's happy and get along really well, working together to get the customer what they want."
Whether you want it in gold, bronze, plastic, or anything in between, SCS will have you covered.
So next time when you step in an elevator, take a look around. Maybe something shiny will catch your eye.