Redemptive business is restoring broken relationships and systems where each person more fully sees themselves as an image bearer who is reflecting the image of God in their work and communities, where businesspeople are answering God’s call to seek reconciliation and redemption in every sphere (in relationship with God, self, others, and Creation). During the 2022 Global Summit week, we had the opportunity, along with other Summit attendees, to be part of one of the business field trips. We visited The DECC Company, a coating applicator company in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
DECC is a second-generation family-owned business that Fred Mellema is currently leading. Fred is a friend and supporter of PW; he even participated as a judge for one of the PW business pitch competitions. DECC is well known for its quality service, which has seen the company winning various awards, including being named “one of the Top Finishing Shops in the US” by Products Finishing Magazine. However, customer service is not the only aspect of business DECC cares about. They value their employees just as much! There are so many redemptive business elements about DECC to share, but we will keep it to two points: think big and provide quality service.
During our tour of DECC, we spoke a lot about business practices, and Fred also walked us through the facility and explained to us in detail the work they do while showing us their various processes. It’s hard to summarize the conversations we had during this tour, but something that came up constantly was “think BIG.” When you look at how DECC started and where they are now, it’s encouraging. It shows you the power of dreams. Therefore, whether we are operating a business in a developing or developed economy, we should always be positive and think big because if we think small, our efforts will also be small. Redemptive business is about restoring systems and broken relationships, which means being committed to creating opportunities that transform the lives of employees, customers, and the community/society at large. In the image below, you can see the two-dumbbell looking metal pieces. It was from those mental pieces that DECC started and grew, and now those metal pieces are part of the reason why DECC has been able to transform the lives of its employees and the community at large. It is safe to say that DECC has answered someone’s prayer. Read more about DECC’s story here.
As much as DECC’s story is interesting, we believe that the fascinating aspects of their work are the quality of their service and how they treat and serve their employees. We enjoyed walking around the facility and seeing Fred waving at his employees and the authenticity in their conversations. During this tour, it was easy to see that the employees were made to feel as important as every other aspect of the business. They are why DECC’s customers are always satisfied with their products. In addition, it was amazing to see how the workforce was made up of different demographics and nationalities, many of whom had to flee their countries due to political unrest. But this is what redemptive business is all about: restoring broken relationships and systems and businesspeople answering God’s call to seek reconciliation and redemption in every sphere (in relationship with God, self, others, and Creation). In an industry with a lot of competition, it’s the little things (such as quality service/products) that separate you from your competition, and for DECC the workforce and customer service give them the edge in the industry.
Visiting DECC was a fantastic experience for us all. One of the attendees sent an email that said, “We thank you for organizing such a wonderful field trip. It was worth every minute and the lessons learnt were simply transformative.” As each light continues to march up the hill, we pray that more businesses like DECC continue to rise so that by the time we get to 2030, we will all meet at the summit and be the lights on a hill.
About the author:
Bill Munyaradzi Muchero serves as the Global Operations Team Assistant at Partners Worldwide. Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, Bill came to the United States to pursue a degree in business. He studied International Business at Cornerstone University (CU) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and served as an intern at PW during his final semester at CU. After graduating in May 2022, he started doing his Optical Practical Training with PW. This program allows international students to work and apply what they learned in school in the real world.