Joseph A. Sedlak, who became known in apparel manufacturing and distribution by combining facility design and technology to help customers achieve higher efficiencies, passed away September 9th at the age of 90.
A Cleveland, Ohio, native, Sedlak was 35 years old when he made the leap to entrepreneur. Initially, he taught industrial engineering courses at Fenn Engineering College (now part of Cleveland State University) and John Carroll University. Employment with leading Cleveland-based manufacturing firms—National Screw and Manufacturing Co., Picker X-Ray, and apparel manufacturer, Bobbie Brooks—contributed to his engineering competence. But it was Sedlak’s work at Bobbie Brooks where he developed a reputation for innovative garment handling systems and creative warehouse designs. With that reputation he founded Joseph A. Sedlak Management Consultants, Inc. in 1958 and established one of the earliest consultancies in the material handling and warehouse industry.
Success came quickly, aided by his relationship with Rapistan Conveyor. His frequent visits to Rapistan and close relationship with its founder further developed his understanding of material handling system applications, leading to Sedlak’s development of high-speed unit sortation systems for his firm’s growing client base of cataloguers and specialty retailers.
Now in its 55th year, Sedlak Management Consultants, Inc. remains privately owned by second-generation family—Sedlak’s son-in-law, Jeffrey Graves, and sons, Ned Sedlak and Patrick Sedlak.