Crane manufacturer Manitowoc announced that it would reduce headcount during 2016 to “rightsize” the newly independent Cranes business to increase operating efficiencies to meet current demand levels. The company plans to reduce staff in its Shady Grove, Pa., and Manitowoc, Wis., facilities, and will also carry out plant rationalizations and other cost optimization initiatives.

 “As we have communicated, this cycle has proven to be different from any other in recent past,” said Barry Pennypacker, president and CEO of the Manitowoc Co. “Since joining the company in late December, I have continued to outline a strategy that centers on our key stakeholders – customers, employees and shareholders. My goal is to create a culture that is driven by innovation and velocity at the core of every aspect of our business.

“Our business has great potential for growth and improved profitability. However, there are clear opportunities to improve near-term performance, while at the same time positioning the company to extend its industry leadership. The activities we are announcing today will further improve ouor margin profile, while ensuring agility in our response to customers’ needs. We will provide greater clarity on expected costs and savings as a result of these actions during our first quarter 2016 earnings call.”

On March 4, Manitowoc, successfully completed the spinoff of its wholly owned subsidiary Manitowoc Foodservice, which has started trading as a stand-alone company. Industry analysts believe the spinoff will benefit Manitowoc, enabling it to pursue growth more effectively in response to market conditions.

Manitowoc has been particularly hard-hit by the downturn in the oil-and-gas market.