After 25 years honing his skills as an expert machinist, Michael Rodd was ready to venture out on his own. In 2006, MCR Machine was born, a state-of-the-art machine shop specializing in manufacturing complex and difficult-to-machine parts accurately and on-time.
Because of Michael's outstanding reputation in the industry, business took off, and it wasn't long before Michael needed and wanted to grow. His plan was to increase space, add new equipment, and build an in-depth business infrastructure.
Michael turned to the University of Houston Small Business Development Center for help. SBDC Senior Business Advisor Lynn Billington worked with him to develop a path for growth -- covering business planning, the development of an internal roadmap, access to professional resources, market research, and evaluation of his financing needs. Lynn then brought in SBDC Senior Financial Advisor Orlando Saldana and together they helped Michael complete his loan application for the purchase of a new facility. In 2011, Michael made the leap ? purchasing a 10,000 square foot building, buying new machines, and hiring employees ? positioning his business for even greater growth.
Michael says "If you're thinking about starting a business, have just started or even been in business for years, you owe it to yourself and your business to allow the fine people at the SBDC help answer those questions you have? and you will have a ton of questions. It?s like having a well trusted business partner you can talk to about anything going on in your business and knowing that they have your best interests at heart!"
Lynn continues to work with Michael to promote his R&D resources and explore other markets for MCR's customized machining capabilities. Visit www.mcrmachine.com to learn more about the company and their dedication to machining quality.
Chris Clark and Guy Stone met in 2009 while working as employees for a large oil field services firm. With more than 30 years combined experience in well logging, Chris in sales and Guy in operations, the two realized they had the expertise to create their own company. And opportunity awaited in South Texas' booming oil and gas fields. There was just one thing they lacked - financing. A single truck with all the tools and technical equipment required costs nearly $1 million. "We knew we could do the work, but we needed help talking to the bankers," Stone said. They contacted the Del Mar College SBDC and Senior Business Advisor Mike North. In 2010, North began advising the duo, kick-starting their year-long planning process. With a plan and financials in hand, the owners sold a 30 percent equity interest in the company to private investors. Next, they approached Mutual of Omaha for a loan and were approved. By September 2011, C&S Wireline Services was open for business, providing cased-hole logging, perforating and pipe recovery services throughout South Texas. This fall, they plan to order an additional truck and a crane. Clark and Stone are opposites in every way, a fact they acknowledge with humor, but also view as a strength for their young business. "Chris is a city slicker," says Stone, a self-professed country boy. Said Clark, "I have the contacts in corporate sales. It was just a perfect fit." The partners latest challenge is keeping up with demand driven by the Eagle Ford Shale play. "It's phenomenal what's happening here in South Texas," said Stone.
Houston-based Vaughn Medical's tagline is "serving those who served our country." This service-disabled, veteran-owned small business provides quality products and services at competitive prices to the federal government. With the help of the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), a specialty center of the University of Houston Small Business Development Center Network, Vaughn Medical became the only minority-owned company in Southeast Texas to win a General Services Administration contract with the VA . Their five-year Federal Supply Schedule contract helps provide medical equipment and supplies to the VA.
PTA C consultant Deidra Sutton helped David Vaughn (company president and son of veteran and company founder John Vaughn), complete the application to win the Federal Supply Schedule contract, a paperwork- and time-intensive process. The award, a blanket purchase agreement contract to sell Auto Paps, Bi-Paps, C-Paps and accessories, keeps the company busy during tough economic times.
Vaughn Medical not only provides a quality product and service, they also go the extra mile for veteran patients, maintaining an inventory of old wheelchairs for the patients to use while they wait for the set-up, delivery, or repair of their own equipment.
Ron Chandler grew up in Wichita Falls and he has worked in the petroleum service business for 32 years, opening his own plant 12 years ago, Chandler Mfg., Inc. During 2010 he created "SuperTherm" - a Fluid Heating Service greatly helping the oil and natural gas industry here in the U.S. and globally. Chandler said that he has always tried to remain visionary about his business.
The technology SuperTherm uses has been a staple in the petroleum industry for many years. It holds two advantages over the competition, its patented process, self-service and meticulous craftsmanship. For years, water has been heated by propane. SuperThem devised and patented a diesel process which is less volatile, environmentally friendly and more efficient than propane. The water is heated to a high temperature in the coiled reservoirs within the mobile unit. It then flows into the wellhead, dissolving and breaking up the waxy buildup that stalls the pump jack. Then the drilling process can proceed normally. The extremely high temperature of the water allows these systems to be used in very cold climates.
Chandler has built and sold his units to companies located in the United Kingdom, Mexico, India, Canada, and extensively in the United States. Chandler Mfg. is a $7 million-a-year business. In its first full year SuperTherm grossed $9 million, with an expected growth to approximately $15 million by the end of 2012.
SuperTherm is currently representing Hess Corporation at drilling sites in North Dakota. Hess, although not as large as Exxon or Shell, is a major player in worldwide exploration and production of oil and natural gas.
Following a loss in 2002, Chandler consulted with the MSU SBDC during 2003. Later that year they sought assistance seeking financing to obtain and ship a unit to India. Their latest visit to the SBDC was during the fall of 2010 when they only had two SuperTherm units built. A new CFO was onboard and knew growth needed to be controlled and that financing needed to be in place because the team knew they were going to rock the oil and natural gas industry. The MSU SBDC consultants agree that it is very exciting and rewarding to work with a manufacturer and see them from early stage company to international recognition and respect in their industry.
Photo courtesy of Torin Halsey/Wichita Falls Times Record News.
Although based in land-locked Garland, Texas, Deep Sea Aquatics is an industry leader in "tailor-made aquariums." Founded by Daniel A. Engmark in 2006, the company manufactures both standard and custom glass aquariums. Thanks to the Risk Management Small Business Development Center of North Texas, Engmark's company is thriving.
After receiving an SBA loan at startup, Engmark was referred to the Risk Management SBDC, part of the North Texas Small Business Development Center Network. There, Director Bill Weddle advised the new business owner on external and internal risks, along with product pricing, supplier chain, resource allocation, and other decision risk factors.
When the recession hit, Engmark was ready with a plan and cash on hand. He decided that he was not going to lay off employees, and in fact, continued to hire, Weddle said. Engmark was able to buy needed equipment at big discounts. He purchased another aquarium manufacturer, doubling the size of his company, and then sold 30 percent to the largest aquarium manufacturer and distributor in Canada bringing in a true international partner.
With sales projections in excess of $1 million this year, Deep Sea Aquatics future is as big as the ocean.