A lesson many successful Macomb County companies learned during the Great Recession is the necessity of diversifying products or services to reach new markets. The 5th Annual Macomb Business Awards Feb. 14 is honoring 16 area businesses that have done just that. Here are the nominees for 2017 Diversification Leader:
Advancing Macomb (Mount Clemens)
Advancing Macomb is a business and community leadership group representing 20 leading employers, three principal business organizations and the largest higher educational institution in Macomb County. The organization is committed to improving local communities by leveraging a unified civic leadership voice throughout the Detroit region. Their vision is to enhance the quality of life for Macomb County communities, add value to the lives of residents and create an enriching environment to live, learn, recreate, innovate and conduct business. By bringing together and collaborating with diverse organizations, Advancing Macomb is able to accomplish great efforts in the county.
Argentine Tango Detroit (Utica)
ATD is the heart and soul of the historical downtown Utica area. They bring together a diverse culture of like-minded people who love the sport of dancing. With U.S. champions for more than 15 years, ATD has been building an exceptional reputation in the state of Michigan. The studio has top specialists in many popular dance styles including salsa, ballroom, club-style Latin and swing dancing. They are considered the go-to place for training on all levels.
Baker Industries (Macomb Township)
Still privately owned by the Baker family, Baker Industries has been in business for 24 years as a tier one and tier two supplier for automotive and aerospace industries. They began as a duplicating company and have evolved over the years to become a premier tooling and machining shop. With the goal of encompassing all the capabilities that their customers could wish for in a supplier, today Baker has expanded to include machining, fabrication, injection molding, tooling, 3-D printing, project management and quality assurance. With the addition of a 3-D printer, they have entered new markets including medical, agriculture, appliances, energy and defense.
Bartec USA, LLC (Sterling Heights)
Headquartered in Sterling Heights since 2004, Bartec has been at the forefront of diagnostic repair tools for the tire service and repair industry. The company began as a small supplier of electronic equipment, but has expanded over the years to supply programming equipment for tire pressure monitoring systems to nearly all of the major automotive OEs. Bartec creates innovative diagnostic tool solutions for both OE dealerships and the aftermarket service industry alike. Today, Bartec tools feature advance programming capability, wireless data transfer and Wi-Fi updating. Through acquisition and organic growth, Bartec continues to increase their range of products.
Carlson-Dimond & Wright, Inc. (Chesterfield Township)
Carlson-Dimond & Wright is an industrial distributor and manufacturer of rotating equipment such as industrial motors, gearboxes, clutches, brakes, actuators, bearings and conveyors. Their customers are OEMs and consumers including power plants, aggregate companies and wastewater treatment plants. The company realized the potential to grow sales by entering the auto wash industry as an equipment and parts supplier. They created and produced a line specific to the needs of auto washes and built a website targeting this industry, autowashparts.com. They invested engineering hours to design and make improvements to commonly-purchased items and dedicated a sales engineer to lead this new successful sales initiative.
CBJ Transportation (Clinton Township)
CBJ Transportation is a luxury transportation company headquartered in Clinton Township. Their growing fleet of large and small vehicles includes limo and shuttle buses as well as executive mini coaches. They are focused on providing clients with a safe, courteous, dependable and high-quality transportation experience. Before starting CBJ Transportation, owner Jarred Cloin had a valet business, CBJ Valet. Cloin instinctively sought to meet the growing needs of his valet business and existing clients by expanding into shuttle services. Since entering this new market, clients range from local businesses and politicians to Fortune 500 companies and the Secret Service.
College Park Industries (Warren)
College Park is the prosthetics manufacturer that developed the world’s first multi-axial foot with anatomical motion, the Trustep. They have developed products to address a variety of unique requirements, from a heel-height adjustable foot to a high-impact foot worn by Paralympic athletes. Sales have significantly increased recently due to the launch of eight new products and distribution into 20 new countries. A new state-of-the-art education facility will open at their research and development technical center in Mount Clemens. This will offer hands-on training and observation, providing continued education for practitioners and leading to additional staffing and growth at College Park.
Duggan Manufacturing (Shelby Township)
Duggan is a producer of prototype metal stampings and welded assemblies for the automotive industry. They have been expanding services to include improved five-axis laser cutting and fiber optic-powered laser welding. They are also tapping into new markets through offering services to new industries, such as military, agriculture and aerospace, as well as reaching new geographical markets. They are working with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Pure Michigan and Automation Alley to expand exports to Mexico. They have also teamed up with their local Procurement Technical Assistance Center to learn how to access new opportunities through government programs for small business.
Consul General of Macedonia (Southfield)
The Consulate General of the Republic of Macedonia in Detroit is the diplomatic office of the government of the Republic of Macedonia and is responsible for 14 federal states in the United States of America. Sparking creativity, creating training programs and joint planning are among several steps they have taken in the past three years to promote and maintain their diversified workspace. They work with the large Macedonian diaspora and businesses located in Macomb County. By promoting and working with highly-diversified organizations, they are able to have successful projects both with Macedonian diaspora and businesses and international organizations.
I.F. Metalworks (Roseville)
Established in 2002, I.F. Metalworks is a woman-owned machining and welding company that offers a diverse range of products including industrial tools and tooling for a variety of applications, commercial merchandising displays and top-quality architectural/ornamental metalwork. With 15 employees, they are always willing to take on students to teach them the art of welding. They have outgrown their facility once and are on the verge of doing it again. Their rapid growth is due to their reputation, delivery and service. I.F. Metalworks caters to automotive, defense, architectural, industrial and motion picture industries. In addition to training future welders, they also support the veteran community.
Michigan Business Consultants Training and Development LLC (Armada)
MBC provides talent management in areas of leadership development and training, executive and team coaching, strategic facilitation, and human resources consulting to manufacturing, education, government, retail and health care industries. Growing to offer multiple leadership development series for executive leaders, mid-level leaders and front line supervisors has met the changing demands of clients. MBC worked with more than 6,500 leaders in 2016, expanded their outreach to new markets and increased revenue. MBC has added leadership assessments, blended coaching and team leadership development to provide unique customized approaches for individuals and teams to meet their specific goals and strategic initiatives.
National Bronze Mfg. Co. (Roseville)
National began 105 years ago in a modified horse stable as a bronze casting foundry mainly pouring molten metal castings for the automobile industry. Today, the company is one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of bronze-based products. Looking beyond the automotive industry, National was able to reach a much larger and more diversified customer base by utilizing the growing trend of digital marketing. Further embracing technology trends, they have recently expanded into the world of B2B e-commerce with the launch of two cutting-edge e-commerce websites. National is able to offer millennial customers purchasing platforms they are familiar using in their personal lives.
Paragon Technologies (Warren)
Paragon Technologies is a hydraulic, electronic, pneumatic, robotic, mechanical and servo motor repair job shop. They have diversified their repair and service lines to encompass the energy sector. In the past year, a newly-formed nuclear power plant actuator team has been established to drive expansion into this market. This has led to organic growth for the company and adds new industrial services to Macomb County. Customers include Siemens and Mitsubishi. Estimated growth for this new service line is 50 percent in 2017.
SME (Shelby Township)
Whether developing a new site, redeveloping an existing brownfield site, constructing or rehabilitating infrastructure or acquiring, rehabilitating or managing existing facilities, SME can help. SME has historically provided top-notch environmental, materials testing and geotechnical engineering services. They have generated significant growth through expanding their range of services and serving new markets. For example, SME played an integral role in developing Jimmy John’s Field in Utica. They contributed during the earliest conceptual phases of the park all the way through to opening day, going beyond their traditional services to provide civil design, pavement and economic incentive services that were critical to the project’s success.
SRC Refrigeration (Sterling Heights)
SRC has more than 36 years of experience manufacturing and selling top-quality, energy-efficient walk-in coolers, walk-in freezers, combo units and cold rooms. They also design and build the highest quality coolers/freezers, beverage coolers, beer caves and refrigeration systems for restaurants, convenience stores, bars, funeral homes, schools, breweries and floral shops. With their highly-advanced manufacturing equipment and innovative processes, SRC can quote, design, build and ship special orders of custom-designed refrigerators, display cases and freezers faster than anyone in the industry. They have used their expertise in refrigeration units to build a new product called Motor City Growler, a portable craft beer pouring station.
TransNav Technologies (New Baltimore)
Headquartered in New Baltimore and with production facilities and strategic partnerships around the world, TransNav is a family-owned plastic injection molding firm. This multi-nationally focused engineering, development and manufacturing organization has worked across many industries on nearly every continent. Constant innovation, a technology-based approach and a can-do attitude have cemented TransNav’s reputation as a reliable business partner. This firm has been molding plastics since 1981 and has since transitioned from a pure play automotive firm to commercial products used by the public, such as the plastic shopping carts seen at Target.
Caitlin Gerds-Habermas is an associate planner in Business Outreach and Communications for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.