Tipp company to expand after rough go in recession
By Marc Katz Staff Writer – Dayton Daily News
TIPP CITY — Process Equipment Co., a local machining and engineering company, is bouncing back from a severe downturn with plans to triple sales and hire more than 300 employees within the next five years.
In 2008, the company achieved record sales of about $40 million and had 220 employees. A year later, after the recession hit and General Motors Corp. prepared to leave town, PECo’s sales fell to $17 million, while its workforce slumped to 100.
“Well, we had a hard time,” said Chief Executive Bill Rosenberg. “We had a lot of fixed costs and we had a lot of red ink.”
Last year, former investment banker Albert Naggar bought the company and used his funds to eliminate $11 million in debt.
A management change (and change of philosophy) bumped company sales to $26.5 million last year. This year’s projection is $32 million in sales, Rosenberg said. Employment has grown to 152 so far this year.
The goal is annual sales of $100 million and 500 employees by the end of 2017.
To reach those goals, the company purchased 150,000 square feet of nearby manufacturing space in Huber Heights on National Road and has committed $6 million in property and $16 million in new machinery. The original manufacturing space has already expanded from 56,000 to about 257,000 square feet.
What dragged the company down was too many salaried employees, while the company relied on its reputation rather than maintaining a website and looking for customers. PECo has had a director of marketing for only three years.
Founded in 1946, cars parts grew to represent 40 percent of the company’s sales by the time the recession hit. That hurt the company, officials said.
Now the company’s customer base is broader. PECo provides gear products, equipment and machining to 300 companies.
Rosenberg says he “wants to go deeper” with their 15 top customers, which provide about 85 percent of the sales revenue.
As he scanned his list of customers, Rosenberg said, “five of our top 15 were not with us in 2008. And they’re all non-automotive.”