When veteran, encore entrepreneur Dick Webb acquired Pierce Industries back in 2003, he knew that in order to survive he needed to re-establish his company’s customer base.
Twelve years later, the Rochester-based manufacturing company is providing its customers with custom manufacturing and services. “We specialize in inertia welding, cylindrical roll forming, core manufacturing & remanufacturing, said Webb. “Our services to various industries include printers, copiers, aerospace, medical equipment, and mining.”
The company takes a customer driven approach with a history dating back to 1968. “When I acquired Pierce Industries it was clearly a turnaround situation,” said Webb. “With a sound capital structure in place supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, I was able to concentrate on building a sound foundation for growth.”
Pierce Industries got off the ground in 2007 with the help of the SBA’s Buffalo District Office. The company received two SBA loans in 2007, a line of credit in 2009 and an SBA Patriot Express loan in 2011 for a new piece of equipment.
“Refinancing the existing debt and the SBA assistance received during the recesssion allowed us to change capitalization while growing our customer base. It was critical to the success we enjoy today.” said Webb.
Thanks to the financing that Pierce Industries has received from the SBA, the company now operates in a 60,000 square foot facility with room for expansion. The relocation in 2006 allowed for the implementation of lean manufacturing concepts that was designed by Pierce for better manufacturing efficiency. Webb stated, “the move was costly and disruptive, but the capital structure in place supported by SBA made it possible for this to happen.”
“Encore Entrepreneurs over the age of 50 are one of the fastest growing groups of new business owners,” said SBA Buffalo District Director Franklin Sciortino. Recent research tells us that one in four Americans between the ages 44 and 70 are interested in starting their own business venture within the next five to ten years. Dick Webb did just that and became an encore entrepreneur by acquiring Pierce Industries at the age of 62. He was able to succeed because he utilized his knowledge and the experience he gained throughout his career in which he acquired and sold several businesses. This combined with his Masters in Finance from Columbia University make him the ideal encore entrepreneur.”
“At Pierce we are all about innovation and reducing raw material costs for out clients by eliminating waste and cycle time,” said Webb. “It’s what separates us from our competitors. Our goal is to design parts with a 1:1 ratio of raw material mass to finished part. It’s not all about making chips faster; it is also about eliminating waste. Our customers continue to save on raw material costs year after year. In a market where raw material costs continue to be volatile, Pierce is leading the way in fighting for its customers’ competitiveness.”
In addition to producing parts for various industries, the company’s inertia welding capability allows them to efficiently weld both similar and dissimilar metals. “The ability to weld dissimilar metals that typically cannot be joined through traditional welding processes allows customers greater design freedom,” said Webb. “Instead of manufacturing a component out of an expensive material, bimetal parts can be designed with the high cost material used in only the required locations. This can significantly reduce costs without decreasing the quality of the part.”
During these past few years, Pierce Industries has instituted lean manufacturing through two company segments, precision and remanufacturing, leading to increased customers and reduced customer costs.
“It’s more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep the ones you have,” said Webb. At Pierce, we continue to strive to be flexible and understand what our customers want. We certainly attribute our success to the SBA and Genesee Regional Bank for providing us with the financing needed to maintain our operations and customer growth.”
The SBA provides small business counseling and training through a variety of programs and resource partners. For more information, please contact your local SBA Buffalo district office at (716) 551-4301or visit us online at sba.gov.