SBA Was There Every Step of the Way for MDS Manufacturing, LLC

David & Michael Skaggs, MDS Manufacturing LLC

Fed a baby with a bottle or offered them a pacifier? Used a trigger lock on your handgun? Displayed a collectible or protected your wineglasses? You may very well have used a product made with parts produced at St. Louis-based MDS Manufacturing, LLC, which works with businesses from startups to Fortune 500 companies. They serve customers with plastic injection molding, liquid silicone injection molding, injection stretch blow molding, assembly, custom packaging, hot stamping, and pad printing, and are one of the few facilities in the country to offer all these services under one roof. Hot stamping requires them to work with outside vendors to create custom hot stamp dies and logos, creating even more manufacturing jobs.

MDS Manufacturing, LLC, has started, grown, pivoted, expanded, and is in the process of buying a new building, all with help from the US Small Business Administration (SBA) every step of the way. Founded during the 2010 recession with only five people, they now employ 20 in their facility.

Owner David Skaggs, along with his co-owner and brother Mike, learned the business of plastic injection molding from their late father, Marvin—the business name is from Marvin’s initials and serves as a testament to their father’s legacy. The legacy continues as a second generation of family now holds key positions at MDS Manufacturing, LLC.

Before starting MDS, Dave and Mike scoured the SBA website for information on successfully starting a small business. With the help of an SBA 7(a) loan, they purchased three injection molding machines and leased space to start manufacturing. SCORE counseling assisted them in setting their long-term goals and helped them determine when they exceeded capacity and needed to scale back to a maintainable pace. An SBA 504 loan helped purchase additional equipment and expand their customer base in late 2013. The SBA Emerging Leaders program provided them with more tools to manage their business growth and a peer group with whom they could bounce ideas and vent. Two Paycheck Protection Program loans made sure they could pay their employees through the pandemic. And…MDS is about to close on another SBA 504 loan to purchase a facility and move to Pacific, MO, so they can expand their production—they are currently maxed out at their current location. The new facility will allow them to grow at a more sustainable rate.

MDS’s slogan, “Where your parts take shape,” truly exemplifies “Made in the Heartland” by providing good manufacturing jobs right here in Missouri.

David and Michael both stated, “SBA was an invaluable resource from helping us to get started in our business to continuing to grow the business over the last 10-15 years and have been a positive influence in how we constructed our business model.”

This article does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.