Small Business Development Center hosted by Economic Development Collaborative
Trupart Manufacturing Inc. – Ventura, CA
Growing a business during a recession is an accomplishment to be proud of. But sometimes rapid growth brings challenges. Trupart MFG, Inc., which makes parts for other companies’ equipment, had used green manufacturing techniques including waste reduction, reuse and recycling so successfully that in 2010, its sales doubled. “With the increase in work flow, we needed to look at every part of the operation and plan for the future,” says Trupart’s Business Manager, Ingrid Boehm. In early 2011, Boehm visited the SBDC for help.
SBDC Business Advisor Mary Anne Rooney assisted Trupart with everything from payroll and HR to strategic planning, marketing, operations and changing the company’s business structure. She also introduced Trupart to the Ventura County Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ), which provided a loan for new equipment.
- Federal, state and local governments have financial resources for businesses. “Mary Anne asked us what equipment we needed to continue our growth,” recalls Boehm, “and RMDZ coordinator David Goldstein came by to meet with us the same day. We were blown away!” The RMDZ program provided a $290,000 loan at 4 percent interest, enabling Trupart to buy a laser-cutting device.
- Go lean. Trupart is working with SBDC Business Advisor Dean Dela Cruz to implement lean principles in its manufacturing process and business operations. The changes should make the company even more efficient.
- Marketing matters. “Mary Anne helped us create a flyer to let customers know about all the services Trupart provides,” says Boehm. “She helped make the flyer I was working on much more polished and professional—now, it really explains what we do.”
- Help is out there. “Just knowing that tools are out there to help Trupart grow has been the best part of working with the SBDC,” Boehm says. “Mary Anne has put us in touch with so many people who have helped our business grow.”
The new laser-cutting machine will increase efficiency, lowering production costs and prices. Already, Trupart has been able to undercut some overseas manufacturers on pricing and bring back customers who had left for cheaper prices. “[We’re] onshoring—keeping jobs and parts from going overseas,” says company owner and president Shane Prukop, who expects to hire as many as four new employees in the coming year.
As Trupart keeps growing, the company will continue to rely on the SBDC. “[Having an SBDC] Business Advisor is like having a board of directors looking out for our best interests,” says Boehm. “Any time I get stuck or have a question, the first person I contact is Mary Anne.”
“Mary Anne has brought so many tools to our facility that I never thought were out there,” says Prukop. “The SBDC is just amazing, and I am looking forward to many years of them helping us out as we grow.”