But when other businesses in the industry were cutting budgets, Midlake Products & Manufacturing purchased a half a million dollar laser.
Previously, Midlake only manufactured hinges, but by making a significant capital investment, it expanded its product line to include doors, panels and sheet metal devices.
"We have been expanding our product offering and aggressively pursue new product lines," says Jeff Rich, president of Midlake.
And putting its recently obtained ISO9002 certification to the test, it is pursuing new business in areas it has never before explored, such as the medical industry.
Expanding was one way Rich chose to weather the storm; the other was to expand sales with the company's current customer base.
"The general economy has been our challenge," says Rich. "So our response to the economy was aggressive."
Midlake reworked its strategy to pursue only those sales that would make it profitable and that were a good fit for the company. "We are reintroducing ourselves to our existing customers," says Rich.
With on-time shipping percentages up from 75 percent to 93 percent and a reduction in costs across the board, sales increased 33 percent in 2002, a vast improvement from a net loss in 2001. And Midlake added seven employees last year, bringing the total number to 40. How to reach: Midlake Products and Manufacturing, (330) 875-4202 or www.midlake.com