In 1992, Mike Conny opened a trailer repair business with a loan from his mother and stepfather. He had just one employee -- himself -- and he operated out of a single-bay garage.
Not long after, a trailer-repair customer asked Conny if he could build a new trailer. It took him a month-and-a-half, but he did it, and the customer was so pleased it ordered 20 more. Within seven months, MAC Trailer had 10 employees and was on its way to becoming a full-blown trailer manufacturer.
Today, MAC Trailer's staff of 400 builds more than 40 trailers each week, from dump trailers to flat-bed trailers. And it's still growing.
Much of its success can be attributed to innovation. It has stayed competitive and, in some areas outpaced the competition, by implementing new designs and technologies. The best example is MAC's Smooth Wall Trailer line. According to Conny, MAC was one of the first three manufacturers to bring this new style to the marketplace. The addition of Smooth Wall Trailers to MAC's portfolio reduced much of its competition but Conny really wanted to really set the company apart in the marketplace.
"We offered a fully polished and buffed smooth wall that was standard," Conny says, "while the competition, they wanted to option it. We spent money on computer automation to buff our smooth walls, so we could go into the market with a nicer product. That was a huge, huge step that we took up front, but in the long run, it's helped us."
The Smooth Wall Trailers were also designed with extra inches, allowing them to move larger volumes.
"The third thing," says Conny, "was we could offer the old conventional trailer, which was a sheet-and-post, and a smooth wall. Some of our competition just offered the smooth wall. It increased our market so we could sell more people."
And has it ever sold. According to the Polk Report, a trailer-industry publication, MAC is responsible for one-third of all aluminum transfer trailer and dump trailer business in the country, and is the leading domestic manufacturer of dump trailers.
Not bad for a company that began 12 years ago with a single man and a single trailer.
How to reach: (330) 823-9900 or www.mactrailer.com