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"They bring a discipline and a planning know-how that a lot of small companies don't have."
Rick Hartmann, President
Curtis Universal Joints, Springfield, MA
Curtis Universal Joints is a manufacturer of precision universal joints for industrial, commercial and military applications. It is a relatively small company with 45 employees and almost no competition. What Curtis does have, though, according to President Rick Hartmann, is something experienced by many other companies - distractions that get in the way of growth.
"They were a good match for us because they had experience in our kind of business."
He explains, "In a small company, everybody wears a hundred hats. You could have the best intentions of coming up with a plan internally, but chances are you'd never do it because there's always a crisis of some sort. The result is that you don't plan and you don't grow.
"You can only grow with a good marketing plan, which we really didn't know how to do."
"We had to get more discipline in our marketing. We had to get more objective oriented, rather than sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring. Some of our business is dependent on the defense industry, so we wanted to increase sales in the other market segments. We sell in six or seven different industries, each of which has its own needs and characteristics.
"They're not cheap, but nobody good is cheap."
"Their plan was organized around our half-dozen customer segments, using our information about existing customers and their SIC codes. They recommended prospecting among smaller companies, looking at dormant customers, increasing our promotion and advertising, surveying our distributors, packaging and labeling our products better and improving customer service.
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