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February 8, 2017: Southeastern Tool and Design “SE Tool”, a leading provider of custom tooling, gages, precision machine parts and automated solutions, announces a merger with Keystone Machine Technologies, an innovative robotic integrator owned by Glen Urey. With over 25 years of experience, Urey joins SE Tool as director of automation. The merger significantly expands the company’s capabilities to design and implement the most complex automation and robotics solutions for its customers.
Under Urey’s extensive tenure, Keystone Machine Technologies created integrated solutions for a variety of applications such as automotive weld cells, materials management, and packaging and labeling. Key customers included Volkswagen, Siemens Corp, Sonoco Products, Chattanooga Bakery, Chattanooga Labeling and others. Prior to Keystone, Urey worked in similar capacities and received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University along with a MBA from Rollins College.
SE Tool’s new automation division, under Urey’s leadership, will utilize a robust team of in-house engineers and machine building technicians to provide its customers with the most cost effective robotic solutions. “By combining the talents of these two innovative companies, we will significantly improve our ability to service our customers’ growing automation needs so they can better compete in their marketplace” said Lou Ziebold, President of Southeastern Tool & Design.
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2121 Chestnut Street
Chattanooga, TN 37408
Chattanooga based investment company Alderman Holdings acquired the assets of Majestic Stone, Inc., Chattanooga Stone Center, and Creative Stone Works.
Alderman Holdings combined these assets, launched a new operating company under the name Majestic Stone, and appointed Alderman partner Patrick Wells as the new CEO. The resulting business is an end-to-end operation focused on sustainably sourcing, custom cutting, and installing the highest quality Tennessee stone for landscaping, outdoor living, and custom residential and commercial building projects. To view examples of available stone product visit www.majesticstone.com and for more information on the craftsmanship and the team’s installation work please visit www.chattanoogastonecenter.com
With new capital and new leadership, Majestic Stone is poised to provide customers with excellent products and outstanding customer service. Majestic Stone, with its location just outside of Chattanooga, in Dayton, Tennessee, is well positioned to continue serving the greater Chattanooga area’s natural stone needs.
Regarding the future opportunities for the company, Patrick Wells, CEO, noted “I look forward to working with the team at Majestic Stone to develop a brand that is not only known for its stone, but that raises the bar for customer service as well. The stone and the projects they’ve been apart of speak for themselves. But it’s delivering on our promise of becoming a dependable stone supplier that will make this opportunity a success."
John Clark, a new Board member for Majestic Stone commented, “I am very excited to serve on the Board for Majestic Stone. The company sources and provides some of the highest quality natural stone in the Southeast. Our CEO, Patrick Wells, is an experienced operator who brings great leadership to the sales, production and management teams. Exciting opportunities await!”
With a brand known for quality, a team of industry experts, a sought-after product, and untapped potential for significant growth, Majestic presents a compelling opportunity that aligns well with Alderman's long-term, hands-on approach.
As we close the door on 2015, we take time to pause and reflect. To reflect on the ups and the downs; the wins and the losses; and most importantly, the lessons learned. It’s these lessons that should guide our strategic direction in the coming year and help us set a course of success.
At Alderman Holdings, we set out to buy a business in 2015 but knew with just six months of time, this was an ambitious goal. So while we have not yet closed our first deal, we are well on our way and confident 2016 will be a great year. It’s been the process of finding great companies and meeting business owners that makes us even more confident in our original thesis.
That there are a large number of small to midsize local businesses (revenue ranging from $3-$15 million annually) with aging owners that lack a succession plan but that are seeking some sort of near term transition of ownership.
Throughout 2015 we’ve identified some common themes that we have termed Pain Points and Dream Points of aging business owners. The general question behind a pain point is what is keeping aging business owners up at night? And in regards to Dream Points, what does an aging business owner look forward to as he or she considers a sale?
We’ve outlined the top Pain Points and Dream Points below:
Top Pain Points:
Top Dream Points:
During this season of reflection, make time for the hard questions. Be honest with yourself and work hard to identify where you are and where you want to be. If you’re considering the sale of your company or know someone that is, we’d love to visit with you. It’s our goal, at Alderman Holdings, to buy and grow strong, local businesses for the long term. It’s with this goal in mind that we see an opportunity to make a lasting impact in our community and continue to make Chattanooga the best place to live and raise a family.
Through our lens at Alderman Holdings, we are fortunate to be able to interact with small business owners every day. These owners know the key to building a successful business--great people!
We at Alderman Holdings share this same philosophy. We are building a team made of people with equal parts high integrity and business expertise. We will accept nothing less than working with and around great people.
Recently, Alderman Holdings had a chance to add to our team, and we are extremely proud to announce the addition of Patrick Wells to our leadership team.
Recently recruited from Mobile, AL, Patrick worked in partnership with a private investment group and successfully grew multiple businesses for its shareholders. With this experience, Patrick adds skill and depth to the Alderman Holdings partnership. Prior to his business experience, Patrick graduated from Samford University with a BS in Finance and a Masters in Business Administration.
As we continue to seek acquisition opportunities, we are looking for healthy, well-established companies where an owner seeks retirement or has need for an exit. We target companies with revenues of $3,000,000-$15,000,000 within a 120 mile radius of Chattanooga, TN.The addition of Patrick continues to ensure that our growing team at Alderman Holdings serves as a meaningful and viable buyer for small businesses in and around the Chattanooga area.
In a recent annual survey of small business owners, Wells Fargo & Gallup paired up to understand why the Business Owner does what he/she does. Interestingly, a resounding 42% indicate that “being my own boss” is the primary reason for owning and operating a small business. But, are small business owners really their “own boss?” It is a counter-intuitive question, perhaps, but it is an interesting one to explore.
You see, on any given day, if you ask a small business owner how they spend their time, usually one responds with answers like “I handle customer needs” or “I have to manage employee issues” or “I try to balance cash flow needs.” All of these responses, and many like them, are urgent and often dictate how an owner, in fact, spends his or her time each day. They do so handling and responding to what’s right in front of them…the urgent.
The “tyranny of the urgent,” as Stephen R. Covey suggested two decades ago, often forces business owners and professionals to focus on the most immediate need, not necessarily the most important element of their business. Further, Covey identifies such a posture as succumbing to the tyrannical.
Covey conveys that because we often lack a plan, we only have the capacity to handle what might happen to bubble up right in front of us. Customer needs. Employee Issues. Cash Flow management.
These things are all good and necessary items that business owners should keep track of, but when they distract us from the act of planning strategically and then strategically acting, these good things have become tyrannical. This activity-circle ultimately ends up “bossing around” the small business owner. Unfortunately, because small business owners suffer from the “tyranny of the urgent,” the very thing they desire—freedom and independence—gets nullified.
So, how can small business owners counter-act the “tyranny of the urgent” and live a life as their own boss?
Schedule time to plan.
What better time of the year to set aside time to plan then the very end and very beginning. December and January often provide natural points of reflection for humans. Reflecting on the year past for anyone, and certainly a small business owner, can help people resist the oppression of the crazy and tyrannical boss—the urgent.
Here are some tips on how to set aside time and how to maximize that time:
Even though you may have to work hard and sacrifice much as a small business owner, you do not have to be bossed around by the “tyranny of the urgent.” These suggestions to carve out time to ensure you are planning strategically and strategically acting are meant to help you accomplish growth and health in your business. And remember, no excuses, you are the boss!
“In our own research, we have observed that building a critical mass of engaged employees contributes significantly to the bottom line. In a recent study…we found that the companies that build this critical mass of engagement grew earnings per share (EPS) at 2.6 times the rate of companies who do not.”
Gallup, Human Sigma
Want to succeed as a business owner? Want to develop company performance that is superior? Then, focus on your people. Develop them; coach them; offer them meaningful feedback. Spend time, money, and energy investing into your team. As you engage your people, your company will grow.
As owners and leaders, it often seems easier to invest in the tangible—machines, new products, advertising campaigns. In a sense, you know what you get with those dollars. But, as identified in Human Sigma, Gallup research indicates superior growth occurs when you invest in engaging your people.
“But how? Where should I start?” you might be asking. Focus on three basic elements, all of which are necessary for people to grow: knowledge, new challenges, and feedback.
Create opportunities for your team to learn new information and develop new skills. This does not have to be an expensive investment. With free and ultra low-cost tools available online from schools like MIT and companies such as Skillshare, it is relatively simple to develop on-the-job-training curriculum. Or, with a small cash investment, conferences abound in relevant trade associations or via your local Chamber of Commerce. Continuing education is foundational to growth.
As individuals demonstrate a willingness to learn, identify new opportunities or challenges for them. Special projects can be a substantive way for people who are learning and developing new skills to apply their new knowledge. Learning something new is one thing, transforming that knowledge into a developed skill requires use. New challenges help sustain the skill-growth in people and teams.
As people rise to the new challenges, feedback is crucial. Consistent and constructive communication with people is important fuel for a person’s growth and engagement. When this type of communication exists, the individuals, with time, begin to learn and believe that leadership wants them to succeed. Making such feedback a two-way path of communication heightens and establishes the engagement of people. The employees will feel cared for and “heard” by their leadership. Making this pivot will help cement the engagement of your people.
There are multiple benefits to this kind of investment in your people. Knowledge, new challenges, and feedback will create multiple points of engagement for employees. As employees engage, they grow in their desire to lean into their work in a way that is often difficult to measure. Engaged employees start going “above and beyond” as they serve the customer. Engaged employees look for creative ways to do work more efficiently. Engaged employees are quick to develop new products and services. And, engaged employees help you recruit strong talent as they recommend their company as “the place to work.”
Ultimately, the small investment in developing and engaging employees will generate financial return as sales grow and profitability increases. So, if you want to succeed as a business owner, invest in and engage your employees. The results will speak for themselves.
In 2014, the international hub of small business brokerage, BizBuySell.Com, commissioned a demographic study on the prevailing metrics for small business mergers and acquisitions. The team at Alderman Holdings found this fascinating and wanted to share some observations based on BizBuySell.Com’s findings.
There are many interesting data points, and again, the data supports the Alderman Holdings’ thesis that there is an emerging supply of healthy small businesses entering the market. If this is true, then competent and local buyers can provide a meaningful option for Sellers who are wary of dealing with large, traditional private equity companies.
Some interesting observations to note:
While it remains to be seen how the transition of ownership will actually unfold, it is likely that the population of business owners in the next 10 years will look very, very different. They will likely be much younger and have tolerance for more risk, more growth. The potential for risk taking among these younger owners will be higher given a longer time horizon.
Usually, with risk comes reward. Perhaps the shift from an older demographic of business owners to a younger, more diverse set bodes well for the economy. While we have no crystal ball, it’s exciting to think that on the horizon of the small business scene lie more opportunities for innovation, job creation, and even GDP growth. Only time will tell.
Small businesses are the engine of our economy. And, Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) are in the driver's seat. Unfortunately, most of these owners do not know what will happen to their specific businesses as they near retirement.
What will happen to our economy as a result?
Consider the facts:
The back-bone of our economy, the data suggest, are small businesses. Yet, danger for these critical companies looms. U.S. Trust recently released a study identifying a frightening statistic--nearly two-thirds of business owners lack a transition plan.
Considering that 50% are owned by a group of people approaching a retirement age presents a considerable conundrum--What will happen when the Boomers actually do retire? What will happen to the jobs these companies create? What will happen to the families the business feeds, the communities the business supports?
While answers for each case is unclear, the charge to business owners is fairly simple--Business owners should start planning now. And, if an owner doesn't know where to start, here are 3 quick tips:
The problem is real but so are available solutions. Let's work hard toward an orderly transition for our economy. Our country deserves it.
Alderman Holdings views on the local, small business community.
Alderman Enterprises, LLC