Twenty-four years ago, Denise and Dale “Mac” McIntosh set out to create a company that was both successful and the best place that they and their employees had ever worked. Today, they feel they have made good on those goals with Custom Powder Systems, which counts many Fortune 500 companies among its clientele and provides a great place to work, with good paying jobs and good benefits, for 80 employees in Springfield, Missouri.
Custom Powder Systems manufactures, designs, and builds the equipment that is used for dispensing, sizing, milling, and blending dry powders for pharmaceutical and food companies. The company also provides cleaning systems that rid machines of any traces or residue of powder, preventing cross-contamination and ensuring adherence to the FDA cleaning standards that many of their clients must meet.
Finding Adequate Cash Flow to Grow
Custom Powder Systems had already made great strides while still a relatively young company, growing to become a well-established and respected business in the Springfield community. Along the way, the company has tackled a number of challenges. One of the biggest was finding adequate cash flow to grow. As a young company that wasn’t highly capitalized, it couldn’t pay any faster than it got paid, but almost none of its customer’s payment terms were 30 days. In fact, most of its Fortune 500 customers extended to 120 days. The company negotiated for 90-day terms and even started offering discounts for early pay, but payments continued to be a challenge. Despite a progressive billing system, the owners spent an inordinate amount of time with accounts receivable and payable.
Using Business Credit to Weather the Ups and Downs of Doing Business
Another challenge has been weathering the inevitable ups and downs that are part of doing business. To help put their business’s best foot forward during the down cycles, Mac and Denise opted to seek the help of Dun & Bradstreet to improve their business credit file. Mac explains, “That ties into why we chose the Credibility Concierge™ service. We realized we hadn’t been staying on top of updating our information in our [Dun & Bradstreet] business credit file. When potential customers look into doing business with us, many want to know if we are a credible business within our industry. They may look at our [Dun & Bradstreet] credit file. … We look much better than we did five years ago [before Concierge] when it comes to how our business’s credit and credibility are seen by others.”
Creating a Growth Culture
As the company has grown and maneuvered through challenges, the McIntoshes kept their eyes on their goal of making Custom Powder Systems the best place they and their employees had ever worked.
To do this, they focused on creating a culture that encourages employees to make decisions and take risks while not discouraging people for making mistakes. They are committed to ensuring that all employees clearly understand how their role in the company plays into the success of the company.
And their commitment also extends to the facility itself. It’s not a typical steel fabrication plant – they use bright metals and carefully control their grinding dust – to create a place that their employees like to work and that clients want to come to when the company is testing the equipment they’ve produced for them. This is critical, because about 90% of their customers are repeat business. Many of their customers come back because they trust the company and know that Custom Powder Systems never considers a job complete until the customer is happy.
A Bright Future
The future seems bright for Custom Powder Systems as they continue to bring on new customers. For example, they recently worked on a pandemic facility, which was designed to develop a vaccine in case of a pandemic. They’re also looking forward to increasing their profit margin while continuing to be the best business they’ve ever worked for. Dun & Bradstreet is proud to have played a part in helping the McIntoshes grow their business.