Custom Powder Systems: A Young Manufacturing Company Strives to be the Best Place their Employees have Ever Worked

dale-mcintoshFifteen years ago, Denise and Dale “Mac” McIntosh set out to create a company that was both successful and the best place they and their employees had ever worked. Today 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 to 70 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.

While still a relatively young company, Custom Powder Systems has already made great strides, 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 continues to be finding adequate cash flow to grow. As a young company that is not highly capitalized, it can’t pay any faster than it gets paid, but almost none of its customer’s payment terms are 30 days anymore. In fact, most of its Fortune 500 customers have now extended to 120 days. The company is negotiating for 90 days and has even started offering discounts for early pay but it continues to be a challenge. Despite a progressive billing system, the owners spend an inordinate amount of time with accounts receivable and payables.

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 purchase Dun & Bradstreet’s Concierge Service. Mac explains, “That ties into why we chose the D&B Credibility Concierge Service. We realized we hadn’t been staying on top of updating our information in our D&B business credit file. When potential customers look into doing business with us, many want to know that we are a credible business within our industry. They may look at our D&B 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.”

As the company has grown and maneuvered through challenges, the McIntoshes kept their eye on their goal of making Custom Powder Systems the best place they’d ever worked and the best place their employees had 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.  “We need everyone’s input while they’re here – their thoughts and their energy,” says Denise McIntosh.  “Those who don’t take risks won’t move forward.”

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 clients want to come to when the company is testing their equipment. 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.

The future seems bright for Custom Powder Systems as they continue to bring on new customers.  Currently they are working with Texas A & M on a pandemic facility, currently under construction, which will be designed to develop a vaccine for a pandemic. They’re also looking forward to increasing their profit margin in 2015, and continuing to be the best business they’ve ever worked for.

Can you relate to Custom Powder Systems’ journey? We’d love to hear about it. Share your story with us by emailing Lauren Simpson at lsimpson@dandb.com and your business could be featured too.

Photo Credit: Custom Powder Systems