Russ Stellfox, president of Greensboro, N.C.-based Purolator Facet Inc., an engineering and manufacturing organization offering fluid mechanics and porous media technology for diverse markets, shares his outlook for 2010.
Q: How does 2010 look for your business?
A: Although we anticipate 2010 to be another challenging year, we are expecting double digit growth over 2009. We believe most of this growth will come from increasing our market share as opposed to new growth within the market.
We see 2009 as the new base or bottom. As with many companies that survived 2008 and 2009, Purolator made the necessary adjustments to be leaner and more focused.
One key element of our growth plan is the excellent work force available here in Greensboro. As we see business increase in the coming months we have an excellent available work force to pull from and should be well positioned to meet the challenges of the coming year.
Q: Is Purolator Facet introducing any new products next year? If so, how did you finance the introductions?
A: We see new products as part of our growth plan and as a way to stay in front of our customers. In slow and in difficult times, experienced buyers are looking for new products with lower cost or improved performance.
This past year, we introduced more than 20 new products to the markets we serve.
Purolator is fortunate that we can fund all of our own projects.
Q: How is your credit situation? Are you able to secure the credit you need?
A: As I mentioned, we are in the fortunate position where we can fund most of our own growth projects. In the rare instances where we would need a large sum of money for a possible acquisition or very large project, we would go to our parent company, Clarcor, to fund the venture.
Q: Has the stimulus money affected your company?
A: We have seen no benefit from the federal stimulus money.
Q: Are you concerned about your suppliers for next year?
A: Our supplier base has been very sound throughout the year and we expect that to continue into the future. We do have back-up suppliers that we can call on in the event one of our key suppliers was to have problems. Over the years, we have made a practice of having a back up source for any and all major components.
The main concern here would be price. Components we source from Asia may have to be sourced from Germany or handmade in one of our model shops or R&D centers. While it would have a major impact on the cost of the product, in the end, we would still be able to service our customers.
Q: Are you planning any new facilities in 2010?
A: We are not planning any new facilities in 2010. We presently have manufacturing in Greensboro, N.C.; Mineola, N.Y.; Lenexa, Kan.; and Weifang, China. In most cases these manufacturing facilities produce different products that support our worldwide customer base. We do have the capability to manufacture the same or similar parts at different locations in the event of an emergency, which ensures our customers can count on an uninterrupted supply.