Innovate Mississippi

Point Innovation Magazine Winter 2013

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MANUFACTURERS' CORNER Long Branch Company T H I N K I N G O U T S I D E T H E S T E E L- F R A M E D B OX Melissa Barron T he work of Long Branch "We had to restructure the Company Inc. has been management team, the accounting heard ringing all over processes, the payables, all the way Mississippi State University's (MSU) through," said Pilley. "We are now Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field. in our fourth year of turnaround. The manufacturing company played Business has been growing about an integral part in the production of 20 to 25 percent a year for the past Battle Bells, a brand of the signature three years. The West Point cowbells that have come to signify the community and local market have team spirit of the MSU Bulldogs. been very supportive." Since the 1970s, Long Branch One of Long Branch Company's Company has been a custom metal goals is to expand outside the local fabricator of small to medium steel area and use its women-owned aluminum stainless component business certification to bid on parts. They also perform general government contracts. These longmachining for the manufacturing term contracts would allow the Welding a stainless steel cowbell of one-of-a-kind quantities to full company to stabilize their number for Mississippi State University production runs. of employees instead of fluctuating Ed Todd began Long Branch between six and 13. Company in West Point to serve the metal fabrication needs of "We can't go after major contracts because we are too small, nearby businesses, primarily manufacturing the inner and outer so we would look for a general contractor where the government casings for large boilers used in hospitals and schools, stair pans, wants them to subcontract with a women-owned business," handrails and platforms – focusing on light to medium steel under explained Pilley. "This would allow us to invest in equipment 1 inch of thickness. and upgrade." However, the economic downturn of the mid-2000s greatly When asked what makes their company stand out from other impacted Long Branch Company. When consultant Linda Pilley steel fabrication companies, Pilley answered, "We have a can-do was called in to do an audit, she saw such potential in the small attitude. We allow our employees to manage by self-initiative and company that she became partners with Todd in 2010. Today, be responsible for their own quality. Our workers have a real sense she serves as president and owns 51 percent of the business. of pride." 69

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