Smart CEO Interview

COMPANY: EFE Laboratories

CITY & STATE: Horsham, PA

COMPANY LEADER: Kip Anthony

WHAT’S YOUR ELEVATOR SPEECH? EFE is an established, solutions-based contract manufacturer. The company brings extraordinary expertise to its customers through collaboration across diverse markets in pursuit of superior product design, development, and manufacturing services. The company relies on industry-leading quality through a commitment to UL, ISO, IPC, and other certifications. From start-ups to the Fortune 500, EFE has proven its ability to deliver measurable value to organizations of any size.

WHAT DROVE THE COMPANY’S RECENT GROWTH? We made a concerted effort to grow from a mom and pop shop, to a full integrated contract manufacturer. We sought certifications in growing industry sectors of communications, industrial controls and medical devices, achieving ISO 9001: 2008 and IPC 610 Class II & III. We also increased our marketing spend to reposition the brand. We launched a sales lead generation program, redesigned our website, integrated social media in communications and engaged a media relations firm to increase our visibility. We also made investments in a business and technology to better understand how our customers’ systems operate, and put us in a position to be a true problem solver. To communicate our commitment, we worked hand-hand with our customers to develop products without any guarantee of a payback. As a service-oriented company, we developed an attitude that the customer’s success is our success. We also brought in top talent, tapping into industry employment forums to bring on higher caliber people. Went from zero training in budget to a several hundred percent increase. Now we can deploy a full complement of engineering departments to meet any number of manufacturing needs across multiple sectors from aerospace to oil and gas exploration.

WHAT MILESTONES WERE ACHIEVED RECENTLY? We made the Philly 100 list for the first time in the company’s 50 year history. Being recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in Philadelphia is truly an honor. We are also celebrating our 50th year in business. In addition, we have crossed over the 500 customers mark. Over 480,000 SKUs have also been shipped by the company. And we have received 120 million individual components for assembly. These accomplishments are part of why we are recognized for our commitment to customer service, enjoying nearly a 100 percent retention rate.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE ANOTHER ENTREPRENEUR? Acknowledges your weaknesses and capitalize on your strength. Build a solid team around you. Go for the win-win. Don’t be greedy; let the customer or partner enjoy the win. Demonstrate patience; not everything comes at once. Learn to speak the language of bankers to improve your chances of attracting capital. Networking is incredibly important. Fill in the blind spots; identify your weakness and be humble so others can support you. Analyze your strength and weakness, but mostly focus on improving weakness.

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