Ethanol Fueling Growth at Northern Grain Equipment
Northern Grain Equipment, LLC (NGE), has been known as the Grain Drying specialists for over 35 years. However, their expertise reaches far beyond this welcome title. They are a complete grain handling solutions provider. From design and construction to dryer systems, bins, augers, legs and catwalks, they provide their customers with complete, seamless service under one company. With limited companies around the globe that can supply a complete grain handling system, along with superior products and workmanship, NGE has positioned itself as a front runner to provide turnkey solutions for the large farms and commercial projects such as entire elevator systems.
They started operations in 1970 in West Fargo, ND. After 35 years of being the leaders in the grain drying business the company looked at expanding. In 2005 with only three full-time employees and $500,000 in annual sales, Lynn Jalbert and Philip Mathias bought the company with views of enhancing the product lines and expanding the company to be able to provide a complete grain handling system to its customers. Operations were all done out of a 7,200 square foot building at 1100 West Main in West Fargo, North Dakota.
Currently NGE employs 50 full-time workers with over $10 million in annual sales. In the fall of 2007, ground work began on an additional facility at 2210 West Main in West Fargo, ND. The expansion will consist of the domestic sales departments and operations people in the front office, the PLC division that has been added will be in the central part of the building and the manufacturing and delivery in the back of the building. This 18,500 square foot addition to the company will be the central office and manufacturing division of NGE, as the other 7,200 square foot building will be used for the export division for containers as well as some fabrication development.
Sales growth advanced the need for working capital, planned building expansion and manufacturing process improvements.
The Fargo SBDC along with their host program the Dakota MEP, assisted with financial projections, loan program identification, working capital needs assessment and Lean manufacturing/process improvement.
NGE would not have been able to grow their business with such rapid growth without the assistance of Fargo SBDC and the Dakota MEP. They have been able to build an 18,500 square foot facility for expansion purposes and increase productivity to go from sales of $500,000 to $10 million in less than three years.
They have also been able to add personnel from three to 40 full-time employees. With the growth, they have updated their computer systems, promoting NGE with an entire new marketing plan, and with the growth have put people in place for better quality control and training services. They are also developing a few new product lines that they will bring to the marketplace for agriculture customers. The overall construction, as well as manufacturing of products, has increased in speed and efficiency and they are able to expand with the growing needs of their industry. To bring these products and services to their customers with improved quality, shorter lead times and better efficiency makes them a more professional and successful company. Much of this change in success is a direct result of the services and ideas offered to us by Dakota MEP.
With the expansion into the new facility as well as merging into the overseas markets, NGE is looking at adding more than 30 new jobs and reaching sales of over $50 million in the next two-three years. These sales will be driven directly from the people they are putting in place. From the construction of the projects and design, to management and support, NGE intends to be the leader in grain handling systems all over the world.
-Steve Haman, Northern Grain Equipment Business Development