By James B. Bartle
In a tough economy, pride- ful workers, determined man- agement and a will to expand has turned a former company in Sullivan around, along with a new name and look along the North Service Rd.
Carden Machine, now ALM Tech Group, 975 North Ser- vice Rd. West, has brightened the outside of their facility with new paint and landscap- ing, made improvements to the inside of their facility and is focused on expanding the company through strength, durability and reliability un- der the direction of company president, Robert Doherty.
In December 2011, the current operation in Sullivan was down to nine employees. Since Doherty’s arrival in March 2012, the turnaround in the business has begun with some 35 employees working in the 55,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Sullivan. With plans of expan- sion on the horizon, just in the last week the company
has added six employees and another 10 are expected to be added for a second shift.
“The key thing here is a change in philosophy,” said Doherty. “We have changed from being not only a ma- chine shop but to a technol- ogy-based company. We are offering more now than just machining parts. I’m proud to be here in Sullivan and be a part of the community. The workforce we have is the heart and sole of our company, and really any company. My wife and children were here for our company picnic recently from California and, within that four hours, my wife come up to me and stated, ‘I can see why you want to be here. These are good people.’”
Doherty went on to say, “You can buy talent. You can’t buy the heart and sole that is needed to survive in this tough world. The people here are dedicated to this company and, with that, the company will do very well.”
Doherty commented that the ALM Tech Group is about diversification and being able to utilize their manufacturing equipment and employees to get into different segments of the industry.
The company, which is known for its history in ma- chining aircraft parts, has diversified even more with the addition of composite and bullet resistant products.
The company now has a sales team in five states – Florida, Texas, Virginia, Okla- homa and Arkansas – and has gone from providing services for 20 states to now 45.
“In the last three months, we have quoted in excess of $10 million in orders,” said Doherty. “We’re bringing former customers back to us and adding two new mar- kets every day. We’ve teamed up with Optimal Armour, Wolverhampton, England, who is allowing us to use their technology to bring a high tech product to the U.S. for police and military service people. We are teaming up for joint ventures with other firms and looking to expand in the future.”
Doherty stated that, five years from now, he can see the Sullivan operation em- ploying three shifts and a fu- ture corporate headquarters being built between Sullivan and St. Louis. This opera- tion would also house their composite fabrication facility which currently operates in Moberly.
Also brought into the com- pany team has been Allen Dawson, general manager, and longtime employees, Sam Witt and Matt Baer.
“We are hiring and have some top-notch, talented
people here that are commit- ted to our success and that’s very critical to our future,” said Doherty. “We are work- ing to bring people back to work that are currently unemployed. We have hired some military veterans back from the war in the company and really working again to put people back to work.”
ALM Tech Group lists a number of companies it pro- vides parts and manufac- turing for that include the biggest names in aerospace such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Bell Helicopter, Vought Air- craft and many more.
The company states on its website, “Getting it right from the beginning isn’t just our credo, it is the way to do business.”