New Otterbase Launched

February 27, 2006
Print
Text Size:
A A

GRAND RAPIDS — The Bennett brothers have come a long way since the spare bedroom, back-to-back office days of their supplemental staffing company.

Now, with a new brand, retooled Web site and new corporate headquarters, Otterbase is looking forward to its next stage of growth.

“In 2005, we popped up on everyone’s radar,” said CEO Bill Bennett.

Known until recently as Otterbase Technical Services, or OTS, the company last year won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, was named one of 50 companies to watch by the Robert Lowe Foundation, and was honored as a Cool Company to Work For by the Business Journal and Crain’s Detroit Business.

Last year marked its eighth straight year of at least 40 percent growth. Its revenues grew by 50 percent. The firm is currently growing in almost every conceivable manner — revenue, employees, real estate and profit. Net profit grew in 2005 by nearly 250 percent.

“The first five years were investment years,” said Bill Bennett. “We were putting everything back into the business to make it better, and now we’re realizing the fruits of that.”

Earlier this month, Otterbase opened a Chicago office, the company’s fourth U.S. location. In the coming 12 to 18 months, the firm is targeting an additional three sites throughout the Midwest and mid-South. The first to come on line should be in Nashville, Tenn.

Otterbase is also leaving its home at

146 Monroe Ave. NW
in downtown Grand Rapids for a new home overlooking I-96 on the border of the city, just east of Alpine Avenue at
555 Three Mile Road
NW. Adjacent to the 15,000-square-foot structure is room for another building of the same size.

“This should sustain us for many years,” said President Jeff Bennett, who currently is sharing an office because of the company’s rapid growth. “It seems like we’ve had to move every few years.”

The brothers had hoped to stay in downtown, but were not able to find any buildings to accommodate a company their size. The Bennetts wanted to own their new headquarters, and had no desire, or means, to buy one of the large, core downtown buildings.

Instead, they opted for a multi-million-dollar investment in the new location, overlooking downtown rather than in it.

As part of the name change and new branding campaign, Otterbase is able to better represent its wide range of staffing services, including information technology, engineering, clinical and light industrial, among others.

Also, it re-establishes the firm with a new philosophy, Jeff Bennett explained.

“In that past, we’ve ‘passion sold’ our services: ‘We can do it better,’” he said. “Now, we are beginning to develop tangible, sustainable qualities. We’re able to track our performance against competitors and sell more as a value-added service, not a commodity.”    

Recent Articles by Daniel Schoonmaker

Editor's Picks

Comments powered by Disqus