Economic Development and Small Business & Startups

Servo Innovations and MFP Automation Engineering win Best Small Business Award

March 29, 2013
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The teams of business counselors at the statewide offices of the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center help create thousands of jobs each year. Photo via fb.com

A Wayland firm and a Grandville business are two of the dozen companies that will receive the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center’s Best Small Business Award.

The dozen winners were selected from a field of more than 13,000 small businesses that MI-SBTDC counseled and trained last year.

“The Best Small Business Awards provides the MI-SBTDC network with an opportunity to acknowledge exceptional small businesses that we’ve worked with in the previous year. We are excited to celebrate their success,” said Carol Lopucki, the agency’s state director.

Located in Wayland, Servo Innovations has become southwest Michigan’s leading A2LA Accredited Laboratory.

The firm tests, calibrates, services and certifies hydraulic actuators, which are mechanical cylinders that provide a unidirectional force through a unidirectional stroke. Actuators have many uses and are used in construction equipment like excavators, manufacturing machinery and civil engineering.

Company founder Troy Diller started Servo Innovations in 2004, and, today, his firm not only has clients across the U.S., but also in Mexico, Canada, Europe and China.

Diller began working with MI-SBTDC in 2010 to develop a growth strategy.

The agency’s Melissa Angel and Carolyn Rourke updated the firm’s marketing plan and gave Diller detailed financial data about his company.

Diller was then able to hire four more employees and secure a bank loan, which he used to build a new facility. Diller is now considering opening a second location in Mexico.

MFP Automation Engineering in Grandville has been creating engineering systems and fluid-power components since 1991, the year four co-workers started the company.

One of those co-workers, Roger Betten, Jr., was referred to MI-SBTDC four years ago by a friend, when MFP was looking to grow and some of the founders were nearing retirement.

The agency’s growth-group consultant, Stan Pruski, put together a growth scenario, reorganized the employee structure and laid out the plan for Betten to buy out the retiring partners.

Today, MFP has grown to 60 employees, and Betten expects the company to experience double-digit sales growth over the next five years. The firm sells its systems and components nationally and internationally.

The MI-SBTDC award is the second recent honor MFP has received. In 2011, the company was named one of the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch.

MI-SBTDC will salute the dozen winners at its award ceremony on May 2.

MI-SBTDC provides small businesses throughout the state with counseling, business education, planning and technological commercialization from its headquarters at the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.

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