Merced Screw Products, Inc. is an industrial and commercial enterprise, servicing clients around the world. Originally founded in the Bay Area, Merced Screw Products moved to Merced in 1967. It has always been family owned. The company is currently located at 1861 Grogan Avenue, Merced, California 95341. MSP produces the products it’s clients need to make wheelchairs, exercise equipment, irrigation & hydraulic systems, and automotive equipment, to name a few. MSP is proud to be an American manufacturing facility of quality machine products producing millions of specialized parts each year for customers in the US and around the globe.
Like many US industrial companies, especially those in California, MSP has faced cost inflation, regulations, rising insurance costs, and shortage of capital required for intense manufacturing needs and large product runs. Recently it is becoming more difficult to find qualified workers to fill its high-skilled positions. MSP started a 4 Year Apprenticeship program for certification of Maintenance Machinist 1, with 3 enrollees, through the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards at Fresno City Community College.
In 2016, MSP had their business office manager of 25+ years walked off the job and no one knew how to do her responsibilities. They desperately reached out to the Valley Sierra SBDC in Merced and were assigned Operations Specialist Pamela Toconis to help them navigate a multitude of challenges/crises that resulted. Pamela assisted MSP with basic human resources, accounting, training of support staff, process flow and organizational planning.
MSP CEO John Befumo says, “Not only did the SBDC consultant direct us how to organize our daily operations, but she trained our Engineer how to operate QuickBooks Enterprise and run Excel basic spreadsheets for some critical record keeping. She also drew up a record maintenance plan that has made accessing historical and current data, easy and fast.”
Since working with the SBDC, MSP has installed a new computerized network, installed extensive software for several aspects of organizational record keeping, increased employees by 20%, increased revenues by 12% and acquired over $270,000.00 in additional funding. They are in the elementary stages of becoming ISO Certified, which will lead them into more governmental production areas.
Going forward, MSP is working on a new state-of-the-art website and a marketing plan with help from the SBDC. The emphasis is on “US Made” and “Pride in our Product” and the integrity of delivery of a customized high-quality product. In California, screw machine shops have been closing down due to a number of challenges including high taxes, regulations, insurance costs and shrinking skilled workforce.
CEO Befuma says, “being located in Merced is important to us. We love the community and being able to offer our friends and neighbors high paying local jobs. “Recent federal tax relief is a welcome change. Hopefully this will give companies like ours a fighting chance to stay in Cailfornia.”
As of Jan, 2018 Merced Screw Products employs 54 people. They were recently featured in a story by a Fresno based TV station, ABC 30, “What’s New to The Valley”.
MSP continues to work with Valley Sierra SBDC in 2018 focusing on completing a new website, ISO certification, planning an expansion of their manufacturing facility, and continuing marketing development to grow both their domestic and international customer base.
Submitted by Pamela Toconis, Operations Consultant
Valley Sierra SBDC