Jean Ross is using what she’s learned through her work with Northern Initiatives to build a business and operating plan that includes a new product line and looks toward a very bright future.
When Jean Ross was a nurse, she didn’t need to be proficient in industrial-sized lathes, spring-loaded gear cases, or railcar wheels. But now that she is the President of Delta Manufacturing in Escanaba, Michigan, a woman-owned privately held business that specializes in locomotive wheel truing and made-to-order train plows, she is well-versed in the field. “In 2006, my husband, Harold Ross, and I were asked to invest in a business that would service the locomotive industry. We said, ‘yes’ with the caveat that we would oversee our investment by working there. We’ve learned so much, have benefited the industry, and haven’t regretted it a day since.”
Within six years, Delta Manufacturing was named one of Michigan’s 50 Companies to Watch and provided full-time employment to 16 people without any layoffs in the past 2 years. Harold Ross, the R&D arm of the business, had invented and fabricated a critical piece of their product line-the CNC Portable Wheel Lathe–and together Harold and Jean had pulled together a superb team. Still, the Ross’ knew they could enhance their corporate goal of “excellent service and products” and Jean Ross reached out to Northern Initiative’s (NI) Business Advancement Center in Marquette, Michigan.
She and her team worked hard to complete NI’s Profit Mastery program which provided a “wealth of information on our finances, helped us understand our P&L more deeply and allowed us to create success-oriented operational benchmarks.” Then, work began on an updated, more functional website designed to increase search engine rankings and start the sales cycle conversation with domestic and international customers through online quotes. Jean Ross says, “It took us four months working side by side with NI to build our website and today, www.deltamfg.net contributes significantly to the success of the business.”
Today, Jean Ross is using what she’s learned through her work with NI to build a business and operating plan that includes a new product line and looks toward a very bright future. Of course there have been moments when Delta Manufacturing could have derailed. But they’ve stayed true to their credo of saying, “Absolutely we can do that for you” whenever possible–and then delivering on that promise.
Delta Manufacturing Impacts:
- 90% of New Business is From The Website
- Overseas Contacts Have Increased 50%
- International Sales Have Increased 16%
- Added 2 Full Time Employees to Meet Demand