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Delivering solutions for growth

Precision, Inc. | Pella, Iowa

The leaders of Precision, Inc. could write a textbook on how to diversify and grow a company.

In recent years, the industrial conveyor component and food conveyor manufacturer increased sales by innovating a product that dramatically reduces conveyor belt noise. The company also designed a better way to convey fragile and seasoned food products without damaging them. Over the past four years, Precision has acquired two food conveying equipment companies in the U.S., and two industrial product companies in Canada and Chile.

In 2018 alone, the company’s revenues grew more than 20 percent, and working capital needs rose nearly 40 percent.

Amidst all these projects, Precision added one more significant undertaking to its already-full plate. It transferred its entire banking business – from its line of credit, lockbox and investments, to its card program, merchant services and international letters of credit – to Commerce Bank.

“When you have an international presence and all the banking requirements we have, you cringe at the thought of changing banks,” says Roger Brown, Precision president and CEO. “But we felt like we had become a number with our old bank, even as we grew.”

Precision’s perspective became a painful reality in 2016 when financing for an acquisition in Chile fell through in the late stages. Commerce, which had been courting Precision the previous 18 months, quickly stepped in to help.

“We are a 100% employee-owned company,” notes Precision CFO Sam Iogha. “We make it our business to provide the best customer service in the industry, and we’ll go through hoops for our customers to do what they need and request. Commerce is very similar. They didn’t just make the Chile loan happen, but delivered every other service we needed, often improving on what we had before.”

Within months of the transition, Commerce had automated Precision’s lockbox process, saving the company nearly 20 hours a week in manual processing time. By adding new card functionality, Commerce made it possible for Precision to expand its purchasing card use, according to Charlie Daugherty, Precision’s controller. Commerce also streamlined and added more fraud protection to the company’s payroll process, adds Senior Vice President Greg Stravers.

“Everyone who works here has a stake in our company’s success,” says Roger. “Commerce understands ESOPs, and they are used to dealing with growing companies. It’s a good feeling to have a partner that gets it.”

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