Client of the Month: Myers Seth Pump | SBDC UNF

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Client of the Month: Myers Seth Pump

In the industrial pump manufacturing industry, you might not expect to find a petite, soft-spoken Vietnamese woman at the helm.  That is, until you meet Teresa Myers, CEO of Myers Seth Pumps.  Her husband, Doug, started the company in 1991 and Teresa joined him in 1997 after serving as CFO for another manufacturing-based company in Jacksonville.

Myers Seth Pumps (MSP) manufactures and distributes pumps and de-watering equipment throughout the US and abroad. MSP’s international customers have primarily come to them through distributors they have met at US trade shows. Teresa wanted to know more about how to grow and expand the companies export sales.  That’s when she first discovered the services of the Florida SBDC at UNF.  In January 2008, she attended the SBDC’s inaugural International Trade Certificate Program. Over a six-week time period, Teresa was introduced to the tricks of trade and countless resources to help grow MSPs export sales.  In 2009, she returned to the FSBDC to explore opportunities to sell to the government. SBDC Government Contracting Specialist Paul Arrington worked with her to get set up on a GSA schedule and register for appropriate certifications. They continue to work together on and off since then as contracting opportunities arise. 
In 2011, Teresa began working with Cathy Hagan, SBDC at UNF business consultant to explore opportunities for growth and challenges that might get in the way. A detailed financial analysis was prepared using Optimist, software that demonstrates how managing price, cost of goods, and volume could impact MSP’s bottom line. Additionally, Cathy worked with Teresa and Doug to assess processes and address personnel needs as the company pursued growth.
Teresa participated in the SBDC at UNF’s CEO XChange program, a peer-to-peer roundtable group of CEO’s for two years. In March 2012, the SBDC made it possible for her to attend LEAN training offered by the Lean Consortium, which gave her tips and tricks on how to be make her processes more efficient.
While busy in the domestic market, Teresa did not want to miss out on opportunities to sell her products globally.  In June 2012, SBDC international trade specialist Stacy Roussel developed a detailed export marketing plan for Myers Seth Pumps, identifying top markets for the company’s products.

In June 2014, Teresa began working with SBDC at UNF consultant Diane Denslow.  Over a two month time period, Diane facilitated strategic planning sessions with Teresa and other key players in the business with a focus on defining strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Rapid Research from the USF SBDC provided numerous industry and market reports.  Teresa and key employees took the BOSI assessment, a tool that uncovers the entrepreneurial DNA of key employees to determine what drives them.  The SBDC at UNF graduate student intern used Profit Cents, a financial analysis software that measures how a company compares to industry averages. One of the purposes of the strategic plan was to help Teresa define an exit strategy as she hopes to transition out of the business in the next five years.  Diane provided great insight on issues related to family business succession planning.  Cathy helped Teresa understand other exit strategies and how to maximize the value of the company.  Josh Hay, SBDC at UNF grad student, prepared an analysis of the business to understand how to measure its value.

Teresa and Doug recognize that to grow their business, they must continually innovate to meet the needs of their customers and stay ahead of the competition.  To kick off 2015, they introduced a new pump into the construction market, the DD-6 Double Diaphragm pump.  Doug’s design addresses the needs of the customer for a more versatile pump.  The demand has been exciting, so Myers-Seth is gearing up to hire more employees to support sales and production and are considering the purchase of capital equipment that will automate some of the production process to increase efficiency.
Teresa will continue to be a lifelong learner and work with the SBDC at UNF to grow the business and prepare for the future.

“For most business owners, their ultimate goal is to someday sell their business and have enough financially to retire comfortably. However, without planning properly, most small businesses won’t make it past three to five years. We found SBDC to be one of the best places to seek help.  In the last five years, SBDC has provided MSP with guidance, resources, and training through all different stages of our business. Our company has truly enjoyed working and learning from their professional team,” says Teresa.

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