Precision Components Midwest
Dave Cerny has decades of experience in the machine tool and die industry, but when it came to starting a business of his own, he and co-owner Dan Mize turned to the NBDC offices in Omaha and Wayne.
Cerny and Mize are the owners of Precision Components Midwest, a machine shop for high precision work in Norfolk. They moved into their building March 3, 2012, and began production the following month. Before they could do either, they needed a strong business plan and financial projections in order to secure funding.
“I started at a medical manufacturing company in Norfolk and worked there for 20 years, eventually becoming the machine tooling supervisor,” Cerny says. “Dan was at Mize and Associates, and he was working with machine shops all over the country. We had the idea to bring that business into Nebraska by starting our own machine shop.”
Cerny visited the NBDC office at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and met with Director Aretha Boex. “Aretha helped us with an outline for setting up a business plan,” he recalls, “then we met with Loren Kucera,” director of the NDBC office at Wayne State College. “He helped us refine our business plan and develop the financial projections we needed, and put us in touch with financiers.
“Loren’s experience is really helpful,” Cerny says. “He knows things some people might overlook.”
Cerny says Kucera is “good at filling in the blanks . . . how important it is in a business plan to tell your story to the financiers, not just list the numbers. He told us to say who we are, what we want to do and how we’re going to do it.”
In business almost four years, Cerny and Mize still rely upon Kucera, Dick Uhing and others at NBDC. “When it comes to government contracts and other opportunities, they’re always looking for ways to help,” Cerny says of Uhing’s work as a procurement consultant.
Being a fairly new company means there is a lack of historical data to use when judging progress or for planning purposes. “Loren makes himself available to help us determine where we are sitting compared to where we want to be.”
Since opening, Precision Components has grown to a staff of five workers on the machine shop floor, including one just added in January. “We are fortunate we came into business when the economy was recovering. The fact that our customers are enjoying success has allowed us to come along with them.”
Cerny says he’d like to convince young people that a career in manufacturing is not the same as it was 20 years ago.
“Shops today are full of sophisticated machinery, computers and electronics. It takes a person who can problem solve and act quickly,” he says. “We need to do all we can to keep these jobs in the U.S. and allow local industry to grow, and NBDC is helping us do that.”