Simplified Industrial grows from one-man operation to thriving business in Avon
AVON — In just six years, Simplified Industrial Systems Inc. has grown from a one-man operation to a thriving business with more than 27 clients. “I attribute our growth to great service,” owner Mike Sherrill said. “The majority of our growth came through word-of-mouth, referrals, and you don’t get that without great service. You don’t get great service without great people working for you.”
This is Simplified Industrial Systems’ first Golden 30 award as an emerging company. This is the 11th year for Golden 30 awards, which honor top businesses in Lorain, Erie and Huron counties.
“(I feel) a sense of accomplishment,” Sherrill said. “Being compared to other businesses and being compared in such a tough market, it’s nice to be recognized.”
Simplified Industrial Systems Inc., 36128 Haverford Place, Avon, is a facility management and maintenance company. It has seven full-service clients covering 48 buildings and 20 clients for which it does some sort of maintenance.
“We take care of other business owners’ buildings,” Sherrill said. “We don’t provide any janitorial services but literal maintenance in the sense of if something’s broken, we’ll fix it or find the people to fix it.”
Simplified Industrial Systems provides facility management, property management, maintenance, financial and bucket truck services. Their facility management services include monthly physical and visual grounds inspections as well as contractor, file and proposal management.
“We offer an intimate service,” Sherrill said. People think we work for their company, but we’re independent contractors.”
The company’s property management services include financial, physical, communications and insurance services. The company offers financial institutions, monthly facility inspections, contractor management, file management and proposal and file management services. The bucket truck does sign repair, parking lot lighting and light tree trimming.
“Our biggest customers are banks,” Sherrill said. “We do all the contract management for lawn care, snow removal, roofing, HVAC, parking lot and building work. We provide full-service repair maintenance. We’re proactive in our approach. We’re repairing the HVAC system before there’s a catastrophe. We’re painting the building before it looks bad. We fix the problem before it becomes a problem. A lot of people confuse maintenance with janitorial, but we don’t do any janitorial.”
Sherrill opened his business in September 2002, and two years later he hired his first employee, who still works for the company. The company now has four full-time and two part-time employees.
“We grew pretty fast, and the scope of the company changed,” Sherrill said. “My background is in manufacturing and I have a master’s degree in engineering, and our second client was a bank so we turned our focus to commercial and our biggest client base is commercial.”
Sherrill’s idea to start his own company came from a conversation he had with his former employer. “I wanted to go into business for myself,” Sherrill said. “I was working as a facility manager and one of the owners that I worked for said, ‘Can you still take care of our business?’ That was how I got started. I was a facility manager in the company focusing on the industrial side, but I moved to the commercial side.”
Where does Sherrill want to see his company in 20 years?
“We want to grow enough to sustain our business and employ quality people but grow just enough to still provide the same quality services that we provide today,” Sherrill said. “We’d like to grow enough to maintain our place in the market.
“We’ll be absolutely needed in the future. We provide a technical service to companies that don’t have to have those skills on their staff.”