Company fills a gap in manufacturing services

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Like many companies, Advanced Manufacturing Technology Inc. (AMTI) struggled during the recession, but the Lynchburg-based company has come roaring back this year. AMTI, which provides contract manufacturing and product-to-market services, is now on track to double its revenues in 2010, says owner Larry Hatch.

What’s behind the comeback? One factor, Hatch says, is that the recession left a major gap in manufacturing services. “Companies shut down factories and laid people off, and now that capacity just doesn’t exist anymore,” he explains. “Now there are a lot of opportunities available for anyone that has that capability.”

Hatch knows something about the effects of downsizing. He started AMTI in 2003 after being laid off when telecommunications giant Ericsson closed its Lynchburg operations.  AMTI now has 72 employees and is hiring more.
Hatch says the company has focused on helping companies produce products that are critical to Americans’ health and well-being. Recent examples include jamming systems for improvised explosive devices (IEDs), high-tech electronic safety systems for coal mines, chemical-sensing detectors and building control systems.

Hatch hopes to continue his company’s expansion through organic growth, acquisitions or movement to new types of products. He acknowledges growth will be a challenge because of a continued credit crunch and a global shortage of key electronic components. But he believes that the company’s strong relationship with suppliers and clients will carry it forward.

“The fact is, our clients believe in us and in what we do,” Hatch says. “We could have easily been another recession casualty last year, and the reason we weren’t is because these same clients, while they jettisoned other suppliers, stuck with us during the tough times.”

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