Small company gains piece of big Army deal
- June 28, 2012
Kilmarnock-based Manufacturing Techniques Inc. occupies a niche that helps the small, woman-owned company compete for national contracts.
The company often partners with larger companies, such as Falls Church-based General Dynamics, to provide services to the military and commercial clients. “We develop a strategic team that produces state-of-the-art technical solutions,” says Mary Williams, the company’s president and owner. “That’s the key reason we win contracts.”
In March, Manufacturing Techniques was one of five Virginia companies among six prime contractors awarded the Army’s five-year Warrior Enabling Broad Sensor Services contract, which has a potential value of $1.7 billion. Manufacturing Techniques will help develop innovative technologies for night vision and electronic sensor systems.
The Army deal was a set-aside contract for small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. “As a small business we have been building capability and infrastructure to be able to compete in that arena,” Williams says. “We’ve pulled together a strong team.”
Williams and her business partner, Clara Schuster, purchased Manufacturing Techniques in 2005. The company, founded in 1992, makes small, high-precision metal products such as printed circuit boards, electronic components, cables and electronic box assemblies in its Kilmarnock facility. “We do everything from component level to systems integration,” Williams says. “We provide rapid design-to-build services to get things rapidly fielded for the warfighter.”
Over the years, the company has worked with the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps as well as the Department of Homeland Security, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the FBI.
During the past seven years, Williams and Schuster have built a $1 million-plus, three-building compound and added more than $2 million in equipment for electronic fabrication and prototyping. The company’s payroll has grown from 10 to 160 employees. “We’ve invested in equipment and training,” Williams says. “We are trying to push manufacturing in the U.S. and get Virginia manufacturing growing in the Northern Neck. We have improved revenue significantly.”
Manufacturing Technologies has two other divisions: A&A Precision Machining in Montross and a technical services division in Stafford that provides engineering and design services to the company and the Department of Defense. The company also has offices at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River and in Aberdeen, Md.
Manufacturing Technologies’ revenues have improved significantly since 2005, according to Williams. “We hope to continue to grow,” she says. “We have a five-year growth strategy and we have done pretty well. We are excited about that.”