A somewhat similar situation occurred on the opposite gender side – but it led to the creation of a new, and enduring, business. John Parke Jr., current president of Precision Stamping Company, describes the details: “My father, John Parke Sr., worked in a Michigan stamping plant. During the war, his role was elevated and he ran the plant. After the war, he was told that he had to go back to his old job. ‘The heck with that,’ he said.’”
So, using his accumulated war bonds, the senior Parke bought a stamping press and started his own business. Thus, the Precision Stamping Company (also known as Presco) was born. That was in 1946. Now, more than six decades later, Presco, located in Howell, Mich., has grown into more than 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Its major client base is the automotive industry, but the company also serves clients in the industrial, military, and commercial sectors. From its modest regional beginnings, it now serves customers throughout the world with its stamped metal products.
“The early years were a struggle for my father and his new business,” recalls Parke. “Fortunately, my mother was a nurse, and her good salary helped support the company.”
Parke continues the narrative. “We remain a family owned company,” he says, “supplying metal stampings to a variety of customers – the main area being the automotive sector, where we have achieved a great deal of success. But that was more a matter of opportunity than a matter of choice. After all, we’re headquartered in Michigan. But we now ship throughout the world. Many of our customers have plants in Mexico, so that’s at least one destination for our parts.”
Another substantial part of Presco’s revenue involves servicing the HVAC industry, Parke relates.
During its ongoing existence, Presco has continued to develop and demonstrate capabilities that are second to none in its field.
“Right now, we have about 55 employees, and they are highly skilled when it comes to tooling, engineering, and production,” boasts Parke. “Each employee brings great knowledge into the field, and with them helping us design our own tools, we have managed to remain very competitive. If you look at the entire stamping industry, we may seem a relatively small operation, but our employees’ talents are enormous. We have been very fortunate.”
In recent years, Presco has challenged itself and its employees to develop new stamping techniques that enhance production methodology, production efficiency and – very critical – quality.
“We adhere to ISO 16000 and 14000 standards, so we meet all of the quality ratings, and our people honor that commitment. And that’s tied in with our stringent efforts toward superior customer service,” says Parke.
How Does Presco Do It?
All of these efforts take place under a single roof – in the Howell, Mich. production facility – where the company continuously makes investments into manufacturing technology.
“For instance, we currently have a 300 ton-capacity press,” says Parke. “Also, in our advanced tool room, we have deployed CNC capabilities. We make all of our own tools, and we heat treat and finish everything inside the building.”
Indeed, within this state-of-the-art production site, you will find auto CAD design centers, CNC lathes, surface and ID grinders, bridge port mills, precision high-speed lathes, an overhead hoist, a machine repair center, drill presses, sand blasters, optical comparator, vertical and cutoff saws, a Hurco CNC mill, a jig grinder, and wired EDM.
That’s an impressive technology menu. For sure, Presco invests in equipment that will increase efficiency, quality consistency, and on-time delivery. All customers’ expectations are met.
As far as production processes, you’ll find prototyping, roto-finishing, vibro-finishing, plating, mechanical assembly, part washing, rust proofing, embossing, powder coating, counter sinking, tumbling/deburring, and component assembly, among other skills.
“Our highly skilled employees will design and create new and innovative products, and we operate our industry’s most reliable and accurate equipment,” comments Parke, underscoring the “Precision” element of the company’s name.
Here’s another noteworthy Presco differentiator: It’s a single-source supplier. Finishing, polishing, assembly, treatments – when a purchased product reaches a client’s own facility, it’s immediately ready for use.
Responsible Corporate Citizen
One of the developments of the business and industrial landscapes in the 21st century is that corporations have come to be viewed as “people.”
Presco willingly accepts that designation and, as such, behaves as a responsible individual. Specifically, that relates to environment. In February 2009, Parke fashioned this official company statement: “Precision Stamping is aware of the environmental issues and accepts responsibility for any harmful effects its operations may have on both the local and global environment with a commitment to reduce them by measuring our impact on the environment through training and targets of ongoing improvement. Precision Stamping encourages our employees and suppliers support in improving our company’s performance. To ensure a profitable future for our customers and Precision Stamping, we are committed to following the ISO/TS 16949 standard, and complying with all relevant environmental legislation applicable requirements, laws and regulations.
Now and the Future
When asked about growth, Parke wryly notes, “Just to be able to stay in business is good, in an economic environment that has gone up and down in recent years. We can’t forecast growth. Nobody really knows what tomorrow brings.”
But he does offer this observation: “If you look at our graphs, you’ll see that our growth has been in the 25-percent range in the past several years. We have a tendency to overbook, because the busier the better.”
But that doesn’t mean that the company in any way comprises quality.
“We’ve also been creative when it comes to pricing – again, to keep us competitive,” he adds.
As far as plans, Presco seeks to expand its customer base. “Working with the automotive industry has been a bumpy ride,” says Parke. “We’re looking to increase activities in the defense and aerospace sectors.”
Presco is well poised to accomplish that ambition. “When we moved to Howell in 1990, we settled on ground that was fertile for growth,” he reveals. “Since then, we have expanded twice, and installed a fair amount of new equipment. The first expansion represented a million-dollar investment. The second expansion came at a cost about 1.5 million.”