CR Fabrication and Cascade GSE in Redmond are fine tuning production in their new industrial building focusing business on larger projects and ground support systems for the airline and building industries. CR Fabrication was founded by owners Casey and Lesley Mott in 2000 beginning with fabrication projects for Central Oregon that ranged from simple welding jobs to creating metalwork for architectural, agricultural and recreational vehicle applications.
After moving several times over the last 10 plus years and never quite having the perfect all in one site, they made a decision in 2012 to become located at one spot for all their projects. In the beginning years 75 percent of their work was local but now CR Fabrication is doing 75 percent or more of their work for Boeing Aircraft/Aerospace building Ground Support Systems and structural steel components for industrial and agricultural buildings.
Mott explains their business growth, “At one point we had two shops in different locations, one with 10,000 square feet and another with 6,000 but both were full of fabrication projects and we were out of room. It was at that time when we realized that we had serious infrastructure problems and would need to make major investments into property we didn’t own to continue.
“Although at the time we weren’t in the market to buy a building or wouldn’t have dreamed of obtaining a new facility we eventually found a partially completed building that had became bank owned after the original owner lost their business due to the economic downturn.
“I was out of my league making offers but with the help of a local realtor we were able to purchase the distressed property obtaining a bridge loan from the Bank of the Cascades to complete the 25,000 square foot facility and add an 8,000 square foot paint building all on one site. We completed the building and in 2013 moved in, all while we’re trying to juggle finishing projects and setting up for production.”
While this seems like a brisk growth pattern for a Central Oregon business, Mott and his crew have built success the old fashioned way, by earning it with business savvy, consistent growth and hard work. Starting out working for Larkin Welding in his younger days when he was a Rodeo athlete riding bulls and broncos, he eventually bought out his employer and started CR Fabrication. As the business grew and more projects started to develop Mott realized that he needed more knowledge when he says, “My skill sets truly were on the floor as a fabricator and I’ve always said I never went to college, but I ended up going to business college during the first four years of my business.”
Mott learned and earned his business savvy from the ground up in owning a business and the lessons in college when he says, “We’ve always had an escalated plan to become solvent in the business…we don’t like having a lot of debt floating around out there and we set some pretty harsh goals right off the bat. I became solvent for a lot of years and this has taken us through some hard times. By being solvent we just had to make payroll and the light bill so If we would have had large overhead at those times it would have been pretty hard. Currently we are on a eight year solvency program for the business and four years for the building.”
Mott’s business philosophy has served him well as his company has grown from two to four employee business to 28 employees and Mott understands the power of a strong team to work with when he explains, “We were a three-man shop for a lot of years. I’m proud to say out of the three of us that started within the first four years of owning the company, they are still employed here and it’s a great working relationship. I’m a pretty firm believer without the right guys involved with the business you’re really going to have a hard time, without them it would be really hard to get it all done.”
During the early years CR Fabrication grew by becoming involved in making transfer tanks for the RV industry. However in 2005 he began to see the slowdown in that market. Mott explains, “The laws and regulations began changing in the RV industry and I didn’t want to invest a large amount of cash in a changing industry.“At about that time I was able to purchase Cascade GSE which was fabricating some Ground Support Systems for Boeing.
We began rekindling the relationship with them and they started giving us small jobs that have now grown to producing as many as thirty different Ground Support products for them. We are the sole source provider for Boeing ground support equipment and we now devote from 75 to 100 percent of our efforts for them.”The company’s growth into larger fabrication projects for the aircraft industry and building structural support components for large buildings has been the motivating factor to enlarge their facility to 33,000 square feet. Recently they built the structural supports and I-Beams for several large grain silos in California and Washington.
Mott had his share of anxieties early in his career when he says, “ If I would have got these jobs when I started I would have been scared to death. Now we’re comfortable and the future is looking positive with orders on the books that take us clear to August 2014.
Mott concludes, “We are now running at 75 percent efficiency in the first year in our new location and had a good year in gross revenues. We’re off a few percent on the net because of the ninety days it took to move and reorganize but we’re moving to that 100 percent efficiency. I certainly couldn’t have done it without my wife Lesley and the crew.They all know that if the company does well they will also do well and we’re all looking forward to continuing our success.”
CF Fabrication & Cascade GSE
Location/phone/Website: 342 S.E Evergreen St., Redmond, OR 97756
Tel: 541-548-4369 www.cr-fab.com/index.html
CEO/Owner: Casey Mott
No. Employees: 28
Year Established: 2000
Product/Service: metal Work, welding, repairs, tanks, stainless steel food processing equipment, specialty products. Architectural railings, ornamental iron, timber frame hardware, structural components, entrance gates, stairs and landings. Hitches and Trailer, fold down balls, gooseneck conversions, truck racks, specialty trailers, flat beds and bumpers, accessories.Cascade GSE, Tanks, structural items, agricultural equipment, aircraft ground support systems.
Hot News: named as one of seven growth companies in 2013 by Redmond Economic Development Inc.
Outlook for Growth: now in their finished 33,000 square foot location in Redmond’s Industrial District. Devoting 75 to 100 percent of their production for aircraft ground support systems and structural support and I-Beam components for large buildings and warehouses. In house 50,000 pound metal press for fabrication purposes is the only press of this size on the east side of the Cascades. Anticipating continued positive growth for 2014 and beyond with orders currently on the calendar to August 2014.