August 20, 2014

Small Business Profile

Timing is everything at Certified Manufacturing

The economic downturn was beneficial for the Okaloosa County manufacturing plant.

Charlotte Crane | 2/23/2012
Certified Manufacturing
The Bechtolds decided to expand their manufacturing business amid the recession.

Three years ago, with the economy mired in recession, Bob and Pamela Bechtold decided to make a $3-million investment in their small manufacturing plant in Okaloosa County, doubling their plant's footprint, tripling factory space and adding equipment.
Launched in 1998, family-run Certified Manufacturing makes products including an electronic assembly used to modify aircraft for military and commercial aerospace manufacturers and suppliers.

"Our timing was perfect," says Bob Bechtold, vice president and COO. "We are in the niche business in aerospace sustainment; that's a good niche, we felt, so let's take the risk." As the recession dragged on, they bought more specialized software and increased design work.

The Bechtolds
Bob and Pamela Bechtold

"We interfaced with customers, who told us if we had expanded capability, especially in our circuit card assembly area, we could have more work," says accounting manager Michelle Rasbeck, the Bechtolds' daughter. "We're now hoping to go into the maritime world."

The company's customers include Boeing, BAE and DRS. It is one of only 141 Boeing gold-ranked suppliers, among Boeing's thousands. "One of our major programs now is working with Boeing on the QF-16 drone," Bechtold says. "They're using us for concurrent engineering."

Return on investment didn't come immediately but has improved. Sales in 2011 were double 2010's, and employment is now 35, up from 25 a year ago. It expects more hiring this year.

The economic downturn was in some ways beneficial, says Bechtold: "Sometimes big companies reduce personnel during recession, and when big orders come in, they come to us. We call ourselves ‘the outsource resource."'

Tags: Manufacturing/Distribution, Northwest

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Balloon sculpture at Museum of Fine Arts will blow you away
Balloon sculpture at Museum of Fine Arts will blow you away

If you've ever been impressed by a balloon animal, prepare to be blown away by a new art exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg made up entirely of balloons.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Should the Feds stop sending so much surplus military weapons and armored trucks to local police?

  • Yes, enough already
  • No, every force should be prepared for the worst

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe