“We have some really good people,” Dumoulin said, noting that he has not brought in any senior people from the outside since buying the business. “I feel lucky and blessed.”
That recipe seems to be working. In the three years since the purchase, Precise's sales have grown to just less than $10 million from $6 million. Dumoulin also is investing in the company, spending $1 million a year on new equipment and projecting that level of spending for the next three or four years, too.
The progress is felt at the customer level. One hundred percent of Precise customers who have worked with the company in the last six months said they would recommend the company, according to Precise's 2016 spring customer survey. Precise also took home second-place honors in the Plastics News' Best Places to Work ranking this year, which is a reflection of how satisfied Precise employees are at workplace.
“I think this shows that our new culture is taking hold,” Dumoulin said. “And a motivated, happy workforce makes quality products.”
Several companies have come knocking on Precise's door of late, asking Dumoulin if he's willing to sell the growing firm. While he would never say, “never,” Dumoulin is, instead, reviewing potential acquisition targets for Precise.
“I look at a company every other month,” he said, noting that metal fabrication, specialty manufacturing and even aviation hold particular interest to him, especially if they are in the Midwest.
Dumoulin breaks Precise's business into thirds: making new molds, repairing others' molds (the fastest-growing segment) and custom plate machining for firms like Caterpillar and Cummins. Precise has made 1,000 molds since 2006 and has repaired 6,000 in the same timeframe, especially those from China and Canada. In fact, one firm that buys large molds from China sends all of them to Precise to inspect and fix, if needed, before using them for the first time.
As for customers, they all receive a weekly progress report for all jobs. Dumoulin also morphed the customer base from 80 percent automotive when he bought Precise to 55 percent today.
“Now, when auto sales decline, we'll be fine,” he said.