It was a sink-or-swim moment for Alliance Mechanical Solutions (AMS) – a massive contract to construct new ships ended abruptly in early 2017 and with it jobs for most of AMS’ 200 employees.
“We had concentrated our business heavily with one client and quadrupled our staff for the project. While we survived, it became clear the strategy was flawed,” said owner Brian Weil.
Righting The Ship
Charting a course for the ten-year-old business, Weil worked with his production, utilities and controller vice presidents to devise a new strategy.
“We could see a path forward, but there was only one, and it was very narrow,” said Weil.
The new strategy required funding for operational changes, but AMS could no longer easily find traditional bank financing after losing a large customer.
The team stayed the course and reached a turning point when a bank lender in Birmingham referred him to Pathway Lending.
Charting A New Course
AMS worked with Pathway Lending to recapitalize AMS’ debt into one payment with a longer term, add a revolving line of credit and build budget and forecasting models with Pathway’s Business Advisory Services.
“We can now give our production managers monthly goals, and that visibility not only keeps our whole team focused but also gives everyone confidence the business is on track,” said April Vasko-Norton, AMS’ Vice President- Controller.
AMS gained the breathing room it needed to recover and has added new revenue streams, laying underground utilities for regional telcos and municipalities and providing outsourced staffing solutions.
As AMS steadily returns to the volume and profitability it achieved early on, Weil feels confident it has the right team, the right mix of clients and the right partner in Pathway.
To other business owners facing challenges, he advises, “A business has a life of its own, but if you don’t give up on it and keep your eyes wide open, you’ll find there are so many resources out there. The key is not to get stuck. Keep moving and just keep going after what you believe the business needs.”
Learn more about Pathway Lending and apply for a Small Business Loan here.