Most people around the country are aware of the challenges our domestic oil and gas industry has faced for the past 18 months. Few states have been affected as much as Texas. As a Texas based (small) manufacturer, our business has been – and continues to be – influenced by the downturn. The primary industries we have served for the past two decades include traffic control, solar and oil and gas – with solar being the most active. Over the past year we’ve become painfully aware that our solar customers have been, and are, heavily involved in the oil and gas businesses. While we may not have sold our enclosures directly to the oil industry – our customers were selling our enclosures to them. And all this time, we thought we were diversified!
Diversification is one of those processes that virtually all businesses believe is extremely important, but one that can be so difficult to implement. You may service three or four “different” markets, but when the oil and gas industry is booming, the numbers can get lop-sided in a hurry! When those numbers go away, you can have a substantial void to fill. The real problem arises when you finally realize you need to diversify, but you’ve exhausted resources waiting for the market to “bounce back”!
Bison Profab’s Diversification Efforts
Bison ProFab is a conservatively run company; operating lean and staying financially stable. As a small company, we are nimble enough to make changes quickly and we have been fortunate to have the resources to invest in markets in which we’ve identified new opportunities. The efforts we implemented six months ago are creating business opportunities in industries we’ve not previously been involved, such as railroad, medical, transportation and water treatment.
We’ll still be ready to meet the needs of our “oil and gas” customers when that industry revs back up again – and we know it will. But until that happens, we’re busy creating new business partnerships in new markets.