Greenup Industries

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A Gonzales, Louisiana-based provider of maintenance and third-party procurement services, Greenup Industries LLC has been expanding quickly since its launch in December 2012, generating more than $13 million in annual revenue by the end of 2016. Yet the majority of growth has stemmed from one large client, and CEO Rodney Greenup wanted to diversify his customer base. With that in mind, in 2017 Greenup entered Louisiana’s Economic Gardening Network, which gave him access to researchers at the National Center for Economic Gardening (NCEG).

“The deliverables were incredible,” says Greenup. “The information the Economic Gardening researchers provided was something I never could have gotten on my own.”

Through the past five years, Greenup has developed a network of more than 900 vendors. Although these vendors are vetted to work in secure downstream petroleum facilities, their services are transferable to other industries, Greenup says, citing engineering, instrumentation and controls, IT and general contracting, to name a few. Yet he was unsure which industries to target — and how to reach out to prospective clients?

To help answer those questions, the NCEG researchers:

  • First analyzed a variety of manufacturing industries to see which ones are growing.
  • From this list, they took a deeper dive into three of the most promising: petrochemical, automotive and power utilities.
  • Next, an expert in geographic information systems (GIS) technology created a detailed prospect list, along with maps that showed the concentration of prospective clients across North America.

The GIS mapping was a big takeaway, Greenup says, because he realized how much he could maximize his existing resources and vendor network if prospective clients were in close proximity to each other. “I had been considering expansion on the West Coast because I have a satellite office there,” he says. “Yet I could see the concentration of automotive plants in the Gulf South had 10 times more potential.”

Within a few months of the Economic Gardening engagement, Greenup won a contract with a utility company that added about $250,000 to 2017 revenue. More important, Greenup Industries is prequalified for the utility on another project, which could add as much as $3 million in 2018 revenue.

In addition to focusing Greenup Industries’ expansion strategy from an industry and geographic perspective, the NCEG researchers also helped define the company’s marketing messaging.

“Going into the Economic Gardening program, we felt that offering more services was better and helped us look bigger than we actually were,” Greenup explains. “But during the engagement we realized we have three core strengths — instrumentation and control systems, on-boarding and managing other vendors, and corrosion services. Other services are either an add-on to those areas or aren’t really areas of high growth. We didn’t see that until we entered the Economic Gardening program.”

“What’s more, the researchers’ questions helped me pause and think more about what I wanted to do with the company moving forward,” he adds. “Before Economic Gardening, we didn’t have any kind of strategy. We had a contract with a major company and kept on working with that client — but we were reacting from day to day. Yet now we have a strategic plan, one that defines what we will look like and who we will do business with.”

 

Copyright © 2018 by the Edward Lowe Foundation

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In contrast to relocation or startup initiatives, Economic Gardening® targets second-stage companies already operating in a community. It helps these existing businesses grow larger by assisting them with strategic issues and providing them with customized research.