CJB Industries' Manufacturing Expertise Boosts Local Economy

Barbara Kieker

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

With three locations in Valdosta, CJB Industries, Inc. brings valuable manufacturing expertise to the area that helps build a strong, balanced local economy. Founded in 1997, the company provides chemical manufacturing services including formulating, processing, filling and packaging liquids and solid products for customers in the agricultural, automotive, industrial and other industries.

"We offer manufacturing expertise that supports other industries in the area like agriculture. Those synergies help develop a stronger community," said CJB Industries President R. Clinton Beeland, Jr.

"Although most of our customers are multinational corporations, we're committed to Valdosta."

CJB Industries operates two plant sites, one located on Cypress Street and the other on Gil Harbin Industrial Blvd. Company headquarters are located on Hill Ave. Since its founding, the company has steadily expanded its operations and capabilities and now has more than 90 employees. In 2009, it was named Manufacturer of the Year for Lowndes County by the Chamber of Commerce and in 2010 it was named Georgia Business of the Year.

A Growing Challenge
Over the past five years, the agricultural market has fueled the company's growth, according to Beeland. Recently, the industrial market has also shown some positive momentum.

"Market trends change all the time, but population growth and ethanol demand have driven steady growth in agriculture. That helped us weather the recession well," Beeland said.

Most of the challenges that CJB Industries faces in 2013 are growth related. The company is focused on improving communications both internally and externally.

"We've created culture training to educate new employees on the core values and principles that make up our culture. It takes about 15 hours of education per person and it will be a part of our new hire onboarding process," Beeland said.

"All existing employees will go through the training as well. We’ve grown pretty quickly to 90-plus employees and with growth we recognize that we need to improve our employee education by creating a more formal process."

Another growth-related challenge is determining the best opportunities to invest in for future growth. Uncertainty in financial markets and the global economy make it difficult to project future trends with confidence.

"Right now there are not a tremendous number of opportunities out there. We are looking at acquisitions as a growth option because so many baby boomers are looking to exit their businesses," Beeland said.

"We have to identify those businesses that share synergies with ours. That means when we add a business to our own, it improves the growth prospects for both businesses without creating a lot of problems."

Listening to Customers
CJB Industries conducts annual surveys of its customers and employees and uses the feedback to address any areas that need improvement.

"We survey customers and employees to makes sure our employees are in tune with our customers. We like to hear the same strengths and weaknesses from both," Beeland said.

In the most recent survey, 94 percent of customer respondents rated their satisfaction with the company as "Excellent" or "Very Good." In addition, customers and employees were in agreement about the company's strengths and weaknesses.

Based on the results, the company is working to streamline inventory management, improve communication both inside and outside the company, and strengthen its commitment to producing 100 percent quality products. Its efforts include employee training, new visual aids in production and packaging to focus employees on quality and rate expectations; and production flow enhancements to improve throughput and safety.

The company uses lean manufacturing throughout its operations to improve its focus. Recently, Georgia Tech President G. P. "Bud" Peterson, his wife Val, members of their staff and Art Ford, Regional Manager for Georgia Tech's Advanced Technology Development Center toured the Gil Harbin facility for an up-close look at the company's lean manufacturing process.

More information on CJB Industries is available at www.cjbindustries.com.

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.