Geological Resources, Inc. | Charlotte, NC
Geological Resources, Inc. (GRI) provides geological and environmental engineering consulting services to predominantly petroleum, industrial, and state and local government clients that need environmental studies or tests. The Charlotte and Greenville, NC-based business serves the southeast including Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Established in 1971 as a family-owned business, the business is now led by John Brown, Terry Kennedy, Rohit Shetty and Justin Radford who strive to maintain the family-oriented environment that makes GRI an attractive work environment for all employees.
GRI management learned about the SBTDC in 2010 when they were contacted and referred by the NC Department of Commerce for participation in Biz Boost, a program designed to help vulnerable businesses retain jobs and accelerate their prospects for the future. They initially met with UNC Charlotte SBTDC business counselor, Stu Bantit, for help with expanding and diversifying markets and services while improving GRI’s financial position. They also needed to develop a long-term marketing strategy to focus on private industry and client diversification.
Stu started by conducting a ProfitCents financial analysis and industry benchmarking, and reviewing the results with the team. This helped Stu and GRI prepare a plan of action. GRI received counseling on how to improve employee job descriptions and set up an incentive program. They also received technical assistance around various SBA loan products.
GRI leadership completed a Strategic Organization Assessment (SOA) conducted by the SBTDC’s Strategy and Growth Services team. This would be the start of their work with an impressive MBA student team who assisted them with the development of a marketing plan, which is currently being implemented in stages. GRI has hired a marketing director to implement the plan.
GRI has become more focused and strategic since leveraging many of the SBTDC’s programs and services. Through better understanding of financial information, GRI’s leadership has been able to make better decisions. Cash flow has improved and long-term debt was reduced by a half million dollars. Sales also increased and profitability improved. By benchmarking their financials versus competition, GRI was able to leverage prices resulting in better gross margins. GRI was also able to successfully negotiate a credit line with their current banker. By the end of 2012, the new Strategy and Organizational Assessment (SOA) showed the company improving in all areas. The business has also grown from 16 full-time employees in 2009 to 25 full-time employees in 2012.
GRI is now poised for continued success in the future. They are currently investigating purchase of a building. After meeting with the SBTDC’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) counselor, GRI has decided to pursue bidding on contracts with local city and county agencies, which will help them enter into new markets.
Story originally featured in the SBTDC's 2012-13 Annual Report.
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