Joseph G. Zidik, President and CEO of Custom Milling and Consulting, Inc. of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, was named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Person of the Year for 2015. Zidik, with business partner Carl Yerger, founded the company in 2002 to design, manufacture, and assemble chemical material processing equipment for sale in the U.S. and overseas. Carly Yerger was murdered in March 2014 in a random act of violence while on a fishing trip with Zidik, leaving the latter with the responsibilities of now managing all aspects of the business. Zidik and Yerger, in addition to being business partners, were best friends.
In addition to manufacturing a variety of standard and custom milling machines, the company also provides parts and services all of its equipment to assure peak performance. At its plant, CMC also processes a wide variety of products, such as quality mulch, for a wide variety of regional and multinational corporations.
In March 2015, CMC opened a new 33,000 square foot facility to expand processing and storage space to support increased customer demand. The building was dedicated as the Carl D. Yerger Logistics Center. In September 2014, the company acquired a 14,000 square foot production plant in Curitiba, Brazil to expand sales and as a means to enter the Brazilian and other Latin American markets. CMC acquired ISO: 2008 Certification in June 2014.
As a growth-focused company in rural Berks County, CMC has increased sales consistently and competed successfully against much larger companies. The company has exported to Europe and Asia while earning a reputation as a trusted, innovative supplier of wet milling equipment for a wide variety of applications. Owner Zidik effectively summarized the success of the company:
“CMC is good example of a niche company that never strays too far from its core competencies. For most of our customers, we offer the complete package. We use our customer service laboratory and formulation team to help our customers develop new product lines, tweak existing products, and solve processing issues. We can manufacture sample batches, or even provide small to mid-size production, which helps our customers test their markets before making much larger investments.
Our equipment and parts customers benefit from the fact that we use the equipment we manufacture in our custom processing and mulch divisions. We basically have a huge R&D facility right on site, and we deal with our customers as not only a vendor but fellow manufacturer. What I am most proud of is the terrific management team that Carl and I built over the years. Without their constant vision and dedication, CMC wouldn’t even exist.”
The Kutztown University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provided Zidik with assistance in business planning, exporting, finance, risk mitigation, and government procurement. The company has also used the environmental consulting expertise offered by the SBDC. In the past, the company has used SBA financing and Pennsylvania International Trade services in several countries for contacts and trade information, including SBDC partner Pennsylvania Regional Economic Performance (PREP).