Spokane Journal of Business

B&C Custom Manufacturing enters two joint ventures, moves

Company doubled staff in second half of 2019

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Automated machining company B&C Custom Manufacturing Inc. is rapidly expanding, with two new joint ventures inked this year and the acquisition of a local tool and die shop that general manager Luke Ankenman says will create a one-stop shop at its new location.

The parts manufacturing company relocated to a new facility nearly 15 times the size of its original location in September, when the company entered into a joint venture with Highwood Global, Ankenman says.

As part of its expansion, B&C purchased Highwood’s machine shop and is leasing the building next to Highwood’s manufacturing headquarters on Magnesium Road, Ankenman says.

He adds that B&C had already been searching for a new location when the deal with Highwood was struck.

“We were going beyond our capabilities at our previous location,” he says, adding that the company had brought on several new projects.

The arrangement with Highwood is a natural fit, he says, because B&C had been taking on more projects for Highwood.

With the new space and the additional computer numeric controlled machines, Ankenman envisions the company could jump to an annual revenue of $3.5 million in 2020, from $950,000 this year. 

CNC machines are automated tools, such as mills, lathes, and routers that are controlled through software and embedded microcomputers.

Before the move, B&C was located in about 4,600 square feet of warehouse space at 1514 E. Riverside, where it had 10 CNC machines and eight employees. Space constraints there limited the company’s annual revenue to no more than $850,000.

The second joint venture is with Global Products & Development LLC, an injection molding and CNC machining company that co-owner Tony Robinett says grew from an existing relationship between the two companies. 

“It’s basically bringing everything together under one roof,” he says. “It’s just always been a good relationship with them, so when we found out they had this space, it just made sense.”

Global plans to move into the space on Magnesium Road at the start of the new year, Robinett says. It currently has four employees.

The company had revenue of $300,000 in 2018, and revenue expected to jump to $1.5 million by the end of 2020, Robinett says.

“It’s partly why we were excited to see so much room that they have here, to move in with them,” he says. “We’re going to have to expand our operations to meet our customers’ demands … in the next year. There’s no way we’d be able to do what they need us to do in the facility that we’re in now.”

Ankenman says he and B&C Manufacturing owner Mike Carver purchased 66% Spokane-based Inspection Plus, a tool and die shop, to form Northwest Tool & Die, which will operate out of the same building as B&C.

He anticipates revenue of up to $750,000 next year for Northwest Tool & Die alone.

Since moving into the new 70,000-square-foot facility at 2425 E. Magnesium in September, B&C has doubled its staff and brought in eight new CNC machines, with another set to arrive early next year, says Ankenman.

Between 10 and 15 more employees are expected to be brought on in the next couple of years, Ankenman says.

The company has about 40 regular customers, Ankenman says, who order metal parts for wheelchairs, rollercoasters, aerospace projects, and electrical power substations, to name a few.

“All those customers are coming with us,” he says. “We’re getting additional parts from them so we’re able to make more things because we have more room, we have more staff, and there’s less turn-around time.”

Natasha Nellis
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Reporter Natasha Nellis joined the Journal in May 2018 and covers real estate and construction. Natasha is an avid reader and loves taking photos, traveling, and learning new languages.

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