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|Staking New Ground – Construction Supply Company Finds Quick Road To Success|
|News Releases - Business & Economy|
|Written by Cameron Clement|
|Wednesday, 14 March 2012 13:17|
Innovation in Niche Market Leads to Rapid Start-up and Expansion Right off the Bat.
BlackBat Trueline Stakes started as a business idea involving the supply of wooden survey stakes for the construction industry including oil and gas, pipeline and highway rights-of-way, and infrastructure renewal projects. This led to a new business model, which has found rapid acceptance and quick growth.
In 2009, BlackBat Stakes’ co-founder Bob Reeves presented Howard Bagby with an opportunity to establish a survey stake company. Howard, who has 30 years experience in the oil and gas business, was familiar with the need of this product, considering how much survey work is done before drilling projects start.
“I recognized that there was a need for high quality wooden stakes for our surveyors to use, and Bob’s plan would do something about it,” Bagby said. After speaking further with Reeves, Bagby discovered the stakes were from multiple sources that were inconsistent and consequently the quality was often below standards. “The quality varied so much that often an area had to be re-surveyed or would take too long to get right simply due to undependability and breakage of the stakes,” Babgy said. “This made Reeves’ proposal very interesting.”
Reeves’ idea was simple: “If we put a better survey stake in the market, we could save a lot of time and money in the cost of a project.”
In 2010, they bought a small Alma, Ark.-based regional stake maker and invested in new technologies that allow the company to produce a high volume of high-quality stakes that lead the industry in low breakage rates and durability. “We were very fortunate in the beginning. Once we got our manufacturing process worked out with our new designs, our volume and consistency was much better than we ever expected,” Howard said.
As BlackBat began introducing its stakes, made of pine or hardwood, to the market in February 2011, growth was immediate. Orders increased every month. Customers love the smooth finish on the stakes, making them easy to write on. The stakes’ consistent quality and straightness ensure survey projects are more efficient and accurate.
While BlackBat is excited about the rapid growth they are presently experiencing, the company also is staking its claim in the future. “We would like to see our company and its processes grow nationally. It will be very easy for us to replicate this manufacturing process in other states. Wherever high quality wood products are sold we want to be there, and we want our name to be recognized,” said Reeves, now General Manager at BlackBat.
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