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Products made as if lives may depend on them

Rochester Business Journal
February 21, 2014

The success of Precision Interconnect Solutions Inc. lies in its commitment to the customer, its owners believe.

It is not enough just to land a customer, says Rick Hardwick, president and managing partner of Precision Interconnect Solutions. A business must provide superior customer service so the client wants to come back for additional jobs.

“Getting one shot isn’t enough to be successful,” Hardwick says. “You won’t survive without customer service.”

Hardwick and his business partners launched Precision Interconnect Solutions in January 2013.

The minority-owned business is a cable and wire harness assembler for industries such as aerospace, automotive, defense, medical, oil and gas and power generation. Other capabilities include panel assembly, electro-mechanical assembly, circuit card assembly and parts kitting services.

Precision Interconnect Solutions has customers throughout the United States, notably in Upstate New York, Massachusetts and South Carolina. The business is looking to expand its customer base into Canada, Hardwick says.

The eight-person firm is in the former Rochester Midland Corp. building on Hollenbeck Street, in an area designated as a historically underused business zone.

Hardwick, 52, is a second-time business owner. His first venture, R&H Marketing Inc., is in the same 16,000-square-foot building as Precision Interconnect Solutions.

R&H is a sales representative agency that works with companies in the cable/harness and sheet metal fields. It is where the idea for Precision Interconnect Solutions was born.

“I worked with people in the industry and could see what was being handled and what was lacking,” Hardwick says. “I thought I could fill a void.”

So Hardwick and his partners—John Hoff, Bob McLane, Tyrone Reaves and Mike Rizzo—started the business.

The group secured more than $250,000 in funding to install new equipment and get the firm operating. Hardwick notes the business was privately financed and is debt-free.

What sets his firm apart from similar ones is its customer service efforts, Hardwick says. Having owned R&H Marketing for five years, Hardwick saw room for improvement in customer service, especially when a challenge arose.

“We make sure our focus is on taking care of the customer,” he says.

He also reminds his employees that someone may be depending on the cable and wire harness they are assembling, perhaps a soldier in a tank or a person piloting an airplane.

Hardwick asks workers to imagine they are assembling the products for themselves.

“I get them to think they are the end user,” he says.

Precision Interconnect Solutions is continuously working to improve. It is International Traffic in Arms Regulations registered and is becoming certified by the International Organization for Standardization.

Hardwick describes the business as a work in progress with a focus on improvement.

“It is a lot of work getting started, but we are learning as we go,” he says.

Small Business is a biweekly feature focusing on entrepreneurs. Send suggestions for future Small Business stories to Associate Editor Smriti Jacob at sjacob@rbj.net.

2/21/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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