CJB Industries Inc.
Eight of the top 10 industrial and agricultural chemical brands in the U.S. and 13 of the top 15 in the world turn to one crucial partner for contract production. And that partner is CJB Industries Inc., based in Valdosta, Georgia. Led by Clinton Beeland, president and CEO of the operation, CJB has been offering value to customers since 1997.
Nearly 20 years ago the operation opened its doors with a staff that could be counted on one hand. In 2016 that number has grown to just under 100 employees. From a single, small location, the business has expanded to three facilities as well as a technology center and corporate offices, totaling 300,000 square feet.
Growth has been steady for the business over the last two decades. From 2000 on, CJB has expanded facilities or added new properties to its portfolio on almost a yearly basis. With growing assets, the company’s capacity rises year over year as repeat and referral customers seek out quality, value and discretion in chemical production.
A system that markets itself
For the last three years, the company has sustained a 95 percent rate of repeat business and approximately 98 percent of customers say they would recommend CJB to colleagues. This substantial level of satisfaction leaves few questions as to how the business has seen such consistent growth. The company’s highly organized structure, culture of compliance and focus on customer service play leading roles in its continued development.
“There are a couple things that set us apart from other contract manufacturers,” explains Beeland. “The major one is that we’re easy to do business with — simplistically, if you call us you speak to a person. It makes things easier in that we are quick to respond to our customers’ needs. Beyond that, we’re constantly growing and reinvesting in our equipment and processes. All companies are different and we try not to emulate anyone else in the industry.”
For CJB, custom production entails significant collaboration. Before even taking on a contract, Beeland and his colleagues work closely with clients to ensure that there is adequate equipment, expertise and capacity for production. The company does not stray far from agricultural and industrial applications. CJB avoids taking on unnecessary risk in order to better serve clients in areas where production services offer the most value.
In-house, the operation offers formulation to finished product, including testing. “We do very little reactive chemistry on the front end, but we do assist with development and formulation,” says Beeland. “That’s a relatively new entry for us; we used to simply consult and make suggestions, but now we have dedicated internal resources. The biggest component in building a relationship with the customer is getting the right players together. Our job is to ensure we have all the right inputs and that we keep open communication in all directions.”
While CJB offers the same high level of attention to clients in all of the markets it serves, Beeland says agriculture is in the lead as far as volume and revenue. “About 70 percent of our business is in ag right now,” he explains. “And that includes some related markets such as animal health, which is ag but not crops, as well as turf and ornamental, which includes golf courses, nursery plants, and some consumer items with the same chemistry, for example home pest control.”
Coatings and other industrial applications still comprise a fair portion of the business. In the past, these markets have made up half or more of CJB’s revenue stream. “It’s always changing,” Beeland notes. “It depends on the growth cycle and what’s happening in the overall economy. Populations continue to grow and people continue to eat more, so ag continues to grow. Change in the market increases opportunities.”
In order to keep up with market changes and take on profitable opportunities, Beeland and his team try to stay a step ahead of the game with technology. Most recently that takes the form of data analysis, robotics and automation.
“Automation and robotics have been around for years now and is becoming more and more affordable,” he notes. “We also have the ability to automatically collect data and information that we can use to improve our products and processes.”
As more advances come down the line, CJB is keeping an ear to the ground and making balanced decisions when it comes to reinvestment. On a parallel trajectory, regulations are in a similar state of flux. Whether geared toward environmental or health and safety improvements, changes in the rules can throw a wrench into manufacturing operations. Fortunately, Beeland says most changes are fair and manageable — and he has an excellent team to turn to when adjustments need to be made.
All in all, Beeland believes his staff is the company’s greatest asset — and one that also requires wise reinvestment. “There are public and internal factors to a business’ success,” he explains.
“All in all, a business is made of its people and its community. We want our people to be able to work, develop and make a good living. We also understand that in developing a company culture, the ways our people respond and react are incredibly important. We focus internally on our company’s culture and all those that we deal with — our customers, vendors, the community — know that, so our external projection models our positive culture and we maintain a good public perception.”
This continued focus on creating relationships and success form the inside out has proven a sustainable and forward-thinking model. With a finger on the pulse of the industry and the right people and processes in place, CJB Industries Inc. is on track for continued growth with a loyal and growing customer base.