Preparing for Success in the TMS
I attended the Liberty Chamber of Commerce meeting last night where a couple of new companies recently locating in the TMS were mentioned, one for the first time.
A couple of weeks ago I reported on Global Vessel and Tanks acquisition of companies servicing the TMS and companies have located in the Pike County area in recent months in an effort to serve the area better and so as to provide more economical pricing.
McComb, MS bills itself as the Gateway to the TMS since it is the largest town near the TMS and has both interstate and rail access.
Liberty, MS appears to be dubbing itself as the Hub of the TMS, based on comments last night, since the most recent company to locate here explained why it selected Liberty by pulling out a map of the area and showing Liberty's central location to the TMS activity.
The latest company to locate here is Integrity Industries, a subsidiary of Weatherford Oilfield Chemicals, which was recently acquired by Lubrizol Corporation. Lubrizol is a Berkshire Hathaway Company, perhaps better known as Warren Buffet's Company. In other words, Integrity won't lack for capital in its operations.
Integrity operates a drilling fluids business and has been serving the TMS from Jennings, Louisiana... over 150 miles away. The facility here will be located in the former Liberty Tractor facility and will employ 6-8 people on a full time basis. It will have a mixing lab on site and will be able to accommodate many more employees as needed.
The other company mentioned at the Liberty Chamber Banquet as locating in Liberty in recent months is Beacon Oilfield Supply. Beacon expanded from Columbia and has set up a nice oilfield supply operation on Main Street in the former Wilkinson Brothers Garage.
There is another company quietly getting set up in Liberty that I won't mention since they seem to prefer folks not knowing and other companies have been in Liberty since day one. The "Hub" appears to be worthy of the name and has certainly gathered increasing attention over the past few months as the TMS code has seemingly been cracked.
A few restaurants have taken note and have expanded or are locating in Liberty...a Subway is being built and another restaurant is rumored to be in the planning stages, also. And, of course, Wards Restaurant made the expansion commitment earlier this year and recently completed its new parking lot extension.
Other companies have located in the Pike area, as well as Centreville, Gloster, and Woodville. I think Clinton, LA has seen some interest and it wouldn't surprise me to see Kentwood and other TMS communities see some benefits. I'm told there is a strong undercurrent of discussions at this time from service companies considering location in the TMS.
Some may think it doesn't make sense for companies to make a commitment to the TMS at this time, but, frankly it makes perfect sense to me. Why?
1. Prices for land/facilities are not going to be as high while there is little to no activity in the TMS. A company can be locating here in a buyer's market rather than in a seller's market.
2. Getting set up for business is best accomplished when there is time to think about how to do it right rather than in a rush and crush of a fast growing business. A lot of problems can be handled on the front end rather than fought on the back end.
3. Local towns/chambers, etc...are more interested and capable of helping new businesses when things are slow. When 2+ competing companies are wanting to locate, towns/chambers, etc... are less incentivized to help and there are likely fewer resources available, too.
While I'm on the subject, I certainly hope that our local, regional and state governments will seize the opportunity to get prepared for the return of the TMS action.
Now is the time to prepare for success in the TMS. Governments too often knee jerk decisions and do what is most pressing. But, when the TMS cranks back up, there likely won't be enough time to get things done...at least not right.
Ahh, well...I have enough to keep me busy without preaching too much to anyone else.
But, I sincerely believe the companies that will have the most success in the TMS will be set up and ready to go by the end of the year. Moreover, I believe the communities, regions and states set up and ready to go by the end of this year will see more success than those trying to get things in place after the TMS cranks back up.
As a shameless plug, I'm posting a video taken today of the Wards parking lot addition. It ain't fancy, but I expect it to be used a great deal in the coming years.