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Each week, The Columbian offers a brief snapshot of an interesting Clark County business. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: firstname.lastname@example.org; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.
Business name: A & M Manufacturing.
Owner: Dennis and Karen Miller.
Address: 700 S. 37th St., Suite 3, Washougal.
What the business does: A & M Manufacturing was founded to fill a need Dennis and Karen Miller saw for equipment, services and expertise in the planer mill and saw mill industry. The Millers partner with companies to improve operations.
How has the economy affected your business: The Millers said they had a tough time in 2009 and early 2010. They participated in the state’s Shared Work program, which allows businesses to reduce the hours of full-time employees while the workers collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of lost wages. As a result, the company was able to retain its employees. The Millers said they feel fortunate to have qualified and that their employees remained dedicated through the economic crisis. They have seen an increase in sales in 2011.
Greatest challenge: The greatest challenge is the delivery of raw materials. Very few vendors carry as much inventory as they used to, and that can extend time to delivery beyond what the Millers feel is acceptable.
What’s ahead: Most of A & M’s customers are in southeastern United States. The company is expanding its customer base to work with more businesses in the Northwest. Recently it has seen an increase in customer inquiries; the Millers feel they will increase sales in 2012.
Year established in Clark County: The company was founded in 2004; Dennis and Karen Miller bought the company in 2008.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday