SAN ANTONIO—For SBP Holdings, parent of rubber goods distributor Singer Equities Inc., it was a big deal when it boosted the size of its corporate staff by 33 percent.
That's right, it went from three employees to four at the start of the year when it appointed Pete Haberbosch to the newly created post of vice president of business development. He will help find potential acquisition targets for Singer and also for Bishop Lifting, SBP Holdings' other vertical business that focuses on goods and services for rigging and crane applications.
Haberbosch joined the CEO, chief financial officer and a controller as the only corporate employees for SBP—and they all work out of different locations.
But that's not surprising because SBP and its verticals have stuck to a decentralized business approach as it has grown significantly, aided by 19 acquisitions made since 1999.
For example, the Singer Equities vertical has about 500 employees—roughly the same as Bishop Lifting—and operates from 38 locations that do business under 10 platform companies that have come to Singer through its string of purchases. Its operations boast more than 100 hydraulic crimpers, 642,000 square feet of facility space and hold $39 million worth of inventory, according to the firm's website.
The Singer businesses serve a wide variety of markets, focusing on goods and services related to hydraulic, industrial, composite and metal hose; heavy and light weight conveyor belting; and rubber and metallic gaskets.
The organizational changes were prompted by the retirement late last year of Otis Dufrene from day-to-day operations, though he will remain active as chairman and a board member. That meant that Don Fritzinger moved up to Dufrene's role as president and CEO of SBP Holdings, with Sam Petillo taking over Fritzinger's prior role as Singer Equities president, and Haberbosch moving to his new position.
"We run very decentralized, but we're in a position where we have this talent we've moved in over the years who have been a very quick learn and moved them into areas they can make decisions," Fritzinger said.