Gross Automation (R. J. Gross and Associates, Inc.)

    Address: 3680 N. 126th St., Brookfield, WI 53005


    Year Founded: 1990

    Product or Service offered: Technically driven industrial automation and controls distributor with the additional in-house expertise to service and support our products within the manufacturing environment.

    Projected 2013 Revenue: Not Disclosed

    President and CEO: Robert J. Gross

    Other key members of the leadership team: Gregory M. Grant, vice president

    Target Clientele: Manufacturing companies, original equipment manufacturers including vertical market specialty equipment suppliers, systems integrators and electrical contractors.

    Business organization memberships: Metropolitan Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce, MMAC/COSBE CEO Roundtable #13, Greater Milwaukee Area Sales and Marketing Executives RT, TEC Midwest Group #50, Business Wisconsin Jobs, Independent Business Association of Wisconsin, Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin – A+ Accredited Member, Wauwatosa Lions Club, Kiwanis Club of Wauwatosa

    What has fueled your company’s growth?: “We have recently added multiple new suppliers and technologies to our product offering with respect to variable speed drives, safety components, programmable controllers, graphical displays and process automation equipment. We have also added substantial additional resources to our technical capabilities, beyond that which would normally be considered to be a part of the distribution channel.”

    What is the biggest obstacle to your company’s growth?: “Funding the growth is a major obstacle. As with all businesses, we have had to choose in which areas will we invest and then have had to leave those opportunities behind if they were outside of our plan. Never in our history have we seen so many opportunities in so many areas. These have been very difficult choices.”

    Do you plan any changes in your company in the upcoming months?: “New product line additions are in the works. Also, we are always looking to expand our customer base. All this may lead to the addition of a couple of new employees, but the timing is unsure at the moment.”

    Who are the business people, locally or nationally, whom you admire? And what traits do those people exhibit that make you admire them?:“We have the most incredible group of employees at Gross Automation and when matched with our nationally/internationally based suppliers, how can you not admire what they have accomplished? Our management team ‘gets it.’”

    What is the outlook for the business conditions of your industry over the next several months?: “Wisconsin is rated 2nd in the nation for growth in the coming months of 2013. With the backbone of our local economy being in the manufacturing sector, this is really great news. We still have to endure the implementation (yet to be defined) of Obamacare. The more the government takes, the less we can invest. That directly relates to real jobs and economic growth. This uncertainty is bad for business and makes any prediction of the future so much harder.”

    What is your company’s most important growth strategy right now?: “We have built our business from our goals, not for short-term profits but for solid long-term responsible growth. We need to maintain the course that we have set while waiting for the economic situation both locally and nationally to improve.”

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