Category Archives: MiTek

New MiTek Lab is “Quantum Leap” in Capability

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Heat Pipe Technology (HPT), a division of Berkshire Hathaway’s MiTek Industries, has opened a new laboratory at its Tampa location, expanding its ability to research, develop, and test new products, while expediting the time-to-market for such products.

With 3,800 square feet of new testing and research space, HPT now has the capability to test to the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) Standard 1060. Indeed, HPT’s facilities are comparable to those offered by Intertek (AHRI’s official test agency) for Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) testing. Although HPT’s products may still be subject to the third-party AHRI testing and approval process, HPT can now pre-test its products to AHRI standards. This not only dramatically compresses the product development cycle-time, it also opens up more time and capability for HPT personnel to create new product innovations.

Situated on-premises, the new state-of-the-art HPT lab is fully equipped to support heat pipes testing up to 16 feet in length. With a robust automation and data-acquisition system, this facility offers the capability to run tests overnight and on weekends without human oversight.

“This new lab is a quantum leap in capability for HPT,” said HPT’s Dr. Onieluan Tamunobere, a resident scientist and engineer. “Our capability to innovate has been expanded, and our time to move innovations from concept to market has been compressed to a fraction of what it was before we had the lab.”

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

M&M Manufacturing Snaps Up Snappy Company

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Berkshire Hathaway’s MiTek Industries, Inc., through its subsidiary, M&M Manufacturing, has acquired Snappy Company, a leading supplier of metal duct systems for the residential HVAC market.

Snappy has manufacturing facilities in Detroit Lakes, MN; Medina, NY; and corporate offices in Marietta, GA.

According to MiTek, Snappy will complement M&M Manufacturing, a leading producer of sheet metal products, primarily servicing the air distribution and ventilation markets. M&M Manufacturing will invest in Snappy’s manufacturing capabilities, expertise, and infrastructure.

“We are excited to welcome Snappy in the family of MiTek companies,” stated Tom Manenti, Chairman and CEO of MiTek. “The experience and relationships of Snappy and M&M will be leveraged across all of our manufacturing platforms in order to expand capacity and customer service levels. Combining the manufacturing capacities of M&M Manufacturing and Snappy will allow both companies to better serve our customers and grow in the markets we serve together.”

“Snappy has been a market leader for more than 60 years,” added Rob Felton, President of M&M Manufacturing, “and Snappy’s reputation has been built on a heritage of great customer service, product innovation, and a focus on people. That’s a perfect fit for M&M Manufacturing, and we look forward to leveraging each others’ expertise and capabilities.”

Snappy is a leading supplier of metal pipe and fittings for the residential HVAC market, and the company is recognized for remarkable innovation, quality products, and impeccable service. Since 1955, Snappy has been a trusted resource to HVAC distributors and contractors. With a full line of components that fit together seamlessly and are safe for end users, the company manufactures approximately 4,000 SKUs of galvanized pipe, duct and fittings, as well as complementary accessories, including drain pans, aluminum and venting products.

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Commentary: Legalization of Marijuana Means “Gold Rush” for Berkshire Hathaway

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Marijuana may make its users relaxed and sluggish, but it will be a booming high time for one of Berkshire Hathaway’s companies.

Based in New Berlin, Wisconsin, Cubic Designs builds prefabricated custom mezzanine systems, standard steel platforms, pipe racks and canopies that add space to facilities.

It’s the kind of space that is needed for marijuana growing operations.

With California, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts and Maine all having just legalized the growing and sale of pot within their borders, Berkshire Hathaway’s Cubic Designs, a unit of MiTek, now has plenty of opportunities to market its wide variety of special platforms that maximize floor space in warehouses.

In addition, Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota all just legalized the medical use of marijuana, which means that growing and distribution operations will begin in those states, as well.

For Cubic Designs, the marketing plan is ready and tested. When marijuana was legalized in Colorado, the company mailed fliers to marijuana dispensaries touting that they could double their growing space and improve their profits using Cubic Designs’ systems.

With the U.S. Cannabis Spot Index price currently at $1,393 per pound, as of November 4, 2016, maximizing growing and storage space can make millions of dollars of difference for a grower.

The New Gold Rush

Unlike most commodities that get grown in one region and shipped for sale in another, there is inherent duplication within the marijuana industry that benefits equipment suppliers. With marijuana still illegal on the Federal level, the harvested plants can’t cross interstate lines, so all the growing, processing and distribution operations need to be established separately in each state. These redundant operations offer business opportunities for establishing every phase of the infrastructure needed to support.

Much like the California Gold Rush in 1849 made big money for people supplying the panning equipment, this new “Marijuana Gold Rush” means lots of money to be made for equipment suppliers for growers and retailers.

With twenty-five percent of the U.S. population suddenly having access to legal marijuana, the growth opportunities for Cubic Designs will have a lot of upside ahead of it.

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Two MiTek Companies Win 2016 Constructech Vision “Gold” Awards

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BuilderMT and Sales Simplicity, both MiTek companies, announced that they have each won a Constructech Vision award for their work with Arbor Builders.

This is the 38th technology award for BuilderMT and the 15th for Sales Simplicity.

To manage its construction workflows, Arbor Builders has implemented an all-encompassing solution, built on three key software tools — BuilderMT’s Workflow Management Suite (WMS),Sales Simplicity for CRM and sales automation, and Microsoft NAV for accounting. (Microsoft NAV was implemented by a BuilderMT-Sales Simplicity partner company, Western Computer, an accounting specialist in the home building sector.) For its careful choice of technology in preparation for rapid growth, Arbor Builders won the top gold prize in the “Builder/GC Residential Less than $5 million” category.

In a recent case study of Arbor Builders, company founder Jason Adams said, “What’s best about these systems – BuilderMT, Sales Simplicity and Microsoft NAV – is that they are all pre-integrated; they all talk to each other, and data flows from one to the other as if they were a single system.”

“Our ‘Best of Breed’ business model allows home builders like Arbor Builders to pick elite software packages in multiple categories, all of which have been integrated for ease-of-use,” said Tom Gebes, president of BuilderMT and Sales Simplicity. “Arbor Builders can now grow its company at any speed, confident they have the technology platform in place to accommodate an essentially limitless number of starts.”

About MiTek

Acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in 2001, MiTek is a diversified global supplier of software, engineered products, services, and equipment to the residential, commercial, and industrial, construction sectors.

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

MiTek Opens New Distribution Facility in Plainfield, Indiana

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MiTek’s new distribution facility in Plainfield, Indiana, is now fully operational. Offering distribution to a 500-mile radius, the new facility will provide same-day or next-day delivery for a wide range of products, including USP Structural Connectors, USP Epoxy and fasteners, and MiTek truss connector plates.

Offering almost 53,000 square feet of space, MiTek’s new distribution facility will also provide customers with “will call” delivery. Additionally, the facility provides nearly 6,500 square feet of office space where MiTek will provide customer training and support.

The new MiTek distribution facility features 15 dock doors, one oversized drive-in door, and expansive staging bays. Excellent access to key transportation routes is available, including Indianapolis International Airport, I-70, I-455, SR 37, SR 67, and nearby downtown Indianapolis.

“MiTek’s new Plainfield, IN facility will allow rapid delivery – often same-day service – to an expansive 500-mile radius from our new location,” said Todd Asche, Senior Vice President of Operations. “With our recent Houston distribution facility coming fully online and our new Indianapolis facility fully operational, we have made great strides in expanding the reach for MiTek and the products offered by our MiTek Builder Products division.”

About MiTek

Acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in 2001, MiTek is a diversified global supplier of software, engineered products, services, and equipment to the residential, commercial, and industrial, construction sectors. MiTek has operations in more than 40 countries on six continents.

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

MiTek Acquires Sales Simplicity

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Berkshire Hathaway’s MiTek Industries, Inc. has acquired Sales Simplicity Software, a leader in CRM, sales automation, dynamic content management, and reporting for the home building and real-estate sectors. The company is headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, and no terms were disclosed.

“The acquisition of Sales Simplicity Software is yet another step that MiTek is taking to enrich its offering of operations workflow solutions for residential production builders,” stated Tom Manenti, Chairman and CEO of MiTek. “With this acquisition of Sales Simplicity Software, along with our 2015 acquisition of BuilderMT, and previous acquisitions of Simpad and Kova, we offer a truly unique and expansive selection of software for production builders. Sales Simplicity Software has an excellent user-base among production builders and integration into BuilderMT, which MiTek will further strengthen. MiTek will continue to offer solutions and resources to our customers that are second to none.”

As part of this acquisition, Tom Gebes, the current president of BuilderMT, will also become president of Sales Simplicity and work to tighten the integration between the two companies, as they move toward working together as one system. Customers will still be able to purchase BuilderMT or Sales Simplicity as stand-alone solutions. Sales Simplicity will remain in Chandler, Arizona, with no changes to employee base, and Barry Forbes, the founder of Sales Simplicity, will retire in early 2016.

About Sales Simplicity

Sales Simplicity is the creator and marketer of leading sales automation, content management, lead management, eMarketing and reporting management tools for new single-family, semi-custom and custom homes; condo, multi-family, realtor and senior living providers. Sales Simplicity’s highly intuitive CRM system offers features similar to SalesForce.com, but Sales Simplicity’s CRM is tightly integrated into Sales Simplicity’s award-winning, Cloud-based, sales-automation platform, and the entire system has been specifically envisioned for home builders. Since Sales Simplicity is already linked deeply into Facebook, Twitter, and other social media systems, users of Sales Simplicity’s new CRM features will immediately benefit from single-platform, dash-board-driven campaign management tools linked directly to web analysis, eMarketing, lead management, follow-ups, and new prospects.

About MiTek

MiTek is a diversified global supplier of software, engineered products, services, and equipment to the residential, commercial, and industrial, construction sectors.

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

MiTek Expands Its Houston, TX Warehouse

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Berkshire Hathaway’s MiTek has expanded its Houston, Texas, warehouse to 50,000 square feet to offer more product variety, more inventory, and faster order fulfillment rates.

The expanded warehouse will contain USP Structural Connectors, USP Epoxy, MiTek truss plates, and Hardy Frame® Shear Wall product lines. MiTek chose to expand the Houston warehouse to address the needs of local contractor and DIY markets, where MiTek has seen increased demand for its products to address coastal wind codes and general building requirements.

Already operational today, the expanded warehouse will reach its new full capacity in January of 2016, allowing reduced “ship times” and heightened customer responsiveness. MiTek projects that it will be able to ship most products for same-day or next-day delivery. For even faster responsiveness, the warehouse will also offer local customers the convenience of “will call” capability.

“MiTek has seen growing demand for its products in the Texas markets, and this expanded warehouse will allow us to be much more responsive to order fulfillment for this larger customer base,” said Todd Asche, Senior Vice President of Operations. “The warehouse will feature the latest in inventory monitoring and processing systems, offering the utmost assurance to customers of product availability across our expanded product lines.”

About MiTek

MiTek is a diversified global supplier of software, engineered products, services, and equipment to the residential, commercial, and industrial, construction sectors. MiTek Industries’ passion for its associates’ well-being and its customers’ success is the company’s hallmark.

A Berkshire Hathaway company since 2001, MiTek has operations in more than 40 countries on six continents.

© 2015 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.