Enfield company continues to grow despite tough economy
By Jennifer Holloway - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Wed., Jul. 13, 2011
In the 42-year history of Control Module Industries, President and CEO James Bianco has yet to find a comfortable pace. Never settling, Bianco simply says, “We go where the action is.”
The Enfield company that began in a storefront in 1969 is something of a marvel when compared to the state of many businesses in the current recession. In the last two years,
An electronic engineer by trade, Bianco built his company on a very simple premise: building solutions.
“I was in sales for electronic products, and my customers were always asking for something unique, something special,” Bianco said. “There wasn’t a huge market for it, but they had a problem and they needed it solved.”
Recognizing his talents and skills, Bianco was confident he could assemble a team of engineers to solve problems almost on a case-by-case basis. Some of his first customers were industry giants like AT&T,
In the beginning,
From there, the company applied barcodes to time attendance terminals, which moved them into the data collection realm. This produced opportunities to develop equipment car rental agencies like Hertz could use to track vehicles for cleaning and maintenance.
“We just kept growing, solving problems,” Bianco said.
“We have never been out of work in the last 40 years, and we’ve made a profit every year,” Bianco said. “It’s because we take on these projects that need innovation. We don’t make the iPod or the Droid; what we make are products to solve a problem.”
When the pool of ideas begins to run low, Bianco asks customers what they need. A simple question like this allowed them to develop technology for Disney to count people leaving rides and theaters. Though not an earthshaking technological advance, it was an important undertaking because it was necessary for Disney.
Changes in state laws for truck drivers pushed
Electric cars like the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf need charging stations. Bianco said about 60 manufacturers currently build these necessary stations, but none have a motorized, retractable cable like
To set itself apart,
Rather than paying to upgrade a home’s electrical panel to share the load of charging a car, electric car owners can use a power share box to share the breaker. Inside
Concepts like this are what have kept
“We as a nation have lost that uniqueness,” Bianco said. “We have to foster and nurture entrepreneurs.”
The green wave that his company has begun riding is one opportunity for a comeback, but ultimately, Bianco feels the country needs to bring invention home.
“We have to start developing jobs through technology, not just flipping hamburgers,” he said. “We have to start to produce products again.”