C&M Screw Machine Products Embraces Change to be a Better Partner : Production Machining
In 1981, at age 24, Victor DaCruz and a business partner bought a small machine shop and started C&M Screw Machine Products Inc. to primarily serve the Jacob’s Chuck Manufacturing Company where Mr. DaCruz had apprenticed.
In 1981, at age 24, Victor DaCruz and a business partner bought a small machine shop and started C&M Screw Machine Products Inc. to primarily serve the Jacob’s Chuck Manufacturing Company where Mr. DaCruz had apprenticed. Over the next 3 years, C&M grew to become a major supplier of multi-spindle screw machine products for drill chuck components.
Today, C&M is a very different company after 34 years of growth, change and continuous improvement. It is a family run manufacturer of precision components and sub-assemblies that serve small- to mid-sized OEMs looking for a responsive outsourcing partner with competitive technologies. The company culture is all about collaborating with its clients and evolving to meet their technical and logistical needs.
“About 10 years after starting the company in Connecticut, we opened a second location in South Carolina to be close to our main customer’s plant,” says Mr. DaCruz, founder and president of C&M Screw Machine Products. “In 1994, we split the partnership, and I kept the original Connecticut location and the company name. We shifted our focus from serving one main customer to diversifying the business, adding skills and capabilities.”
By 2005, the company grew to include more than 30 multi-spindle Acmes, New Britains, CNC lathes and Tsugami CNC-Swiss machines, and moved from its 10,000-square-foot space into its current 30,000-square-foot building in Bristol.
“We took the opportunity to grow by investing in our workforce and equipment that could complete parts without secondary operations,” Mr. DaCruz says. “We were settled into the new location by the time we felt the recession in 2007, and by 2008, the company was in survival mode. In 2009, our situation started to improve.”
C&M’s situation improved significantly in 2009 to warrant investment in Star CNC Swiss machines. Embracing and investing in new technology helped the company through the tough times and positioned them to grow when times were better. Since 2009, C&M’s sales have almost tripled.
“Investing in our people, technology and advanced processes are the pillars on which we grow. The biggest factor to our success is that we never sat still, but constantly evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of the marketplace,” Mr. DaCruz explains. “We are a business that listened and adapted to our customer needs for flexible quantities, just-in-time delivery and higher-precision products. Our whole staff has a strong understanding of these values and works hard to make sure we are meeting client needs.”
C&M continues to change with the needs of its customers and has turned the focus on itself, undertaking a rebranding effort which includes developing a new vision and mission and establishing new standards in which it can engage with customers for the best results.
“As we go through this process, we may not be known as C&M Screw Machine Products anymore,” Mr. DaCruz says. “We’re stripping away what doesn’t serve us or our customers anymore and generating new ways of doing things that are more relevant and vital to today’s market. In the next few months, you are going to see a completely different C&M.”
C&M became a PMPA member in 2010; however, Mr. DaCruz recognized that PMPA’s trade articles have been an invaluable resource from the beginning of his career. The company takes advantage of PMPA national events including the National Technical Conference, Precision Machining Technology Show and Management Update Conferences.
“We eventually joined the association, and I’m very happy that we did. We gain so much from the conferences and other members. There are many fine speakers who provide solid information. It’s not fluff stuff, and the schedule can be rigorous if you partake in all the learning opportunities presented,” Mr. DaCruz explains. “Being with and interacting with fellow PMPA members puts us on another level. They are the best of the best, and I want to be there to learn from them and follow in their tracks.”