February 27th marked an exciting day for Benchmark Tool & Machine in Pelham. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam paid the company a visit while touring the state to promote local businesses and the economy. Several Grundy County officials and residents were also on hand to welcome Governor Haslam.
Benchmark Tool & Machine opened for business in February 2006 with a machine shop and welding. They built small dies and die sections, welded fixtures, die repair and modification for the automotive industry. They had six employees running CNC mills, lathes, wire EDM, and TIG welding.
In 2007, the company added the manufacture of test equipment and quality gage building along with CMM machine to verify dimensions of their gages. They added design capability to the business and eight employees.
In 2008, fabrication was added with current customers asking them to build steel returnable racks and bulk containers. They added $1million in additional equipment and improved their location with a new office front with the assistance of Beth Jones, LaDue Bouldin, and others at Southeast Tennessee Development District.
In 2009, with the automotive industry down, they turned to powder coating large floating boat docks and building stove components to keep going as they waited for the market and overall economy to return.
In 2010, the company gained new automotive accounts with Honda of AL, BMW, and Nissan, with a workforce of 31 employees.
In 2011, they added their first sales engineer and gained approval to supply additional Tier 1 suppliers. Sales doubled and 18 employees were added.
In 2012, continued growth and sales doubled and 53 employees were added. The company began working on implementing ISO certification to allow BTM to supply GM and Ford.
In 2013, the company achieved ISO certification and was added to the top of the GM supplier base. Two additional sales engineers were added to cover the south and Midwest and 24 employees were added and the company sales rose by 30% reaching the $18.5 million mark.
Today, the company has a customer base which includes Calsonic North America, Honda of Alabama, Nissan North America, GM North America, Ford Tier 1 suppliers, Flex N Gate North America, Caterpillar, Komatsu, Nissan Tier 1 suppliers, Unipres, Faurecia, Mercedes, BMW suppliers, Gestamp, EZ GO, Guardian Glass, Carlex Glass, and Tenneco Automotive. They now employee 126 employees. The staff at Benchmark include Todd Cozart, Kyle Shrum, Operations Manager Robbie Dickerson, Owner/Sales, Manager Jeff Hendrix, Jarrod Jones, Tim West, and Nancy Goldston.