Harry Mantzaris, president of Yankee Remodeler of New London, knows that you can never rest on your laurels in business. Even if you’ve got a successful company, as he does, you need to keep innovating and reinvesting in your business.
Perhaps that attitude is why Yankee Remodeler, founded as a residential remodeling company by Mantzaris and a partner in 1971, now has $5 million in annual sales. Serving both the residential and commercial markets, Yankee Remodeler has grown to 34 employees and has completed more than 8,500 projects for clients including Coca-Cola, Pfizer, Electric Boat, the U.S. Navy, and Lawrence & Memorial Hospital.
Yet, Mantzaris hasn’t gotten swept up in his good fortune. Twenty percent of Yankee Remodeler’s current business comes from Electric Boat, which manufactures submarines for the U.S. Navy. With more and more military contracts going to businesses located in the South, Electric Boat has been downsizing and might close its submarine plant altogether one day. Preparing for this possibility, Mantzaris realized that he needed to expand his market: “What can I do to utilize the assets here if the market collapses?” he asked himself. “How can I increase my offerings to avoid having to travel an extra 20 – 30 miles to find more work?”
Appropriately enough, a Yankee Remodeler employee who use to work for Electric Boat provided the answer. He showed Mantzaris a product he’d never seen before – a CNC (computer numerical control) router used by Electric Boat to shape submarine acoustical panels.
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