CalSource Employeeby Eric Reinhardt

SYRACUSE — CalSource, Inc., a calibration lab that operates on the fourth floor of the Rock West Building at 1005 W. Fayette St., has added a sales department and is hoping to boost its revenue growth in the year ahead.

The firm generated about $2.5 million in revenue in 2010 and is aiming for 50 percent growth in 2011, says Bradley Darois, operations manager, co-founder, and one of three equal co-owners in CalSource.

The company has a sales department now, says Michael Baker, director of sales and marketing at CalSource, who joined the firm in August.

Baker is leading a staff of two full-time sales people.

“The way that we’re going to look to attain the growth is to bring in new customers and to grow our current customers by expanding our capabilities and continuing to provide more services to our current customers so that they’re able to turn to us as a one-stop shop for their calibration needs,” Baker says.

Kyle Laukaitis, the firm’s president and co-founder, has also served as the company’s primary account manager.

But the company has grown to the point that Laukaitis has found he doesn’t have time to solicit new customers and maintain contact with his current clients, Baker says.

“One person can’t handle over 300 active accounts on their own and still be expected to actually grow the business,” Baker says.

Laukaitis will continue servicing customers with whom he’s established contact, Baker says.
CalSource has employed account executives in the past and previously maintained a two-person sales office in Rochester, Darois says. It closed that office in 2006 in a cost-cutting move.

But this new group represents a more “concerted” effort to sell the company’s calibration services, Darois says.

Besides Darois and Laukaitis, John Sager is the company’s third equal owner and co-founder, says Darois.

In addition to the increased focus on sales, the firm also anticipates adding three full-time employees for evening shifts at the end of the first quarter, Dorais says.

The firm’s technicians measure voltage, current, pressure, torque, temperature, weight, radio-frequency equipment, and fiber-optic equipment. Each needs calibration to meet certain standards, Darois says.

He notes that time is the most important factor for CalSource’s customers. They want their equipment serviced and returned as soon as possible.

For example, when a client sends CalSource a volt meter, the customer likely doesn’t have a spare meter to continue work on a given job.

“So, by adding a second shift, I just added eight more hours in the same day to get it back faster,” Dorais says.

Adding a shift would also help CalSource avoid the need to buy more equipment.

From a business standpoint, it’s good, and from a customer stand point, it’s also good, Dorais says.

CalSource estimates it has invested about $250,000 in initiatives to help grow its revenue in 2011, Darois says.

Company operations

CalSource services manufacturers, aerospace, and pharmaceutical companies with “traceable” calibration to a national standard for measurements.

“So, if a customer needs to weigh one kilogram, they need to show that that one kilogram traces back to a national standard,” says Darois.

Most of its customers are in Central New York. The firm declined to name any clients, but noted that customers have well-known names in the business community.

CalSource has spent about $160,000 annually on equipment for both upgrades and new equipment.

The firm operates in a 7,200-square-foot space at the Rock West Building. Rock West Leasing and Development is the company’s lease holder, says Baker. The firm declined to disclose its monthly lease payment.

CalSource is accredited through the Frederick, Md.–based American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), a nonprofit, nongovernmental, public service, membership society, according to A2LA’s website.

A2LA is audited through the Geneva, Switzerland–based International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which is responsible for international standards for business, government, and society, according to its website.

The ISO audit of A2LA is conducted to make sure its audit of firms such as CalSource are in compliance, says Darois.

Social networking

CalSource doesn’t yet use the social-networking websites Facebook or Twitter, but Baker hopes to “venture into these areas” in the second and third quarters of this year after the firm has revamped its website.

Baker, and two of the three owners, Darois and Laukaitis, are on LinkedIn, Baker adds.
CalSource is also a veteran-owned business.

A lot of the work it does is with “prime” manufacturers, which handle work directly for the federal government. “They manufacture things that are bought directly by the government,” Baker says.

The government has stipulations for itself and their prime manufacturers as to where they can outsource their business when they have the choice. The federal government usually asks that “typically around 25 to 30 percent of any business that’s outsourced to go to disadvantaged businesses,” Baker says.

Disadvantaged businesses can fall under a number of categories, and veteran-owned businesses are similar to women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, and disabled-owned businesses, he adds.

“It’s a way the federal government has helped to try to give advantages back to small businesses that had been seen as being taken away from them by [large] corporations,” Baker says.

Both Laukaitis and Darois served in the Air Force, Darois says. The military provides the best training for this type of work, he adds.

Sager’s background is in manufacturing, and the three partners came together while working for one of CalSource’s competitors in Central New York.