Making Inc. Magazine’s 5000 list is quite an accomplishment, but doing it for 4 times within 5 years is an even bigger one.
Businesses apply to be listed, but only the fastest growing companies in America make the cut. This is determined by a number of factors including gross sales over a three year time period (which cannot be under $1 million) and employee count. The figures submitted are certified by a CPA.
In 2017, Monster Transmission ranked #2996, with $8.5 M in revenue, 111% growth over three years and 70 employees. In 2016, they ranked #4290, in 2015 #4600 and in 2013 #3185.
So what has propelled Monster Transmission’s success?
Achilles Thomas, CEO, stated, “I can say, for us, the number one focus is people, clients and community.” He says that in putting “people first and not money, good things always happen.”
“If you do that, you’ll be successful,” he advises.
Thomas also touched on their unique approach in customer service. He explained, “Historically, we’ve always done things outside the norm.” He cited their free shipping offer and unique testing methods in which they test drive a vehicle with the transmission before shipping it off to the customer.
He also described his aversion to the word “warrantee,” stating that if you break down the word you basically get the terms ‘war’ and ‘rant.’ Both of which they would like to avoid. Instead, at Monster Transmission they’ve created a ‘wow-antee’ in order to wow clients and exceed expectations over time.
In terms of marketing, Monster Transmission relies on the connections and the relationships the company has forged over time. Some early connections were made at trade shows and this recently led to an opportunity to build the transmission for the Smokey and the Bandit jump reenactment.
Their products are used in many of the popular automotive shows. These relationships that have led to their products appearing on television and have helped them reach many people with their products.
“It goes back to people,” says Thomas, “It’s just being open and friendly.”
They also started Nature Coast TV which includes a production studio they can use to develop programming. Nature Coast TV produces high quality videos that highlight things happening around the county including updates from Beacon Cinemas and the Hernando County Library.
Monster Transmission has also made great use of social media in expanding the business. They have live cameras where you can watch them making transmissions. They let customers know when their transmission is being built so they can share it with their friends. As the order is packed for shipment, the packer reads aloud the order into the live camera so the customer knows their transmission is on its way.
Monster Transmission is moving to a new location in Masaryktown. There are five warehouses on the property that was once home to a Honeycutt chicken operation. Renovations on two of the warehouses are nearly complete.
Their existing location will be used for some of their new ventures that are under way.
The company is now creating torque converters, a device found in every automatic transmission which basically functions as the “lungs of the machine.” Monster’s torque converters are sold under the brand name “Thor Converters.” To build torque converters requires quite a few machine tools and the skill to make precision parts. The field is lucrative says Thomas, because not many companies are making torque converters due to the great skill and knowledge required.
Monster Transmission recently created the ‘Burn Rubber Brewing Co.’ which offers specially formulated ‘brews’ for your car like ‘Fully Synthetic Cider,’ an automatic transmission fluid. Cleverly marketed products no doubt give Monster Transmission an edge on the competition. In developing the Burn Rubber Brewing Co., Thomas aimed to do something “fun and different.” “It’s taken off like crazy,” he said.
Thomas explained that the two new entities are serving Monster’s needs as well as those of their competitors and other transmission companies.
While touring the facility, Thomas pointed to a motivational banner that states, “We are a High Performance Company made of High Performance People.” He said that putting people first whether it’s his clients, community or employees, is what makes the business successful.