Arkansas Industrial Machinery Inc.

City: North Little Rock
Category: Category I (1-25 Employees)
Year: 2001

Arkansas Industrial Machinery Inc. of North Little Rock bucked the trend of the declining air compression industry.

Nationwide, the industry declined about 25 percent in sales, said Andy Fowler, president and one of AIM's owners. But the North Little Rock company, which sells industrial equipment - primarily air compressors, pumps and blowers - was able to maintain sales of about $10.5 million in 2000 and 2001, Fowler said.

In 2002, it again expects to have more than $10 million in sales.

The main reason the company avoided a drop-off in sales was because it stepped up its marketing efforts through more direct mail, e-mails and faxes, Fowler said.

"What [marketing] has done for us is it's allowed us not to lose a lot of ground," he said.

The aggressive marketing campaign also "allowed us to get into places that we haven't been before," he said.

AIM boasts having the biggest and best-equipped facilities of any company in its market. It also has the ability to custom design packages to meet its customers' requirements.

The company, which was founded in 1971, has 22 employees at the company's North Little Rock and Fayetteville offices, but it also has offices in Tennessee and Louisiana.

Fowler said the company has been successful because it treats its employees and customers fairly. It also helps that AIM represents good product lines, he said, "because if you don't have quality products that you're able to offer, then you really can't offer solutions to customers."

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