Published September 23, 2013
For husband-and-wife team Ken McDonald and Linda Jamerson, the road to entrepreneurship was paved with dissatisfaction.
“I think the short story is: We were tired of coming home and complaining to each other about how we had to deal with morons all day,” says McDonald in a Conference Room interview with FBN’s Jeff Flock.
“At that point we decided if we’re so smart, we’d do it ourselves,” he says.
So, in 2007, as the economy was tanking, McDonald and Jamerson took their 401(k)s and savings and purchased the Aluminum Case Company, a manufacturing company based in Chicago, Illinois.
An Eye for Manufacturing
While McDonald and Jamerson had built their careers selling services in corporate America, Jamerson says she and her husband were looking for a completely new challenge as would-be business owners.
“We had some rules when we started. We didn’t want to do a franchise, and we didn’t want to do retail. We wanted to do manufacturing. In looking at that, in order to basically replace our existing incomes, we needed a fairly substantial manufacturing firm,” says Jamerson.
The Aluminum Case Company, which had been doing business more or less the same way since the ‘60s, according to Jamerson, was a great deal.
“This company has had a great history, but at that time, not only was the economy going down, but the owners were getting older. And they were looking to retire, and they hadn’t put a lot into their business,” says Jamerson.
Jamerson and McDonald came in and quickly took to modernizing operations, putting in the phone systems and computers the company had been sorely lacking.
“The technology hasn’t changed as far as what you have to do to make the part,” says McDonald. “What has changed is the way you have to think about making the part to be profitable.”