Bringing an understanding that leads to success
"I've found that RSM can offer any service that we need."
– Don Pomeroy, Chief Financial Officer, Shurtape Technologies, LLC
Created in 1955 as a division of the Shuford Mills textile company, Hickory, North Carolina-based Shurtape Technologies, LLC, is a fifth-generation, family-owned business. What started as a small-scale side business to capture growing demand for adhesive tapes gradually overtook the company’s original focus on textile manufacturing.
Today, the Shuford family’s efforts have turned the company into a leading producer of several lines of pressure-sensitive tape for professional and home use, with some 1,500 employees operating in 13 locations across the United States as well as in Europe, Central and South America, China and the United Arab Emirates. The adhesive tapes are sold under a number of brand names, including Duck®, FrogTape®, T-REX®, Kip® and, of course, Shurtape®.
But as Stephen Shuford, the chief executive officer of Shurtape notes, one of the company’s biggest challenges is trying to grow in a changing economic environment. “It’s difficult to find opportunities out there that allow us to grow,” he says. “That’s a significant factor for us.” That’s where having an advisor who understands the industry and the challenges manufacturers face is critical. “From my perspective,” says Shuford, “the middle market focus of RSM and the services they provide has been awesome—and key for us.”
Opportunities and solutions
Like any middle market company operating on a global scale, Shurtape’s challenges range from importing to innovation, from acquisitions to tax credits. Each department in the company, however, has different needs and priorities. “The executive management team and I have one set of questions that tends to focus on where we are going to be ten years from now,” says Don Pomeroy, chief financial officer. “What's the strategy we need to set to achieve that vision that we've set out for ourselves? Whereas the finance team that I work with has much more specific questions about financial reporting or tax or a technical question.”
“We engage with the RSM team,” continues Pomeroy, “because there's just no way that we could replicate efficiently the expertise and the technical knowledge that they can bring to bear. RSM's business model really seems to be set up to work specifically with companies our size—with our challenges, our questions and our day-to-day situations.”
“Across the board—from tax to audit and financial reporting to the M&A transactions—everyone has been able to provide ideas and suggestions based on their experience and technical knowledge. That's helped us think about how we want to execute on our plans and the effects and outcomes of that execution,” says Pomeroy.
“For all of us to have our needs met has been very important. It’s one of the biggest assets of our relationship with RSM.”
Both Shurtape leaders agree that the consistency of the RSM team has been an important factor in the success of the relationship. “We’ve been very fortunate the last few years to have consistency in our team member makeup,” notes Pomeroy. “Their knowledge about our company is about as strong as I've ever experienced in my career.” Shuford agrees. “I think having an understanding of what we're about is pretty significant. We just feel like we get more value out of the relationship.”
A sense of community
Not surprisingly, members of the Shuford family support entrepreneurs like themselves. For example, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where five generations of Shufords have attended classes, will double the size of its undergraduate entrepreneurship program thanks to a generous donation from the family.
Likewise, the support Shurtape receives from RSM in the form of services ranging from international tax to personal wealth planning enables the company to thrive and grow.
“They understand our business, where we're headed, how we operate―and they really care about helping us achieve our goals,” says Pomeroy, “That is a tremendous benefit.”
“The three things about our relationship with RSM that I value most highly are accessibility, relationship orientation and, frankly, competence,” adds Shuford. “Those three things have allowed us to have a very prosperous relationship with RSM, and I don't see that changing.”