CIRAS Supplier Scouting Helps Bring Business to Iowa

Assembling air cleaners at World Class Industries.

A Hiawatha-based assembly and supply chain integration company expects to see at least $5 million a year in new business after CIRAS facilitated a partnership with an air purification company.

World Class Industries started work in October under a contract that quickly will see the company producing 24,000 room-sized air purifiers annually for Timilon Acquisitions.

Timilon, based in Florida, makes EnviroKlenz Air Systems. The devices use special filters and a fan inside a powder-coated cabinet to “remove at least 99.97 percent of the fine particulate matter from the air in your home or business.”

After growing exponentially for several years, Timilon needed additional capacity.

Tim Putnam, director of the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at North Iowa Area Community College, said Iowa entrepreneur and Timilon investor John Pappajohn called him in May searching for Iowa companies that possibly could assemble EnviroKlenz purifiers. Putnam’s organization, which serves as a CIRAS partner in northern Iowa, then asked for help searching the entire state.

CIRAS project manager Adam Boesenberg used databases and input from other CIRAS experts to identify companies with the manufacturing capabilities, capacity, and quality necessary to meet the company’s needs. Boesenberg and Putnam ultimately recommended six firms to Timilon, including World Class Industries (WCI). The company, which had first learned about Timilon from CIRAS strategy adviser Joy Donald, was chosen at summer’s end.

Ryan Murphy, director of business development for World Class Industries, said Timilon liked “our ability to scale with their business, as well as our capability to provide ideas throughout the process to improve the manufacturability of their product.”

George Negron, Timilon vice president, agreed.

“Everyone CIRAS identified was a great candidate,” Negron said. “You not only saved us time and effort, but we got more out of it than we initially were looking for.”

Negron said several of the other finalist companies could find future work with Timilon as the company expands. “We foresee the business growing nicely throughout Iowa,” he said.

Mike O’Donnell, program director for the CIRAS Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), said supplier scouting requests usually come through a nationwide MEP system created to help government contractors who can’t find a qualified U.S. company making what they need.

“Internet searching and online directories are great, but sometimes you really need people who understand manufacturing,” O’Donnell said. “That’s where CIRAS and our MEP National Network make a real difference.”

For more information about supplier scouting, email the CIRAS Helpline at ciras.info@iastate.edu.

 

A version of this article was published in the Winter 2021 edition of CIRAS News. To read more of that edition or others, please explore elsewhere on our website.