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Rochester Top 100: EXPANDING THEIR RANKS

Each year brings a group of fast-growing firms that are new to Rochester Top 100.

This year, there are 15 first-time firms on the list, up from up from 14 last year and 12 in 2013.

The companies new to the list this year represent a range of industries, including an e-commerce firm, three construction companies, two technology service providers, two retail companies and a door manufacturer.

CaterTrax co-founders Richard Rund and Daniel Welch have grown their 11-year-old company out of a need they had—managing restaurant overhead—and realizing their solution could help others. The technology they developed enables food service businesses to manage their catering operations.

“We provide end-to-end production work flow management,” CEO Rund said. “Our system covers everything all the way through from the preparation of food to delivery and payment and then reporting.”

The CaterTrax system works through managed hospitality providers such as Aramark Corp. and is used on large scale. Many of its customers are Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 clients, Rund said. Its largest business sectors are hospitality, colleges and health care.

Local clients of the Village Gate-based business include Rochester Institute of Technology, Nazareth College and the University of Rochester. Some 90 percent of customers are outside New York, and the client base extends across the United States and Canada with 3,500 accounts.

“We’re adding about 50 new customers a month,” Chief Strategy Officer Welch said, noting that CaterTrax has had consistent double-digit growth year over year since 2012. “We targeted 20 percent and we hit it.”

Employee growth has been significant as well, climbing from 55 full-time workers in 2011 to 81 today.

“Moving forward, we are working hard to become even more efficient, so while we will be hiring more, it will not be the same employee growth we have had,” Welch said.

The largest areas for company growth look to be in hospitals, corporate office parks and individual entities, he added.

“We certainly don’t take our success for granted,” Rund said, pointing to a bevy of competitors in the marketplace. “We’re constantly looking for ways to add to our services. We’re working on systems with cashless payment integration and supply chain management.”

An industry buyout of a major competitor in 2011 created a watershed moment for the owner and CEO of Waste Harmonics LLC. Michael Hess said Waste Management Inc.’s purchase of Connecticut-based Oakleaf Global Holdings led him to an opportunity for his Victor, Ontario County-based waste management consolidation service.

“We hired office staff and built up the back end of our business to capitalize on what we thought the opportunity would be,” Hess said. “A year later we hired the sales resources we needed and our business catapulted.”

The strategy paid off, and revenues have grown 700 percent since 2011. The business had been focused on the Northeast, Hess said, with subcontracted vendors across the country.

“We expanded our resources so we could present proposals in 17 states,” Hess said.

The company now has locations in all 50 states, along with five Canadian providences and Guam.

As an aggregator the company negotiates localized agreements to process and audit invoices, Hess said.

“We’re able to push back on erroneous fees and to help clients streamline their process. If they have 3,000 individual sites, we can consolidate all their billing into a single invoice for the customer,” he said.

Growth will continue for the company, Hess said, largely through acquisitions. Employee growth will come depending on the size of new contracts, with the new hires mainly in the accounting and customer service groups.

Its workforce has grown from 14 in 2013 to 17 in 2014 to 22. Hess is proud of the low voluntary turnover rate.

“One of the keys to our growth is that we continue to service our customers very well. It’s our core competency,” Hess said. “We need to acknowledge, respond and then follow up on all calls. The follow up is very important.”

Angels in Your Home LLC is a privately owned company that has been servicing nine counties in the Rochester region for 10 years. It provides home health aides to individuals of all ages.

The need for its services is rising, owner David Wegman said.

“In the health care industry, the system is compressing itself. More people want to stay in their home for care,” Wegman said.

The company serves a clientele ranging from children to seniors; it offers a broad spectrum of services from companion care to traumatic brain injury services.

Following development of a new strategic plan in 2012, company revenues grew 71 percent in 2013 and 95 percent from 2013 to 2014, Wegman said. Before the implementation of the strategic plan, the company was booking 450 hours a week. Today, the schedule has grown to more than 20,000 hours per week serviced by an employee base of 1,000 full- and part-time workers.

“Our goal is to hire home health aides already certified, but what’s most important is finding people with a caregiver’s heart. We give them the mandatory training from the department of health,” Wegman said.

The company also has a staff of registered nurses to provide care to people released from hospitals. Having a great workforce is the core of the company’s success, Wegman said.

“We’re proud of them and the way they pay attention to the needs of the clientele. Not everybody can care for the elderly, the sick, those who are just home from the hospital,” he said.

With the fast-paced growth and the continued need for home-based care, Wegman said the one of the biggest challenges his company faces is juggling the schedule.

“Getting a case, organizing care and assigning a home health aide is a daily struggle. It can be one of the most difficult parts of this business,” he said. “But our remarkable management team always makes it work. It’s like a checkers game.”

First time on the list

  • Abtex Corp.
  • Angels in Your Home LLC
  • Biomaxx Inc.
  • C.M. Armitage Inc.
  • CaterTrax
  • ClickSpark LLC
  • Emerge
  • MediSked LLC
  • New York Patriot Construction Inc.
  • Operation Brain Freeze LLC
  • Premier Laser Spa
  • ProNexus LLC
  • Steel Tech Fabricators Inc.
  • Upstate Door Inc.
  • Waste Harmonics LLC

10/30/15 (c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

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