Pik Rite Inc. is a designer and manufacturer of innovative, quality-built vegetable harvesters, agricultural manure spreaders, commercial waste handling and specialized vacuum tanks, dump bodies and debris collectors. The business that began in a small garage in 1986 has transformed and grown due to its owners’ and employees’ hard work, innovation, and flexibility. It now operates from a 60,000-square-foot facility at its original manufacturing location, and for the majority of its history has called upon partners in the Central Region Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance (PREP) program for assistance along its pathway to success. The expertise that was requested by the partners ranged vastly from guidance in business technology, administrative systems, marketing, onsite training and implementation, to assistance in navigating international exporting.
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Bucknell University has been a resource for Pik Rite since 1995, when Elvin Stolzfus, founder and President, first called on them for guidance in business technology, administrative systems, and marketing. In 2017, the SBDC nominated him for the SBA’s Business Person of the Year Award which was presented during National Small Business Week. In recent years, Pik Rite has benefited from SBDC specialty programs, as well, including research, analysis, and product development assistance on harvesters and spreaders with SBDC engineering staff, university students, and professors. In addition, energy efficiency and pollution prevention guidance through the SBDC’s Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP), which not only advised and helped them secure funding for efficiency projects, but nominated them for the national SBEAP award.
In addition, the Innovative Manufacturers’ Center (IMC) in Williamsport has worked with Pik Rite in both onsite implementations and 14 training programs. Finally, SEDA-Council of Governments’ (SEDA-COG) Export Development Program staff provided the company with information to help them navigate international exporting. SEDA-COG’s Export staff has provided training on Electronic Export Information filing procedures, presented joint venture opportunities with Chinese and United Kingdom-based companies, and provided counseling and technical assistance on trademark information and export documentation requirements. With the assistance of SEDA-COG, Pik Rite’s equipment has been exported to 26 countries.
Fueled in part by the Central PA PREP Partners, Lewisburg-based manufacturer Pik Rite is celebrating a banner year in 2017, with sales and employment at the highest levels of the company’s 30-year history. As a result of this and other PREP assistance, Pik Rite reported the following impacts from 2013 to 2016:
$575,000 increased and retained sales, the retention of 17 employees, a cost savings of $400,000, saved investments of $37,500, and $1,121,850 investments in plant, information and workforce practices.
Additionally, the firm recently earned two major awards: the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Pennsylvania Small Business Person of the Year, the 2017 award for founder and president Elvin Stoltzfus, and the Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award from the National Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs.