Eric Swanson Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Ada — When a fire destroyed one of Ram Jack Systems’ buildings in 2011, company officials asked the Coleman-based company Sundowner Trailers for help.
The two companies formed a partnership that allowed Ram Jack to keep manufacturing equipment for creating and repairing building foundations.
The finished products were coated in a powder, which made it resistant to corrosion and abrasion.
Employees who worked in the destroyed building were driven to Coleman so they could continue powder-coating steel piers.
Ram Jack officials remembered that partnership earlier this year, when the company was competing for the Lieutenant Governor’s Small Business Award of Excellence. The company said in its award application that the alliance with Coleman, along with teamwork and determination, helped Ram Jack keep its manufacturing operation going.
The company’s efforts paid off last month, when Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb’s office announced that Ram Jack had won the 2014 Award of Excellence.
Ram Jack was one of three small businesses across the state to capture the honor.
Lamb presented the award to Ram Jack and two other winners during Small Business Day at the Capitol, which took place April 30 in Oklahoma City.
The award was exciting because it honored Ram Jack’s commitment to Oklahoma, said Lea Ann Pharr, chief financial officer for Ram Jack.
“I think it’s very flattering, honestly, for the statewide level to recognize us for not just our long-term efforts, but our contribution to our town and our state,” she said Tuesday.
Ram Jack’s history begins with Bill Gregory, who launched the small company Gregory Pest Control in 1968.
Gregory’s son, Steven, took control of the business in the 1970s and later changed the name to Gregory Enterprises Inc., according to Ram Jack’s award application. Steven incorporated foundation repair into the pest-control business, and those repairs became the company’s major source of revenue.
The company later developed the Ram Jack System, a method of using steel piers to stabilize building foundations, and filed the first of several patents in 1985.
Ram Jack products are developed and produced at the company’s manufacturing and distribution plant in Ada, which has 85 employees. The company has more than 50 franchises and dealerships in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Ram Jack has seen its customer base grow by about 20 percent each year, according to the company. Sales numbers dropped during the Great Recession of 2008-2009, but the company did not lose any franchises.
Officials said the company’s efforts to develop new products, train its sales team and encourage franchise owners to grow their operations are keys to Ram Jack’s success. Among those efforts is “Ram Jack University,” which brings franchise owners to Ada each year for training.
Ram Jack also emphasizes teamwork as an essential part of the company’s success, said general manager Ivan Matthews.
“Our team here is very devoted to the business growth of our little company and taking care of each other,” he said. “To us, that’s more important than anything else.”
Reach Eric Swanson at email@example.com.