Texoma Manufacturing is a family-owned business that serves the Oklahoma and Texas regions. Owner Scott Crain has been in the fabrication for 35 years and was initially focused on custom metal fabrication. Eventually, the company expanded to serve the trailer, refuse, and oilfield industries, as well as manufacturing storm shelters and safe rooms. Texoma operates out of its factory in the rural community of Durant where it employs about 25 people.
Even with expanded and diversified operations, Scott Crain knew much of his business was still tied to the energy industry, meaning he was at the mercy of ups and downs in that market. With a slowing oil and gas sector, Texoma was anxious to fill excess manufacturing capacity. So when a customer approached the company with the need to develop a new type of tank that could hold a chemical mixture, Texoma jumped at the chance to further diversify its business. For advice, Crain contacted Kay Watson, a manufacturing extension agent with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, part of the MEP National Network™. Watson had worked with Texoma Manufacturing on several projects and enjoyed a solid relationship with Crain.
The Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance is our most important strategic partner. The resources and capabilities they bring to the table are especially vital. They help us be competitive in a global market and keep our company an important part of our rural community.
For the development of a new hydrogen chloride tank, Watson met with Crain and other company leaders. Together they formulated a plan to design, engineer and bring the product to market. Watson called on applications engineers working for the Manufacturing Alliance. Engineers researched the needed specifications and then designed a bladder that fits into an existing Texoma tank, ensuring it met all industry requirements. Watson coordinated the development of prototypes. A few prototypes were distributed to customers who then provided the necessary feedback to perfect the product. Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance designed an efficient manufacturing process and full production of the new product soon began. Watson then helped secure patents to keep the innovation proprietary.
Watson worked to boost commercialization of the product through marketing, digital media and professional video production. That builds essential groundwork that will allow Texoma to further tap new markets and diversify operations.