J.B. Mathews

Dallas Business Journal - Recapping the Middle Market 50

Mix of acquisitions and organic growth spur $200M goal

Southern Acquisitions started with Southern Dock Products and Just-­Rite Equipment in 2001. More recently, DuraServ was formed in 2016 as the parent company for Southern Dock, JB Mathews and more.

Southern Dock has continued to grow and in 2016 crossed the nine-figure mark, recording $118 million in revenue and this year will be in the $140-$150 million range. The Farmers Branch-based company provides loading docks and doors to distribution centers and manufacturing plants, and has a $200-million revenue goal it hopes to reach by 2020. CEO David Iliff discussed the company’s growth:

What's fueling your growth?

Fueling growth is two things. It's organic and we believe we're growing organically because we invest in our sales people. And that our sales people function on a one-customer, one-contact basis. We also are growing very successfully because we are a self-performing company. What we mean by that is - our employees do our work. That is a key differentiator between some of our competitors.

What about acquisitions?

We are doing some acquisitions that are in markets where we operate, like in Florida and in North Carolina.

What makes a potential acquisition partner appealing?

First, we acquire businesses that are just in our space, so they have to be in the dock and door business. Second, we look for ways that we can add value to that business. Usually we're acquiring a smaller, owner-operated business that the person is looking to retire. They see us as a good partner to buy the business because we retain all their people, we invest in the business - we usually buy new vehicles and trucks - we invest in the training of their employees and really provide them a new platform for growth.


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