A business consultant for 17 years, Jeff Sluss probably would have never advised a client to buy a bankrupt company.
But that’s exactly what Sluss did in March when he purchased Apex Industrial Equipment in Salem, which designs and manufactures machinery and heavy equipment for industrial customers.
“I see opportunity here,” Sluss said. “I think there are things we can do in the near- and long-term to make this a successful company.”
Sluss is hoping to bring the company out of bankruptcy and stage a comeback by branching out with a line of residential outdoor furniture made of steel.
“If you don’t diversify your business, if you are going to simply survive off manufacturing, you’re not going to make it,” he said.
Apex’s shop manager, Darrell Breeden, said the company is already seeing the results of Sluss’ leadership and business plan.
Customers “are seeing the changes that have been made in the last couple of months, and we’ve been busy as a result,” Breeden said. “Right now we have more work than we ever have.”
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