Delta-Waseca has been manufacturing truck bodies in southern Minnesota for 40 years. Durable dry freight, refrigerated and curtain side custom van bodies are their specialty. Bruce Bean, President of Delta-Waseca, prides himself on the durability, longevity, and reliability of the company’s truck and van bodies.
Delta-Waseca’s truck bodies, though manufactured through a production line, are custom made with fine detail. Each body is unique because they are made to order. “Delta-Waseca is a craft business that happens to come down an [assembly] line,” said Bean during an interview.
With business thriving in 2000, Bean decided it was time to enhance the company. He wanted to build an addition to the storage lot and purchase productivity enhancing equipment. After finding himself unable to secure the needed financing through traditional means, Bean contacted RNDC.
RNDC administers a number of Revolving Loan Funds (RLF) to assist existing businesses, as well as new entrepreneurs, in securing financing they are otherwise unable to secure through traditional channels. The source of RLF is a combination of funding from the Federal Economic Development Administration and matching funds supplied by counties in the region. Bean brought his proposal to RNDC’s Revolving Loan Committee and was granted a loan.
In the years between 2008 and 2011, the recession that was going on throughout the country was felt at Delta-Waseca. Companies that typically replace their truck and van bodies annually began to hold off on their updates. Sales dropped by 70% during this time. As a result, Bean was forced to lay off half of the staff, leaving the company with only 16 employees.
During this tough time, Bean’s cash flow situation was not improving despite the cost-saving measures he implemented. He was determined not to lose any more staff, and had to find another solution. Bean contacted RLF Loan Officer, LuAnn Vanderwerf, and set up a meeting. When the two of them had finished their meeting, Bean had a deferment on his loan payments, and Vanderwerf had a commitment from Bean to meet monthly to review sales orders, and cash flow forecasts.