DECA Manufacturing in Lexington is under new ownership, and Cameron Haring plans on embracing his new role to change the company, and the community, for the better.
Taking ownership of DECA Manufacturing is really the culmination of 15 years of work for Haring. He had always known he wanted to be an entrepreneur of some kind, and now, everything has come full circle.
“I’m finally getting where I’ve always wanted to go,” he said. “This transition has been pivotal in my life.”
As both owner and president, he is taking a hands-on approach to DECA; representing the company at tradeshows, meeting with prospective clients and talking with his employees on the shop floor. He has a broad skill set and deep knowledge of business operations, he is enthusiastically investing both in DECA.
Haring graduated from Mansfield Senior High School and earned his BS in Organizational Leadership at Miami University of Ohio. After graduating from college, Haring moved to Chicago where he worked in sales for a logistics provider. After a few years he wanted to deepen his business expertise, so he returned to school, earning his MBA in General Management and Operations from Vanderbilt University.
With his MBA in hand, Haring sought to apply his business knowledge and skills to a larger corporate arena. His 10-year journey saw him serving in various capacities with growing responsibilities at a global company that manufactures and distributes scientific equipment. The experience Haring gained during this time gave him a more sophisticated appreciation of management principles and their direct application.
An entrepreneur at heart, Haring began to think about how he could apply his expertise to run a smaller business. He realized that the best way to fulfill his entrepreneurial dream was to venture into small manufacturing.
While Haring’s career had included a great deal of business travel and introduced him to many parts of the world, there was something that kept pulling him back to the Mansfield area. It truly felt like the stars were aligning when the opportunity arose to return home and buy a business; not just any business but one in the exact industry he wanted - small manufacturing.
Haring could not be more excited for this new chapter in his life, the DECA Manufacturing story, and the opportunity to support the region’s economy.
“I’m excited to really test myself and to employ all of the knowledge and skills I’ve learned. But it’s not just about me. I want to do the right thing by adding to the economic prosperity of the area,” said Haring.
Haring is hitting the ground running and has big plans for DECA’s not-too-distant future.
“I want to turn it into a fast, agile growth company. I’m looking to create sales, engineering and everything else you need for a company to grow more quickly. I want to make the business more sophisticated and change the approach to growth.”
Turning DECA into a company of growth isn’t just nice words. Haring has already begun putting things in place to help his team generate more sales by hiring two new sales representatives and a new project estimator.
However, he also explained that this expansion process is not just about hiring.
“We’ve done a lot with new production systems, back office processes, and we have purchased a lot of new equipment as well,” said Haring.
Success isn’t Haring’s only goal. He is putting a plan in place for sustainability too.
“I’m planning on making the building completely renewable in the next three years,” he said. “I want to do something that’s not your grandpa’s manufacturing.”
Haring explained that because of the nature of the manufacturing DECA does, sustainability is entirely possible.
“The building is already geothermally heated, so we already have renewable heating. We use LED lights which cuts our electric consumption. The custom electronic industry doesn’t use a mountain of electricity anyway. But, for the electricity we do use, I want to implement a solar array.”
Haring has also worked in previous factories to make plants landfill-free, so he would like to use this experience and knowledge to do this for DECA as well.
Among all of these attributes Haring brings to DECA, he believes his biggest strength is his past experiences with strategic management.
“My strength is having exposure to the management of a big business and touching all aspects of that business. I’d like to bring that to DECA. I bring a unique background as far as business development.”
Haring’s vision, experience and passion for small manufacturing are all combining to serve as a powerful catalyst, which will infuse new energy into DECA’s story as well as the Lexington and the greater Mansfield area.