All About the Base

Assess, then act.

Mountain Lake Services, an organization that provides support and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, acquired Essex Pallet and Pellet in late 2015. Because they already owned Essex Industries, which produces high quality canoe products and accessories, they were familiar with wood manufacturing. The pallet and pellet operation is based in Keeseville, NY, and employs around 15 people. They provide standard and custom pallets to a variety of clients within a 100 mile radius. They are known for being able to provide specialty custom pallets with excellent customer service -- the exact pallet you need, when you need it. They also use waste from the pallet process to make super-premium heating fuel pellets for homes and businesses.


Essex Pallet and Pellet had been owned by a single proprietor for fifteen years. Whe Mountain Lake Services acquired the business, it was important to standardize production and sales processes so that it would both fit into the standards already in use by the new parent company, and to make it a potential employer for individuals using Mountain Lake's services.


The project began with a revenue throughput analysis to prioritize bottleneck areas that included parent company leadership and financial personnel, as well as management of the pallet operation. It was determined that marketing and sales needed focus and process; the actual cost of producing product needed to be clearly determined; and the pallet making process needed standardization.


CITEC created a focused marketing plan and began work on production issues. Reworking plant layout and production processes improved efficiency, and the cost of production was determined through thorough study.


"CITEC did an excellent job in helping us coordinate workflow and organize the plant which helped with efficiency and lean manufacturing. Their employees also opened doors for us with other local businesses which led to increased sales," said John Gereau, Director of Operations and Marketing for Essex Industries and Essex Pallet and Pellet. "I would not hesitate to recommend them to other non-competing businesses."


RESULTS: $400,000 in increased sales and $100,000 in cost savings related to efficiency improvements.



Contact Steve Lockwood for more information.




CITEC is a not-for-profit business consulting organization driven by a mission to help the small- and medium-sized enterprises in northern New York to thrive. The depth of our consulting team's expertise and an unbeatable nationwide network of resources will deliver the impacts your business needs to grow strategically, improve profitability, and create the competitive advantages you need.

We have proven results. Our clients are surveyed by an independent third party upon project completion and have reported amazing impacts to their businesses because of our assistance. On average, working with CITEC provides a return of $71 for every $1 of project cost.


Privacy Policy
Site Map

Get in Touch

  • Phone:
  • Email:
  • Address:
    CITEC Inc.
    Box 8561 Clarkson University
    Potsdam, New York 13699-8561