Sigma Controls, Inc., is a Perkasie-based manufacturer of state-of-the-art instrumentation for the measurement and control of pressure and level and flow applications commonly found in water, wastewater and environmental industries.
The company was founded in 1985 when Les Souter and a former business partner decided that working for a large conglomerate was not in their best interest. They quit their jobs to open their own business in Doylestown representing manufacturing interests for 15 companies.
As time went on, that business grew. Five new employees were hired and the company changed location several times within Doylestown as their operation expanded. They soon began to manufacture adjunct components for customers, and that segment of their business became quite successful too.
Additional growth led to a search for a bigger commercial property and they eventually purchased a 2,000-square foot building in nearby Perkasie in Upper Bucks. It was at the same time that the co-owners decided to make the same products they were already representing.
About 10 years after launching, Sigma controls moved to a 10,000-square-foot facility in Perkasie that contained enough space for their administrative and private offices, meeting rooms, warehouse and manufacturing operations. (The company moved to the repurposed facility after six months of extensive renovations to the 90-year-old brick building, which formerly housed a manufacturer of industrial and work clothes.)
Because of the competitive nature of their business, Sigma Controls has expanded its product line to include pump controllers, transducers, annunciators, auto dialers, float switches, float and level measurement, pressure transmitters, system integration devices and accessories.
Stiff competition within their industry requires Sigma Controls to constantly be in product-development mode, and Souter is proud of this product engineering department. The product engineering team also continuously seeks additional applications for their customized products as another way to remain relative in a competitive industry.
There are several other factors that Sigma Controls utilize to maintain a competitive advantage.
Sigma Controls is proud that its supply chain is fulfilled by companies located within their own backyard of Perkasie. These local business relations not only help provide jobs for Bucks County residents at those companies but also lower costs for Sigma Controls.
As a small company with only 15 employees, Sigma Controls does not carry overhead, which helps control costs and adds to their competitive edge.
Sigma Controls is also a Underwriter Laboratories (UL)-certified plant. This designation gives them the right to use the UL label on the products they make, which is required by many of their clients.
Finally, and most importantly, are the company’s employees, many who have been with Sigma Controls between 10 and 20 years.
Minimal staff turnover leads to repeat business and long-term relationships the company has established and maintained for more than three decades. Employees stay at Sigma Controls because Souter has created a work environment that makes his employees feel like they are at home.
Maintaining a competitive edge has led to many long-term relations with their clients. Their client base is comprised of about 60 percent (water and wastewater treatment plants) and the other 40 percent hailing from numerous industries, including beverage, car wash, chemical, healthcare and blacktop (macadam).
Their products are in a least 30 states across the nation and around the world in Europe as well as such exotic locales as Bermuda, Guam and St. Kitts.
Looking to the future, Sigma Controls will continue to develop products that meet the specific needs of their customers and seek out opportunities that enable them to put their customized products in other markets.