Sun Enterprises was founded in 2000 with an initial aim to provide solutions in quartz fire polishing, welding and machining. Today it has broadened its services to precision machining of ceramic components for the high-tech semi conductor, laser, solar and automotive industries among many others to function as a fully integrated ceramic and quartz machining facility. The firm also assures high quality solutions with sound pricing and quick turn capacities.
Gets up close with Marc Shull, the General Manager at Sun Enterprises, to give us a brief look at the makings of this business.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business? How did the idea for your business come about?
Sun Enterprise has been producing quality quartz products since 2001. With recent trends towards Asian manufacturing, we noticed a hole in the local US supply chain for a quality-quick-turn ceramic vendor that understands the needs of high tech industries. Unlike some smaller ceramic shops, Sun Enterprise is fully equipped to meet both quick turn low volume needs as well as high volume production.
How important have good employees been to your success?
Your business is only as good as your employees. You can design the most beautiful building, but if you build it with inferior materials it will eventually come down.
Here at Sun Enterprise our management, engineering staff and machinists all have worked directly with ceramic products for 15+ years. Our production CNC equipment and quality instrumentation is state of the art. With great employees and tools Sun insures that even the most difficult of products meet quality standards.
How many hours do you work a day on average?
In this day and age of electronic communication, it isn’t easy to calculate the working hours in a day. Sun Enterprise has customers all over the world. We make sure that we are accessible electronically 24 hours a day and by phone or in person between 6am and 9pm Pacific Coast time zone.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Balancing family and business is always a difficult venture. Like any good partnership my family understands the needs of the business and how it relates to them. Ensuring some family time is always important.
What motivates you?
Failure! I refuse to fail therefore I constantly push harder to succeed. Success can only be measured in a finite timeframe. Therefore, I continuously reevaluate were we are as a company and keep pushing the goals further.
How do you define success?
I believe firmly in setting goals that are reasonable. Success is a measure based on the completion of those goals. I also believe that goals need to be adjusted and moved based on outside influences that cannot be controlled.
What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Long-term success is achieved by understanding your business and always working at constant improvements. You must always understand your market in both the short and long term context. You have to have constantly communicate with customers to understand their changing needs and produce products in a timely manner. It may sound clichéd, but a supplier – vendor relationship is only as good as the last part you were late on.
How do you build a successful customer base?
Building a customer base is actually the easiest part. It’s all about building customer loyalty to achieve long-term success. Communication is the most import key to building a long-term relationship. You need to be flexible and work to meet the needs of your customer. Your employees must understand customer specifications to insure that product is produced timely and in a robust manner.
How did you decide on the location for your business?
Sun Enterprise is located in Fremont CA. 75% of our customer and vendor base is located in this area. Proximity to customers allows us to react quickly to their needs. This type of customer services is what we are building the company on.
How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
Setting procedures and following them can prevent a lot of mistakes. Having the proper systems and managing flow is a major job in a production environment. Continuous improvement is stressed at all times. That being said, mistakes happen. We grow based on how we learn from our mistakes. As I tell my employees, mistakes are only bad if we repeat them.
Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
Within 20 years I see Sun Enterprise as one of the larger ceramic manufactures in the United States. We plan to expand current operations to include a variety of material preparation methods. This will allow us to expand our customer base and broaden our market share in other industries.