OKC VeloCity | OrderMatic CEO appreciates OKC's talent, community

OrderMatic CEO appreciates OKC's talent, community

By Molly Fleming / Economy / September 23, 2019

The OrderMatic campus, with offices and a manufacturing facility, sits east of downtown Oklahoma City.

Yum! Brands calls Louisville, Kentucky its corporate home, so it might not seem that the fast-food operator has a connection to Oklahoma City, other than multiple locations here to get a taco at midnight.

But off E. Reno Avenue is where the connection can be found. OrderMatic counts Taco Bell as one of its top customers.

OrderMatic designs and manufactures drive-thru branded next-generation signage, technology solutions, and drive in products and accessories for quick-service restaurants, retail merchants and sports and entertainment venues. The company also designs and builds mechanical and electrical products for customers outside of the QSR industry. The products are value-engineered, easily serviceable, and available for mass manufacturing due to OrderMatic’s expertise in those engineering practices.

The Oklahoma-grown company started in Bill Cunningham’s garage in 1955. It helped with the success of another Oklahoma-grown company, Sonic, America’s Drive-In.

The past and present of audio switchboards at OrderMatic. The board on the right was made in 1965 and the devices on the left are from 2018.

Current President and CEO Paul Crawford took the reins in 2016 and was hired to help with the company’s rebirth. His efforts seem to be working, with recent records in sales and revenue this year. Manufacturing is also up 30% in 2019’s first quarter compared to 2018’s first quarter.

Besides Yum! Brands, OrderMatic also works with Oklahoma-based Braum’s Ice Cream & Dairy Stores, Oklahoma-based Sonic Corporation and Oklahoma City-based Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee Misha Goli and his family.

Crawford said he’s able to find good talent partly due to the oil and gas industry doing the initial recruiting.

He said he spoke with a restaurant chain owner in Jackson, Mississippi who was jealous of Crawford’s talent pool.

“Oil and gas draws in really good talent,” he said. “Those folks come to OKC and they fall in love with the place. Due to the constant turbulence of the oil and gas industry, they eventually want out. They want some stability. We’re grateful to have top talent that’s open for hire.”

"Even when working with companies that have been competitive in the past they always lead with, ‘What can we do to help?’”

According to its internal surveys, Crawford said more than 85% of OrderMatic employees say they’re pleased with the culture, the work, the opportunities and they would recommend working here to a friend.

Other Oklahoma City-based manufacturers are wanting to learn more from OrderMatic and Crawford wants to share what he can with them. He said he gets excellent help from the Oklahoma Manufacturers Association and often visits with executives from other manufacturing companies.

“To me, Oklahoma City has a very community-based ecosystem,” he said. “It’s somehow in our DNA to help lookout for others in the business community regardless of the quid-pro-quo benefit. Even when working with companies that have been competitive in the past they always lead with, ‘What can we do to help?’”

Besides the companies willing to work together, Crawford said Oklahoma City has other assets it can offer a manufacturer. The city has low facility and utility costs. There’s a lack of union labor, which is an issue that manufacturers in the northern U.S. have to deal with more, he said. And there’s a talented and diverse pool of potential employees across the board.

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