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SJC Drums: The Profit Updates in 2020

by Tom Bowen
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Mike and Scott J. Ciprari are two brothers from Massachusetts who created their first drum sets in the basement of their grandmother’s home in 2000. They worked together taking advantage of each other’s crafting and artistic talents to create drums used by some of the most popular and coolest bands of the day. SJC Drums got an early break by supplying drum equipment for Panic! At The Disco and expanded the business by adding big-name musicians and the brothers wound up touring with some bands to handle maintenance needs and promotional opportunities.

SJC Drums expanded to the point where Mike and Scott could no longer handle the management side of their growing business and were being hampered by some family issues. They looked to Marcus Lemonis and The Profit to see if they could get their business in order to manage their extraordinary success.

SJC Drums on The Profit

The Profit Season 3 Episode 1

The two brothers were a long way from home when Marcus Lemonis met them at a music conference in Anaheim, California. Marcus immediately saw a drum set that catches his attention, but was stunned by the $6,000 price tag and further disappointed that due to a lack of inventory, delivery of the set would take upwards of six to seven months.

Marcus met with the financial manager of SJC Drums, Chris, who brings with him an MBA degree and a background in engineering. When Chris, who does not have any equity in the business, reveals to Marcus that the company’s profit margins stands at around 15 percent, Marcus realizes the SJC Drums needed examination and adjustments.

Scott is regarded as the founder of the business and is the source of the company’s name. Mike is passionate about their product and his heart is in the right place. Unfortunately, his efforts to manage costs have put SJC Drums in what Chris called a “death spiral.” A visit to the Southbridge warehouse shows Marcus that SJC Drums is run inefficiently and without much direction. Boxes and cylinders are scattered about and equipment is piles haphazardly throughout the space.

As the crew gets to work, Marcus cannot deny the skilled precision of the handmade production process. However, employees claim there is not an effective work flow or prioritizing of work, leaving workers confused. In speaking with the crew, Marcus discovers that company is as disorganized with their finances as they are in the warehouse.

SJC Drums is housing about $200,000 worth of inventory that needs to be delivered to their customers, with $100,000 of debt from operational expenses. In the last year, the business generated $1 million in sales, $200,000 of which was lost despite solid 20 percent profit margins. Chris tells Marcus that in order to make the company viable and successful, they would need to double their margins.

The major issue with the company at this point seems to be the relationship between the two brothers. Putting his brother and the business ahead of himself, Mike cut a deal to buy himself out of the business so he could make regular payments to his brother. Marcus dedicated himself to fixing this family issue and goes about the business of making SJC Drums a success.

As the discussion regarding the family issues and the state of the business, Chris became emotional and had to step out of the room. Marcus understands that it must be very difficult to witness the demise of a business you believed in and were passionate about for a long time. He tries to let Chris know that he will do everything in his power to bring SJC Drums back and make it a success.

The next day, Marcus makes an offer of $400,000 in exchange for 33 percent of the business, with the condition that Chris would also be brought on board as an equal partner with Marcus and Mike. Marcus, as always, would be in charge.

Marcus’ first mission is to diversify the product line’s price points at SJC Drums to make their high-quality drums accessible to more people. A new system Marcus refers to as “good, better, best” would offer more affordable choices. “Good” drums would cost around $895 and cost $537 to produce. The team is left to figure out a way to balance their manufacturing and component issues and costs.

Marcus meets with Scott to see if they could smooth things over. Scott, the innovator and founder of SJC Drums, tells The Profit host that he feels there was a mutiny in the organization and he felt overwhelmed with the number of orders they could not fill. Marcus tells Scott that Mike feels terrible about it all went down. Scott responds that he deserves it. Marcus still would like to include Scott in the future plans for the business and leaves wanting to address Mike’s side of the situation.

Marcus implements a series of organizational techniques to streamline the production process, which the employees took to immediately. Marcus then brings Scott in and nerves began to fray. Mike apologized to his brother for what happened, but Scott’s comments only serve to escalate the situation. Marcus attempts to mediate between the two, trying to focus on the drums, which initially brought the two together.

Mike is beginning to feel the pressure and tells Chris he may walk away from the business. Marcus pushes Mike to put personal feelings aside and do what’s best for the business. Mike comes completely clean about the work culture he helped to create, offers a more full-throated and sincere apology, telling Scott he wants to be brothers again.

The next day, Scott shows up to help the crew with the base “good” model, providing positive feedback and effective solutions to the challenges they faced. The drums are then produced using Marcus’ 10-step process, significantly reducing manufacturing time.

The team took their new drum kit to large music chain Sam Ash, where they rejected SJC Drums outright before Mike told them he could leverage his personal relationships with such music stars as Green Day to help make sales.

SJC Drums After The Profit

After their appearance on The Profit, SJC Drums has become more profitable by becoming more efficient. Contracts with Sam Ash and the School of Rock helped take the business to the next level.

At one point, Scott was all but out of the business operations as his issues with his brother, Mike, continued after the show. The two brothers seem to be continuing their sibling rivalry, though SJC Drums continues to grow and expand.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; Seo Insights is not affiliated with SJC Drums, The Profit, or any of its subsidiaries.

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