By Liliana Ospina

SMT Automation, a Hispanic company in engineering and design services, tells us how SBDC helped them achieve the dream of being entrepreneurs in Michigan.
"Yes, it was a dream to have our own business," said Marco Santana, owner of SMT Automation.

According to Santana, a Mexican engineer, who started the company with his wife Elena Morales, in 2017, the process was not easy, but I recommend most people to do it.
"It is interesting because we enjoyed it, but it must be a vocation because we struggled as well," he said.

Elena Morales, wife of Marco Santa and also company owner, says that SMT Automation originally started outsourcing, but now they offer a great variety of services.
"We offer solutions, if you ask outsourcing companies for two engineers, they go ahead and place two engineers in the plant, we do not, we make sure those two engineers are doing what has to be done in the plant," Morales said.

According to Marco Santa, the company offers control engineering services, PLC programming, HME, frequency varieties, servo motors, "different types of communication networks and we also offer the programming part of robots, such as ABB, Kuka, Fanuc," said Marco Santana.  The couple has worked in that area in the last two years.

"I think this is what has differentiated SMT Automation from others, in providing that quality to the client, that they know that we are listening to their needs. That's the same approach we are providing, on the machinery side, in this division we are building," Morales said.

Morales said that, if the client has an old machine, they rebuild and retrofit it. "We are working with machines, from design to implementation, and we have our people, our team from program management to sales, and dedicated personnel to be there with our customers."

For these entrepreneurs, SBDC has been a tremendous support, because it has helped them connect with different groups that are available to help people who want to start a business.
"Whether through Michigan Works, which has supported us to get the right people, or Macomb Community College, which are open to training our employees. Scort's people have also been supporting us with different tools," he said.

For these Latino entrepreneurs, SBDC of Michigan has been very open to providing all the tools they need to keep growing. "I think, if someone is an entrepreneur and wants to start its business, they should approach SBDC. One cannot imagine, how many tools are at hand and the truth, when you are new to this, yes, you need that kind of help," said Marco Santana.

For more information about the Michigan Small Business Development Center, visit the website https://sbdcmichigan.org/.