AMCO takes pride in products produced in YazooBy JASON PATTERSON,
AMCO Manufacturing is one of Yazoo City’s greatest ambassadors.
All over the country you can find the highest quality equipment with AMCO’s emblem noting that it was made right here in Yazoo City.
AMCO’s reputation is well known in any industry requiring the best tillage tools available, but many Yazooans may not be aware of the important contributions AMCO makes to the local economy. It’s possible to pass by the plant in the industrial parkway every day without seeing the investments that have been made and the growth that has taken place inside its walls.
Yazoo City’s AMCO facility currently provides 26 good jobs. Most of those employees live in Yazoo County, and many of them are longtime employees.
James Milner has served as manager of the local facility since June of 2014. For Milner, working at AMCO was a chance to come home. He’s a Yazoo County native, and he always wanted to come back to the place where he was raised.
“I have some family land, and I always wanted to build a home here,” Milner said. “This was a great opportunity for me.”
Milner previously worked for a Nissan supplier based in Gluckstadt. After touring the AMCO plant in Yazoo City, Milner knew that he had found the right place to continue his career.
“AMCO has been here for as long as I can remember so I knew about it, but after I heard about how they were working to grow this company I knew I wanted to be a part of it,” Milner said. “This is a company that is committed to staying in Yazoo City, and they want to grow. It was too good of an opportunity to pass up.”
Milner said AMCO receives great assistance from its sister company, Yetter Manufacturing. Yetter provides assistance with things like engineering and purchasing.
AMCO mainly constructs tillage equipment with discs ranging from 4 to 40-feet wide. They also make water management tools, PTO-powered ditchers, levee plows, terracing plows, and many other products.
“Some of our discs have numerous versions available when you look at all of the available widths, blade sizes and other options,” Milner said. “Our dealers help make recommendations that work for each customer.”
Once an order is placed, the products are constructed in the Yazoo City plant. Products are normally turned around within three to four weeks after an order is placed.
“We ship all over the United States, and we export,” Milner said. “Our biggest states, in no particular order are, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Florida. Those five states probably account for 70 to 75 percent of our sales.”
Milner said he is particularly proud of the investments AMCO is making in Yazoo City because those investments result in an even better product and demonstrate the company’s commitment to the future in Yazoo City.
“This was already in the works before I arrived, but shortly after I started here we upgraded to a powder coat booth and powder coat oven,” Milner said. “Everything before that had been wet paint. This gives a better finish to the parts. It’s like an automotive-grade coating. It’s stronger, lasts longer and has a much better appearance.”
Other significant upgrades include a robot welder and an inventory management system that has streamlined everything from invoicing, purchasing inventory to job management.
“The technology upgrades have helped prevent part shortages,” Milner said. “That is important because in a manufacturing operation part shortages will kill you.”
Milner said one thing that has helped AMCO thrive in this community is strong local support. The Yazoo County Economic Development District recently helped land a $150,000 grant from the Mississippi Development Authority with assistance from State. Sen. Briggs Hopson, State. Sen. Eugene “Buck” Clarke and Gov. Phil Bryant that will be used to help make needed repairs to the manufacturing building’s roof.
A recent incident that reminded Milner of why he chooses to call Yazoo County home was when the building’s roof was further damaged during a storm.
Milner said the Yazoo County Emergency Management Agency and county employees quickly responded to help.
“We were impressed by the response,” Milner said.
Milner was also proud to see his staff’s response to the storm damage. Employees who were off duty came in to help without being asked.
“That’s the type of people we have working here,” Milner said. “The people here take ownership in what we’re doing. It’s almost like a family.”
Any industry’s success depends on the dedication of the people getting the work done. Milner believes that is why AMCO has continued to flourish in this community.
“I think that says a lot about the kind of people Yazoo County produces,” Milner said.