Creswell Industrial Supply has been in business 39 years, and Richardson Electric has been open for 38.
The two companies recently joined forces to form Creswell-Richardson Supply.
"I guess that makes us a 77-year-old company," said Cave Richardson, former owner of Richardson Electric who remains on staff as a consultant for the new company.
Rob Creswell, president, who owns the company along with his brother, Greg Creswell, and their father, Bob Creswell, said the merger was a way to streamline during tight economic times while preparing for growth they expect from the arrival of Volkswagen.
"This was a win-win situation to put the two companies together," he said. "We realized this was the right time. We were looking at efficiency and the growth hat is coming to Chattanooga."
The companies opened their doors jointly on April 9, but the 23 employees continue to move Creswell's inventory from its former 6125 Airways Blvd. address into the 33,000-square-foot facility occupied by Richardson Electric at 900 Appling St.
Officials declined to discuss the financial arrangement, but Mr. Creswell said he projects the merger will increase sales about 13 percent this year.
"Our goal is 13 percent (growth) every year which doubles our business every five years," he said. "We really feel like, with the suppliers to Volkswagen, our growth will far exceed that by 2010."
The combined company will continue to supply electrical and bearings and power transmission parts for automotive and textile industries, construction contractors, foundries and heavy industrial customers just as each of the two did separately for almost 40 years.
Creswell-Richardson Supply also will keep the engineering services, known as ETO or Engineered to Order, that Creswell provided and the TechCraft Automation, that has been a major part of Richardson Electric's business.
"It creates a one-stop-shop," Mr. Creswell said, adding that the merger reduces costs, paperwork, and the number of vendors needed to serve both businesses.
Greg Creswell, vice president, said each of the companies' customers are glad to have only one contact.
"The feedback from our customers have been really exciting," he said.
Greg Creswell acknowledged that they were forced to eliminate a few positions during the merger because there was some overlap, but that will change as the business grows.
"We expect to be adding jobs as the economy improves," he said.