In November 2018, Laura Hopson bought the majority ownership of EM Services. With an existing set of customers and a great team of employees to lead, Laura spent a tremendous amount of time on strategy and brand transformation.
Established in 1993, EM Services LLC is a leader in integrated procurement. Their consolidated purchasing power lowers costs and improves the internal business process. Acting as a single point of contact for managing MRO, indirect supplies, services, and point-of-use commodities.
“One of my major strategic initiatives was to ‘Pivot’ and take our existing portfolio of products, Indirect Supplies, into new market segments,” Laura explained.
Traditionally, EM Services had been focused on the automotive industry. By making adjustments, Laura Hopson chose to branch into healthcare and higher education, which took a year to implement. In the midst of a global pandemic and economic recession, expanding into a different market segment was critical to EM Service’s success.
Spending her entire career in commercial interiors and architecture, Laura has touched the construction industry from many different angles, including office furniture, architectural construction, and now basic construction. She attributes her fascination with architecture and structures to her engineering analytical background.
When Laura first began her position at EM Services, her goal was to simply survive. She wanted to make sure the business could continue going and growing by making sure she could provide for her family and enjoy what she was doing.
“Being a business owner is all-consuming. If you don’t like and enjoy what you are doing, life could be pretty tough. I am having a blast – through good times and challenging times – and I truly would not wish for a different career. It’s important to me that I am able to pass along everything that I have learned and accomplished to impact change for generations to come. If I can teach, guide, mentor, and sponsor young professionals and businesses and help them be successful I will feel as though I have made a difference.”
When asked what a typical day looks like, Laura answered, “I am not quite sure that a typical day exists! I spend blocks of time each day on basically four key areas of the business – the process of running the business (accounting, invoicing, operations), marketing activities focused on creating awareness for our company and our products and services, sales activities working with existing and new clients on strategies to improve their business processes in a way to help them move towards their company goals, and on people; working to develop and lead our team.”
EM Services is proud of its customer service-oriented team and extremely focused on working with each client differently. By developing custom procurement programs designed to reduce the cost and complexity of the procurement process, each program is unique to each customer. Their access to a large network of suppliers and customers, and aggregate pricing, allows clients to benefit from negotiated pricing across multiple end-users.
Recently teaming up with a general contractor, Laura Hopson and EM Services provided products for the construction of a new automotive plant in the Detroit area. This facility was one of the only facilities being built this year, and EM Services was excited to be part of the progress and to help the automotive industry move forward in this time of change and uncertainty.
Laura encourages other women in the construction industry to stick with it and follow their dreams, saying, “the road to success may not always be easy, and it may sound a bit overused, but be authentic. It is so important to be who you are and to have a passion for what you are doing. Running a business can be a 24/7 responsibility. If you are going to spend such a significant amount of time and energy on the business it must be something that you enjoy. Remember that anything worthwhile is probably difficult. If not, everyone would do it!”
By surrounding yourself with a network of mentors, business associates, and allies that have experience in the industry and can help support you, Laura Hopson knows that women going into the same career field she has chosen will succeed. She believes that other members of the construction industry should be open-minded as it relates to networking and collaboration. By partnering together, everyone’s abilities are strengthened to provide outstanding products and services.
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