Toby McGinnis has wanted to run his own business since age 19.
When the now-42-year-old was laid off in 2009, he decided it was the right time.
“I have 11 children, so it was something that I couldn’t really think about doing before,” said McGinnis, who is CEO of Cross Check Quality Inspection, a quality control inspection company based in Bowling Green. “But then, when the layoff happened, I prayed about it.”
McGinnis, who had been a quality engineer for 10 years, asked God to help guide him through the process, including selecting a name for the company.
“I was brushing my teeth and ... saw my wife’s cross on the vanity,” he said. “Then I went to get my keys, and there was my checkbook.”
So the name was born.
“Cross check” means to control quality, he said. The company’s logo has two crosses on it.
McGinnis started the company with money from a tax return, and he had three employees.
“We’ve tripled our business every year since we opened,” he said. “We will do $1 million in business this year.”
McGinnis has 60 employees, mostly based in Bowling Green, but he also has branches in Russellville, where he lives, and in Owensboro.
A typical example of the work that McGinnis’ company does is this: An auto supply company finds a slightly imperfect part in one of the batches
it has produced. It doesn’t want to stop the production line to search for other imperfect parts, so Cross Check is called in to search the batches for imperfect parts. Then they might mill or burnish burs off them so they can be certified inspected and sent to automakers.
McGinnis said the company also can help ensure quality for a new product launch for a manufacturer on-site.
Other companies might chose to send their products, which might have suspected flaws, to Cross Check’s Industrial Drive location.
Last week, workers at the Industrial Drive location were sorting through plastic lids destined for barbecue sauce. In one day they expected to sort through about 40 boxes of the lids.
Worker Kimberly Harris, wearing latex gloves, dumped a box out on a light table and looked at the lids, checking for light to penetrate through any pinpricks.
Harris of Russellville explained that she also was looking for any rough spots or imperfections on the edges.
Crews also were repackaging Waterford crystal for shipping. Repackaging is another task the company does, McGinnis said.
McGinnis leases about 5,000 square feet of what used to be one of Bowling Green’s largest manufacturing buildings, Eaton. There is a total of 300,000 square feet in the building, which is owned by Jim Scott and used as a warehouse.
“I can have more space if I need it,” McGinnis said. “I’d like to be able to fill up the whole building.”
A goal for the company in the upcoming year is to become ISO certified, the world’s largest developer of voluntary international standards for products, services and good practices.
McGinnis said certification will be necessary if he expects to get work with any of the major automotive companies directly. “I would love to be able to get in with General Motors,” he said.
Until then, McGinnis wants to continue to grow the business by picking up a variety of clients.
As the number of clients grows, he will further expand employment.
“If I need to, I will go out and sort parts,” McGinnis said. “But I am hiring all the time.”
McGinnis said he pays a decent wage, $9 an hour to start and topping out at $13 an hour after two years. Employees after a year receive dental care and a week’s vacation.
“I’m not quite to the point that I can offer health insurance or a 401(k), but I want to be able to,” he said.
He hopes the company will not only provide for his family but be a place for them to work if they chose to.
“My oldest daughter worked for me last summer,” McGinnis said. “But after working in a hot factory, she decided she (definitely) needed to stay in (college).”
In Bowling Green, McGinnis has the help of sales manager Rick Powell, who has decades of experience with quality control and in the automotive industry, and regional manager Whitney Bell.
McGinnis is happy to say that the company started and expanded without any local or state tax incentives.
“And I’m debt free,” he said.
— For more information about Cross Check, visit crosscheckqualityinspection.com.