Case Study:
American Machinery Works, Inc.

Company Profile

Founded in the early 1980s, American Machinery Works is the parent corporation of AMW Construction Supply and AMW Packaging. The company started as an industrial equipment repair business that centered on service and repair work for industrial machinery. In the late 1980s, the focus of the company shifted, and AMW began selling packaging supplies throughout the United States. Chuck Farguson founded AMW and serves as the company’s president. With corporate headquarters in Phoenix, the company has 40 employees and 11 locations throughout the world. With large industrial customers located around the globe, Farguson explains that outside of Phoenix, AMW utilizes public warehousing to keep its overhead down and flexible. Area service technicians manage the warehouse sites.


As a result of challenging economic and banking times in Phoenix, Farguson left his bank of record in 2007 and began working with another regional bank. Shortly thereafter, Tim Brunner, a relationship manager with Alerus Bank & Trust, made a courtesy call to Farguson. Given that he had recently switched banks, Farguson wasn’t looking to make the change again soon. He and Brunner, who were past acquaintances, kept in touch over the next year and eventually met to discuss the Alerus business model. Farguson was intrigued and asked for a proposal from Alerus.

“Alerus just fit with what we were doing,” Farguson said. “Even in a down economy, they had things that worked for us.”

As it turns out, the timing couldn’t have been better. Farguson noted that in a down economy, big banks aren’t always as flexible with growing companies. “But because we’d been working with Tim, he knew our business, he knew me, and he was very confident and comfortable in moving ahead. He came up with a program for us when no one else could or would have done so. It’s been a great, wonderful partnership.”


A key element to the successful relationship between AMW and Alerus is that, according to Farguson, Alerus truly understands small business.

“Each and every small business has different needs, and yet big banks want to put clients into one–size–fits–all terms,” he said. “Alerus delivers on our unique needs and is there to support us and provide advice.”

As AMW continues to grow, Farguson is confident that Alerus will be there every step of the way. “Alerus has helped us grow our business during a difficult business environment, and I know they will continue to be there,” he concluded. “It is a great group of people with a great business model. They truly take the time to get to know you, your business, and your situation. Big banks will always have a hard time competing with Alerus because Alerus delivers on everything it says it will.”





American Machinery Works, Inc.
Phoenix, Arizona

Business Type


Services Used

Business Loan
Business Real Estate Loan
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