Bartech Group, Inc. (Bartech), a global leader in staffing and management solutions, has experienced tremendous success for more than three decades. The Michigan-based company currently manages more than 26,000 daily work assignments and $2 billion in annualized billings. While many companies would be content to keep the status quo in this business climate and economy, Bartech has continued to grow and expand.
While celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2012, Bartech simultaneously was making major decisions to boldly shape its future. A quantum leap for the company occurred when it received an investment from Sverica International to fund ongoing strategic growth. Sverica, a West Coast-based private equity firm, is a leading entity that has raised more than $425 million of investment capital since its inception in 1993.
In conjunction with the investment, David W. Barfield was promoted to serve as Bartech’s president, CEO, and chairman of the board. No stranger to the company, Barfield has functioned in executive leadership capacities since joining the family-owned business in 1995. He was instrumental in transitioning the company from a traditional staffing agency, to a global leader that provides national and international services in such industries as automotive, life sciences and health care, financial services, energy and telecommunications.
For more than two decades, Bartech has been listed by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the top performing and earning African-American companies in the United States. Yet, the potential to achieve even more continued to present itself.
“Our company was experiencing significant growth over the past five years,” says Barfield. “To remain competitive, however, the family recognized the need to attract outside investments to fund our growth and better help our customers win in the global marketplace. Sverica shared in our long-term vision to better deliver quality service to meet our customers’ increasing demand for talent. Therefore, we are pleased with our partnership with Sverica because it enables Bartech to make the necessary investments that will add significant value to our customers.”
The investment and change in strategy have also made it possible for Bartech to move from Livonia, into new state-of-the-art headquarters in Southfield, create a centralized national recruitment center, and globally expand the company’s Managed Service Provider business unit, which includes a presence in Eastern and Western Europe, as well as Canada.
While Sverica has made an investment and is now part owner of Bartech, Barfield points out that the family is still in the loop.
“The Barfield family has a major equity position in the company,” says Barfield, who holds a bachelor of arts from Georgetown University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. “As far as the direction of the company, overall philosophy, and day-to-day operation, those decisions belong to our Board of Directors, executive leadership team and me.”
In addition to his top leadership role at Bartech, Barfield was recently elected to serve on the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s (NMSDC) Board of Directors. NMSDC is one of the country’s leading corporate membership organizations that advocates increased procurement opportunities for Asians, Blacks, Hispanic, Women and Native American businesses in the global corporate supply chain. Bartech, a NMSDC certified company, has been a member of the national organization for close to 30 years. Additionally, Barfield is a member of Business Leaders for Michigan, a business roundtable that includes the top 80 corporate executives in Michigan.
While on a fast track moving forward, Barfield is proud of Bartech’s achievements and status in the corporate world. The company is one of the country’s 100 largest staffing firms, one of the 20th largest firms that provide engineering talent in the staffing industry and is a Top 10 provider in the Managed Service Provider segment of the industry. According to Barfield, Bartech’s annual revenue is approximately $230 million. “
“Our goal is to continue to grow the value of our company,” says Barfield.
“We will continue to invest in services that we believe to be highly valued by our customers. We want to be one of the most important companies in the human capital industry. Our plans are to double the size of the company in the next three to five years while making investments to reach those goals.”
Regardless of how fast Bartech grows, Barfield says the company will continue to embrace the business philosophies of his father, John W. Barfield, and mother, Betty Barfield, both of whom were African-American pioneers in business.
The couple started Barfield Cleaning Company in 1954, before transitioning it to John Barfield & Associates in 1977 which provided staffing services to the Big Three automakers. In 1984, the company changed its name to The Bartech Group and became one the country’s first minority-owned technical staffing firms.
“What’s important to me as Bartech moves forward is that we stay true to the founding principles established by my parents,” says Barfield.
“The founding principles were providing quality service to our customers, fairness to our employees and being good corporate citizens. While a lot has changed, and is still changing at Bartech, the foundation established by my parents remains.”