Berkeley Varitronics vs. Fluke (Danaher)
Berkeley Varitronics vs. Fluke (Danaher)
The challenge: Persuading mega-companies to do business with a small player.

What they did: It's not easy for a 32-employee company with sales of about $5 million to win business from clients ranging from Abbott Labs to NASA and the Secret Service. But Berkeley Varitronics -- which designs and makes equipment for testing wireless networks and detecting security breaches -- has done it for years. One secret: investing in top talent. During telecommunications industry turmoil, the tiny Metuchen, N.J., firm snapped up engineers from AT&T, Lucent, and other big players. And the family-run business relies on U.S.-based suppliers to maintain quality control. "If I need a bracket, I'm going to a local shop to get it," says president Scott Schober, 42, son of founder and CTO Gary William Schober, 67. The Schobers' passion for customizing products also sparks sales.

This article is from the February 6, 2012 issue of Fortune.
By Elaine Pofeldt, contributor @FortuneMagazine - Last updated February 07 2012: 6:13 AM ET
Join the Conversation

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.