COMPETING WITH giant companies isn't easy. But it's even harder when shipping across the Rocky Mountains adds over three percentage points to the price of your product. That's what John Jansheski, founder and CEO of DenTek Oral Care, discovered while shipping consumer oral care supplies to retailers across the U.S. From DenTek's original headquarters in Petaluma, California, Jansheski says over 80 percent of shipments were headed east of the Mississippi. So in 2001, Jansheski moved the company to Maryville, Tennessee. "It was the most important financial decision we've ever made," says Jansheski, 41.

Although he's had to replace nearly all of his 40-some employees, he says being in Tennessee has made DenTek a much stronger competitor. Rent is cheaper, taxes are lower, and he's saved over $1 million in shipping costs in the last year alone. "We're putting all that money back into the company, and as a result, sales are now twice what they were."


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