March 07, 2011

Predictable Quality Solutions opens in incubator

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Predictable Quality Solutions LLC is the newest tenant at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Small Business Incubator.

University alumnus Timothy Szymcek is president of the business, better known by the acronym PQS. PQS provides quality control services for manufacturing companies.

Szymcek, of Carbondale, earned his bachelor's degree in aviation management in 1992. He went on to work for Mitsubishi and Toyota for 12 years combined, gaining extensive experience in quality engineering, supplier training, production and predictable quality. Seeing problems with existing "sorting" companies and armed with education and experience, Szymcek created PQS in June 2006. Initially a home-based business, the company grew and recently moved to its new location within the SIUC Small Business Incubator.

"Southern Illinois is a good place for our business and we're getting some valuable help from SIUC," Szymcek said.

PQS employs six and its leadership features former quality engineering and supplier development specialists and managers. The company's available services include sorting, rework, engineering and problem solving, all delivered with attention to detail, according to Szymcek.

Currently, they're involved primarily with automotive businesses along with some sporting goods manufacturing enterprises, he said. But, he said that the customer service PQS provides would be an asset to a wide variety of manufacturing clients. Typically, they provide services on-site at manufacturing plants.

"Our goal is to continue to grow here in the region, to keep seeing steady growth," Szymcek said. The company's Web site is

"Having a start-up company like PQS come to Southern Illinois and locate in the SIUC Small Business Incubator is so gratifying to see," said Kyle L. Harfst, director of technology and enterprise development at SIUC and interim executive director of the Southern Illinois Research Park. "Tim Szymcek, principal of this corporation, is a graduate of Southern Illinois University in its College of Applied Sciences and Arts. He moved away after graduation, had a very successful career in the automotive manufacturing industry and decided to start a business based on his expertise gained while in industry. He has identified a niche market in the industry and has capitalized upon it. PQS may represent the type of start-up business of the future. They have a core base of operations in Southern Illinois but their client services are performed anywhere, anytime."

While PQS is the newest incubator tenant, it's definitely not the only success story. Built in 1990, the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center ( hosts the Small Business Incubator and also serves as an economic development arm for the University, Harfst said. The facility provides office space, a wet laboratory and light industrial space creating an appealing environment for a variety of tenants.

More than 40 businesses, including six in the last year alone, have graduated from the Small Business Incubator, going on to bigger and better things after growing through the SIUC facility. In the past year, the incubator program has accepted three new tenants. Harfst said another technology-based business will be joining PQS as a new tenant in the Small Business Incubator later this spring. Details on that business start-up will be coming soon.