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There has been a lot of talk over the year about the benefits of vertical integration and synergy within businesses. But, when confronted with it suddenly and from an unexpected source, it is a wonder.

Whenever I have the opportunity to get food from EL Milagro I do it. I am a fan of the slaw tacos. Granted this does not happen all that often because the locations are not always convenient to client meetings and there are none near my office or home.

One client, surprised that I was a fan, suggested that I try their “cactus salad”, but it is not available from one of their restaurants as I found out.  It is only available in their stores. So I ventured forth, their client meeting that was close but surprisingly not as close as I initially thought.

When I saw the operation, I was impressed.  The retail store is next to one of their restaurants.  In the store there was a corn grinder creating the flour, the basis of the corn chips and tortillas that they sell in the store or use in the restaurants.

They manufacture products from scratch or base ingredients.  Once the products are produced they have them available for wholesale and retail sales as well as for use within the restaurant chain itself. 

The store has been filled both times I have been there. I have seen their products in retail locations and I am sure that other restaurants use their products as well. 

Then they have their own restaurants throughout the Chicago area.  I love this level of synergy or vertical integration in effect.  It is masterful.

It has given me some ideas for some clients on how to expand their businesses.  One recommendation that I was told was impractical was mentioned as being under review by the client recently in a meeting.

Where can your business find some synergy or vertical integration?

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