November 20, 2020 –  Start-up acquisition company GBR Riverdale has completed the purchase of Fundamental Manufacturing Systems. The sale, which closed October 24th, is the second acquisition for the company, founded by entrepreneur investor Michael Kelker.

“FMS has 10 years of experience working with tier 1 automotive suppliers solving technical challenges.  Their boutique manufacturing focus and Midwestern roots are a great complement to GBR,” says Kelker.

Fundamental Manufacturing Systems was founded by Garvin Smith in 2010 after 35 years in the automotive industry. A technical consulting firm with an emphasis on product quality and manufacturing capability, FMS brings expert advisors onsite into clients experiencing process and quality challenges in their manufacturing environments.

“FMS is a resource for clients to bring functional expertise into an organization,” says Kelker. “Our advisors work from the production line, not the conference room.”

Over the past decade, FMS has established itself as a trusted resource for manufacturing initiatives such as product moves or launches, production difficulties, and quality system improvements. FMS partners with the customer to drive real results to their manufacturing and quality systems. Typical engagements are three to six months, depending on project size and complexity.

“I had been looking for someone to take over FMS, but had not found the right partner.  I heard about GBR Riverdale through an industry colleague,“ said Smith.  “Michael and Brandon convinced me that they had the experience, values, and commitment to ensure the customers and consultants that depend on FMS will be supported.”

“The manufacturing focus of GBR and FMS make them a natural fit. We are excited to work with Garvin to carry forward and build on the reputation of FMS,” Brandon Behrens shares. “We will be expanding FMS practice areas into Aerospace/Defense and Agriculture in the coming year.”

Garvin Smith will be working closely over the next few months with the GBR team to ensure a smooth transition.  As part of the ownership change, the headquarters will be relocated to the Quad Cities.  For more information on FMS services and capabilities, please visit

GBR Riverdale was represented by Lisa Holter Ankel at Avisen Legal, P.A, a boutique business law firm in Minneapolis.