More than 50 ways to grow
Crain's Fast 50 is based on a ranking of companies in Crain's database of private and publicly traded companies in two ways: by dollar amount of revenue growth between 2010 and 2013 and by percentage revenue growth during that same period. The two rankings were added together to create the list; the lower the number, the higher the final rank.
The results help paint a picture of the local economy for the period: The majority of the top 10 companies benefited from the strong comeback of the automotive industry since the recession. Staffing firms, in particular, are seeing fast growth and hiring.
"Whenever the economy is coming out of a slow period, our industry tends to do well because most of our clients prefer to hire contingent workers rather than do direct hiring because they want to be sure the recovery will sustain itself," said Ron Shahani, president and CEO of Acro Service Corp., which came in at No. 39 on the list.
Debuting on the list this year, at No. 11, is Ann Arbor-based McKinley Inc., which has become a $500 million real estate ownership and management company over the past three years, with revenue jumping 83 percent in that time. To achieve this growth, the company used a relatively simple strategy: Invest where rents are increasing. (See story.)
A complete list of Fast 50 newcomers can be found here, and they are indicated by an asterisk in the list below.