California-based LED company Optec Displays Inc. is settling into its new home, which is more than double the size of its previous one.
There’s still some unpacking to do, according to CEO Shu Wu, but the new 81,000-square-foot facility has the room to handle the across-the-board expansion the company needed, from its product testing department to production to shipping.
“Even the office space – we are also doubling the office space,” Wu says by phone from the company’s new headquarters in Ontario, California.
She says the company realized about a year ago that it was running out of room at its former headquarters in the City of Industry, about 20 miles west of its new home.
Optec was founded in 1985 and has been manufacturing electronic message centers – EMCs – since then.
Among the company’s customers are some of North America's most visible brands, including McDonald’s, Sonic, Burger King, as well as numerous casinos. Notable installations include the L.A. Coliseum and the giant Turner Field Coke bottle in left field inside the home of baseball’s Atlanta Braves.
All of the company’s products are designed, built and tested at the company’s southern California facility.
Optec created an outdoor LED lighting division in 2011 that, despite being a relatively small percentage of overall revenue, has been growing, Wu says.
“The lighting is still probably less than 20 percent, so far, but it’s exploding right now,” she says. “We see much higher growth rate in the next two or three years than display.”
She says that the company spent about two years preparing for the launch of its lighting division, and because the business is so different than its display business it needed to hire completely separate sales and service teams.
She estimates that revenue just in LED lighting is up about 50 percent in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period a year ago.
About 75 of the company’s approximately 90 employees will be housed at the new Ontario facility and the remainder is field staff that recruits and serves distributors, which is how Optec sells about 95 percent of its product, Wu says.