Business

3 Reasons Fultech Solutions Will Remember 2009

A new commercial division, new showroom and new recurring revenues make 2009 memorable for Fultech Solutions.


3 Reasons Fultech Solutions Will Remember 2009
Tom LeBlanc · December 21, 2009
It turns out, he says, that commercial projects tend to get done toward the end of the year. Meanwhile, “the end of the year is slow for residential even when it’s good.” So the addition of commercial has helped to stabilize Fultech’s revenue stream.

Even with residential installations down for 2009, projects like integrating the commercial division and re-branding Fultech as a commercial and residential electronics integrator — Web site redesign, van wraps, etc. — have kept the small staff pretty busy. It hasn’t had to lay anybody off, Fulmer points out.

Commercial Environment

Fultech didn’t approach this commercial division launch half-heartedly. “We decided it would be prudent to have a showroom for our commercial division,” Fulmer says, because it allows him to “show and sell.”

The company had established a model home process for showing and selling residential technologies. It involves a willing client allowing Fultech consistent access to his home in exchange for discounts on products and installation. Fulmer says a typical model home is used for five or six years before Fultech upgrades to a new model environment.

Fultech Solutions
  • Location: Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Principals: Dan Fulmer, CEO and chairman
  • Revenues (2008): $1.2 million
  • Years in Business: 15
  • Number of employees: 5 full-time, 2 part-time, 2 installer subs
  • Residential/Commercial Split: 50%/50%
  • Specialty: High-end custom residential and commercial systems; Integrating sub-systems of homes and businesses
  • Top 5 Brands: Crestron, Klipsch, Extron, Scala, Runco
  • FYI: Keep on keeping on even in the toughest times.

With the launch of the commercial division, however, Fultech decided it needed a controlled environment to display and demonstrate B2B products — and it decided to conduct its own business there as well. The new showroom would kill two birds with one stone because Fultech had previously rented office space.

So Fulmer secured Small Business Association (SBA) loans to build a 2,500-square-foot showroom and office environment.

The build-out began in January and was finished in April 2009. The new showroom demonstrates typical commercial applications like digital signage, boardrooms, teleconferencing and classrooms with multiple systems at various costs. Plus, it’s where Fultech reaches out to MDU (multi-dwelling unit) clients by showing its in-house-developed building management system.

However, it’s not easy to get prospective commercial clients to visit a showroom. “The key was to have so much technology in there that it would get people to come and learn,” Fulmer says.

The showroom is also “totally high-tech and green,” Fulmer adds — another feature he hopes will encourage people to make the trip. “From flooring, to our glass walls, recycled glass bottle countertops, to dual flush toilets and water makers, our facilities are as green as you can get.”

image
Fultech’s commercial showroom is filled with eco-friendly resources, such as (from left) glass walls, efficient water makers and recycled glass bottle countertops.


  About the Author

Tom has been covering consumer electronics for six years. Before that, he wrote for the sports department of the Boston Herald. Migrating to magazines, he was a staff editor for a golf publication and an outdoor sports publication. Now, as senior writer/technology editor of CE Pro magazine since 2003, he dabbles in all departments and offers expertise in marketing. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Tom at [email protected]

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Business · Service & Recurring Revenue · News · CE Profiles · All Topics
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