Torus Power left the nest of its parent company Plitron and set out on its own, as an independent company, earlier this year. President and CEO Kevin Main has nothing but optimism and enthusiasm about the future of the power conditioning and power isolation company.
CE Pro caught up with Main to discuss what's in store for Torus Power, or rather, what Torus Power has in store for the industry at a time when the power isolation category is poised for substantial growth. What does it take to develop a small, closely focused manufacturing company taking its first steps as an independent agent? Read on to find out.
Why did Plitron decide early 2016 was the time to announce it was spinning off Torus Power and becoming an independent company?
Torus Power has been operating within the corporate structure of Plitron Manufacturing Inc. for almost 10 years now. Over that period of time, our business has grown to the level that makes it completely sustainable as a separate business entity. This important step in the company growth allows us to accomplish a few things.
First, we can begin creating our own culture and identity that is not driven by Plitron’s OEM business. Our products are manufactured in Canada specifically for custom integrators, performance A/V enthusiasts, musicians and recording studios. The way we conduct our day-to-day business and our corporate culture will now be wholly dedicated to these markets.
We’ll continue reaching out through white papers, articles and social media channels to meet the needs of these markets and continue the digital dialogue of what really matters to them, so we can continue providing these features and benefits in our products.
We are seeing enhanced interests in our products both in professional and in-home recording studios, and we plan to use our resources to hone in on that market with product education and raise our brand’s profile in that vertical. We also want to emphasize the versatility of our isolation transformers in two-channel listening rooms, surround-sound and 3D sound home theaters and, in some cases, rooms that serve both purposes at different times.
Second, it was increasingly difficult as our business grew under Plitron to isolate — pun intended — and properly account for the costs of our Torus Power business. The process took time and effort, which delayed reporting of our financial results. This change allows us to apply the proper cost structure to our business, which means having more accurate and timely information to evaluate our business decisions and results so we can make changes in a faster, more streamlined way and adapt to the market and its needs.
Third, changing the business structure has allowed me the opportunity to become personally invested in the business. My growth within the company had reached the point where this was an important step toward dedicating my future to the long-term success of our Torus Power brand.
Did the company's increasing market momentum, and dealers learning more about isolation technologies, play a role in when the spin-off was executed?
We feel very strongly that the power conditioning category, and more specifically, the power isolation category where we are the market leader, is on the verge of substantial growth. Dealers, integrators and consumers are quickly learning that well engineered power isolation solutions offer substantial benefits in performance, protection and reliability.
Our loyal dealers and consumers have been at the heart of our business growth over the past ten years. When people experience the difference in using Torus Power isolation transformers, there are always immediate and profound results, much like [Bob Archer] noted when he reviewed the AVR and TOT Max. The timing of the transition is well aligned with the category growth and forms the foundation for continued expansion that we see building over the next 10 years.
Will dealers notice any differences in the company?
We sure hope so! A key goal of the new Torus Power is to become a more responsive and focused company. We are passionate about our brand and the products we sell. We are passionate about our suppliers, our employees, our sales team, our dealers, our international distributors and, above all, our end customers. Everyone in the chain plays a significant role in our success and we want to respect all of these relationships.
If we make the best products possible, and if we partner with the right people along the way, then we will have a strong business foundation that allows us to bring value to all of these stakeholders. This transition is all about laying the groundwork for Torus Power to bring a relevant, profitable and meaningful offering to all of our business partners, and also to enjoy all of these wonderful relationships along the way.
How does Torus Power shape its policies, including dealer relations as well as product development, going forward?
We have a strong and diverse management team and we look outside for expertise when and where we need help. With strategic input from outside experts Changing Velocity and KMB Communications we have developed a strong business plan that isolates five key performance indicators for our business growth. Policies, dealer relations, and product development are absolute key performance indicators for us; they are also very different and distinct parts of our plan. Policies and dealer relations are very much part of the new culture and passion that I spoke to previously.
Product development is different, and it will play a significant role in our future. We have identified and built a three-year road map for new products that we intend to bring to market. In some cases these products will be extensions of our existing product line, and in other cases the products will expand our reach into new categories for Torus Power. We are very fortunate as a company to have deep relationships with engineers and experts in toroidal transformer technology, power and grounding solutions, and manufacturing processes and efficiencies. We are already leveraging these relationships to develop innovative new products that we will be bringing to market starting later this year.
Torus says that it wants to develop more affordable power solutions, how will this be achieved?
In early 2015 we gave our VP engineering, Henry Pajooman, a challenge. We asked Henry to produce a smaller, more affordable version of our AVR20 isolation transformer with Automatic Voltage Regulation. We wanted to be able to speak to customers with affordable A/V systems who needed the voltage regulation technology and wanted to significantly improve the overall performance of their system.
Henry is a pretty competitive guy, and after first saying it cannot be done, he came back and said, “I think I can do it!” Four months later, I was on tour in Europe showing Torus Power dealers and distributors our new TOT AVR model that has become a huge success for us.
With this kind of engineering support and some hard work on product sourcing, and finding ongoing manufacturing efficiencies, we will continue to push the envelope and bring affordable new products to market. What we will not do is compromise our quality and brand. Torus Power is known for making high quality, high performance products — that is something that will not change.
What are some of the company's other goals?
Like many companies, our long-term success relies upon effective engineering, product development, and parts sourcing, efficient manufacturing and resource utilization, with a culture of responsiveness by and for our partners, coupled with an aggressive PR, marketing, social media, and branding strategy, to maximize awareness of — and engagement with — Torus Power.
These are all key contributors, but when you drill down into any one of these categories it always comes back to the same common denominator: Having the right people who are dedicated and motivated toward our overall goals are critical to our long-term success. If we have the very best people from our sales reps to our dealers and distributors, to our employees and suppliers to the outside experts that help guide our business all the way through the chain, in every part of our business, then there is no other possible result than success.
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