Manufacturer’s sales up ten-fold over two years
Heaven only knows what Electronic
Evolution Technologies will do once it gets
a sales force.
Even without a sales staff, the young
Reno contract manufacturer’s sales grew
from $1.8 million during its first 10 months
in business to $8.5 million last year and will
approach $20 million this year.
As its 140 employees work a three-shift,
seven-day-a-week schedule at EET’s South
Meadows quarters, construction crews are
adding 26,500 square feet to a building that
isn’t yet two years old.
And EET is just getting around to
adding a sales staff.
Sonny Newman, the company’s soft-spoken,
no-nonsense founder and president,
credited much of the company’s success to
EET provides custom manufacturing of
circuit boards and related assemblies for
companies such as International Game
Technology, Gametech,North American
Imaging and others throughout Nevada and
Newman says they’re drawn to ETT by
its ability to provide the full package
quality manufacturing, competitive pricing,
on-time delivery, exceptional service.
But not every would-be customer meets
Newman’s exacting standards.
“I don’t do business with people who
aren’t in it as a partnership for the longterm,”
he said last week. “Quality isn’t free.”
That was a tough lesson Newman learned
after he bought the company it was a small
outfit struggling to survive in Sparks and
began weeding out customers whose contracts
were unprofitable for EET.
Most of those customers left in the first
few months after Newman took over in 2000.
Even as EET’s original staff was replacing
much of the customer base,Newman
was starting work on the company’s shiny
new facility on Double R Boulevard. While
construction crews were on the job, he
bought another lot next door, figuring it
would be a good investment even if EET
never needed it. It needs it.
The expansion, which will bring the
company to a total of 63,000 square feet,
will allow EET to nearly double its production
Newman figures he’ll need the space
because he expects EET’s sales to double by
the end of 2003.
Those aren’t just sales just for the sake of
Despite heavy investment in highly automated
and robotic manufacturing machinery,
Newman said EET is profitable. The
only debt surrounding the operation is the
mortgage on its building.
In part, that reflects the 39-year-old
Newman’s success with an earlier company
Meridian Electronics. That company, a
broker of electronic parts, grew at astronomical
pace during technology’s go-go era of
the late 1990s.
“I knew that couldn’t last forever,” said
Newman, and it didn’t.With the collapse
of the technology industry, Meridian
Newman, however, didn’t waste away as
he reinvested profits from Meridian into the
contract manufacturing industry he knew
from earlier experience.
As they pushed EET into fast growth,
Newman and his core managers emphasized
quality the company earned the ISO
9001 total quality designation in its first year
at the same time that they sought continuous
“Every day, you learn something new,”
Newman said. “We make mistakes. You
have to learn from your mistakes.”
That depends on a staff willing to
acknowledge mistakes and learn from
them, and Newman praised EET’s
employees as “people I can trust, people
who care about their work.”
He notes, too, the company’s core
management group has shown great
flexibility in changing assignments and
taking on new responsibilities as EET
Now that the company is adding a
sales force one internal salesperson,
two sales representatives in California
EET will be further pressing the competitive
advantages it gains as a Nevadabased
Those advantages, Newman said,
include Nevada’s tax structure no
inventory tax, no state income tax as
well as competitive wage rates.
Still, EET’s president said the company
knows all the advantages in the world
mean nothing unless the company provides
products that its customers want.
“What we’re doing is not rocket science,”
he said. “We’re selling quality.”
The unanimous approvals Wednesday came despite state leaders promising to tighten up requirements for Nevada’s tax abatements and incentives for future companies.