November 09, 2017
Great companies are built on great products–Elon Musk
Sources of electricity and the consumption of electricity rarely match. It’s the story of high demand and low supply. Reliable and efficient devices that convert electricity from its stored form (often in batteries) to a useable form (different DC voltage, conversion to AC, etc.) are a key to this process. Analytic Systems has been playing a major role in delivering these solutions since 1993.
Analytic Systems, an innovative Canadian manufacturer of power conversion products, has brought out a wide range of products and has excelled the field for the past 25 years. Originally founded in 1976 as purely a design company, a catalog of IP in the power conversion field was discovered when CEO, James Hargrove took the reins in 1993. Recognizing a market North America, he started the revitalization of Analytic Systems.
Challenges on the way
A Pure Sinewave Inverter for running computers on board commercial fishing vessels was the company’s first all new product introduced in 1995. Nothing like it existed before and with computers moving onto an ever increasing number boats experiencing many problems due to poor power, it was an immediate success. Since then thousands of inverters have been sold over the years and the line has expanded to include military versions and waterproof versions.
In the early years, surviving was one of the biggest challenges the company faced. Generating and increasing the revenue to $1 million, where the sales in the first year were only$70 K was difficult to achieve. Once the company reached first million, the next millions were easier, the company says.
“Knowledge that we are one of the best in the power conversion field drives us to develop ever more sophisticated and powerful products with higher efficiency. Enthusiasm for our work and our customers keeps us excited and motivated to always do more.”
Hargrove believes he is fortunate to meet many other major contributors to the company’s growth seemingly at always the right time. With all this, he was able to overcome the initial challenges. He says, “It takes vigilance and determination to keep the venture going, and to plan/work for growth in tough times.”
Growth and Experience
Analytic Systems has an enthusiastic staff consisting of management, administration, marketing, manufacturing and R&D staff, who are all dedicated to customer satisfaction. It believes that quality and customer support are its biggest asset. Also, a determination that no order is too small to deliver and the ability to deliver a high level of customization have taken the company to new heights.
By following the demands from customers requiring a diverse product offering, Analytic Systems has developed a full line of quality Power Conversion products all built in North America, particularly for the military, where control of intellectual property entrusted to it during product development and ongoing manufacture is paramount. This is also the reason why the company has become so vertically integrated with virtually every aspect of design and manufacture handled in-house in its 33,000 square foot electronics design and manufacturing facility and 10,000 square foot CNC machining facility, all certified to ISO9001:2008. The company is also registered with the Canadian Controlled Goods program, enabling it to do business with US companies subject to ITAR (International Treaty for Arms Reduction).
Analytic Systems says that the key to reliability is the use of high grade components throughout. Enclosures are always anodized or powder coated high-gradesheet metal or extruded aluminum, with billet machined heatsinks and hardware and using only stainless steel fasteners. All circuit boards are conformal coated for humidity and moisture protection which makes Analytic Systems’ products last longer regardless of the operating environment.
With a minimum service life of 10 years for all the products, customers have come to appreciate these differences, making them very loyal to the company. To continue its growth, the company works hard to tell its story through social media, its website, through trade show participation and direct customer interaction.
One of the reasons why Analytic Systems has gained popularity is because of its conservative ratings. “Conservative ratings mean our products deliver the rated power continuously,” says the CEO. Along with a commitment to on-time delivery, continuous improvement and ongoing support through its life span have lead to the consistent growth it has experienced over almost 25 years.
A partnership with Indycar in 2013 and 2014 where a new digital battery charger technology was introduced through the technical support to and sponsorship of the entire ‘Mazda Road to Indy’. The partnership with Indycar brought about many changes and created the paradigm shift that now sees virtually every new product using digital technology, increasing performance and reliability, while simplifying and reducing the cost of the hardware.
The company has a comprehensive product development roadmap with new inverter and battery charger models under development and resurgence in demand from military customers for semi or fully custom power products. Analytic Systems has a goal to reach $20 million in annual revenue with increased market and product diversification within 2 years and targets $50 million in revenue within 5 years. “Not just products, but we are investing in our production processes with new equipment and technologies to increase throughput and quality,” says Hargrove.
The leading force of Analytic Systems
James Hargrove became the CEO of Analytic Systems in 1993. He graduated from UBC with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1981 followed by Management Skills for Advanced Technology diploma from Simon Fraser University in 1993. From just three employees, (himself, his father Lloyd and one employee) he grew Analytic Systems to almost 100 employees by 2012.He also believes that joining a peer mentoring organization such as Vistage or setting up an advisory board is a huge help to any CEO.
“Electricity is fast becoming the new economy. The global IT community depends entirely on electricity to function, and our job is to provide it.”