The Fitts Company Diversifies and Expands in Calhoun County
Jun 01, 2017 09:54PM
● By Makayla Gay
By Dana W. Todd
Photography Provided by The Fitts Company
Today, The Fitts Co. serves both national and international customers and has expanded its product lines and services to answer the demand for high-quality, custom branding materials in a range of vertical markets. With more than 40,000 installations completed so far, the company has expanded out of its Lexington County operations and into a new, larger headquarters facility it built and moved into last December in Calhoun County while maintaining a portion of the Lexington County facility as warehousing. The new building offers 70,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space in addition to the 15,000-square-foot warehouse in Lexington. It sits on 17 acres, and according to company spokesperson Dee Dee Simmons, the company has an option to buy an additional adjacent eight acres.
“It is enough to duplicate the 70,000-square-foot facility three times over,” Simmons says, who serves as director of marketing. She says the company has experienced a 133 percent increase in office and manufacturing space and a 580 percent growth in acreage.
With unusual poured concrete slab walls, the building’s design makes it easy to knock out select concrete panels in the future to add on more space. This design enables the manufacturing floor to continue operations undisturbed during any future construction phases.
Along with the physical growth of the company comes a growth in employment. According to Simmons, about three years ago when the process of locating land and constructing a new facility began, The Fitts Co. employed 55 people. Today, the employee count stands at 90, with an expectation that a total of 107 jobs will be filled in the next five years.
First known as an exterior sign manufacturer, the company has expanded and diversified its product line to include interior signage, ATM enclosures, custom millwork, specialty motor homes, and bank buildings. Its customers are in the financial services, automotive, retail, medical, corporate, and government sectors. The Fitts Company is counting on its new wide-format printing capabilities to help increase revenue by expanding the product line even further to complement existing product manufacturing. A banking center with walls of Corian® containing engraved and lighted logos, for example, is within the realm of The Fitts Co.’s expertise.
In addition, the company can quickly provide one, two, five, or more building modules depending upon a bank’s needs that can be used to construct and deploy a scalable banking center. The Fitts’ Co. builds the individual modules on the manufacturing floor and delivers them ready-to-occupy to the bank’s physical site. The benefit to banks is faster, more efficient, construction time and fewer contractor negotiations. The bank building can be deconstructed as quickly as it is constructed and moved to other land if the client so desires.
“Banks like the modular building process because they can easily change location if it’s not working for customers,” says Simmons. “They take the building with them and set it back up in a new spot.”
Manufacturer? Modular builder? Printer? It’s hard to grasp the diversity of The Fitts Co.’s products, but Simmons says it can all be summarized as a company capable of helping others brand themselves.
“We can bring consistency of the brand across all parts of a project,” she says. “We have the ability of very close color matching across all branding materials from signs to upholstery to drapery to wall surrounds due to our sole sourcing.”
With these color matching capabilities, The Fitts Co. has begun marketing to architects, who routinely specify both building materials and furnishings for their clients’ projects. In this professional industry, there is an appreciation for color consistency not always readily available when working with a group of disparate vendors.
Simmons says the family expects to meet or exceed its revenue goals and is on track to reach about $20 million in sales by the end of this fiscal year. This is one business where the old saying, “A cobbler’s son has no shoes,” is not true. Simmons says The Fitts Co. will soon install its own new 60-foot sign in time for the official grand opening of its Calhoun County facility.