Go ahead and throw out all the trite lines you can think of about the success of Ellis Yan and Technical Consumer Products Inc., the Aurora-based manufacturer of energy-efficient lighting.
Come on, try one. Yan has bright ideas. TCP is lighting the path. ... You could go on and on. And you’d be right. That’s because Yan, the company’s founder, president and CEO, has led TCP to unthinkable heights since it opened for business in 1993. Not only has the company seen unbelievable growth in its numbers sales have increased fivefold since 2000, reaching more than $300 million in 2007 but it continues to drive innovation in its industry and beyond.
Yan has pushed employees to be the market leader, and that’s exactly what TCP has done. A five-time Cascade Capital Growth award winner, TCP has mushroomed to more than 200 employees including employee growth of nearly 200 percent since 2000 and is basically rewriting the standards for success, innovation and eco-friendly behavior in its industry.
The growth since the turn of the century is certainly partly attributed to the boom in consumer interest around products that are better for the planet. While many major lighting companies decided that it would be OK to put energy efficiency on the back burner for a few years, Yan made it a priority at TCP. He became interested in energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and made it a company focus. As the consumer culture turned more environmentally conscious, it became TCP’s time to shine. The company already had an edge on competitors in ideas and production, and it took advantage almost overnight.
But beyond the environmental interest, TCP has also become a model of efficiency. Though only a fraction the size of its competitors, TCP manufactures nearly 1.4 million energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) every day, accounting for the majority of the CFLs sold in the U.S. Those numbers also equal an annual reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of more than 118 million pounds.
To keep up those impressive numbers, TCP has transformed the CFL manufacturing process, introducing the automated machine to bend glass into the CFL’s spiral shape. By automating that process, TCP has dramatically increased its capacity and can continue to supply the ever-growing demand for the bulbs. In fact, each automated machine produces more than 5,500 pieces a day nearly five times as many as produced by a manual process.
TCP has also developed the first low-sodium, lead-free CFLs with reduced levels of mercury to provide brighter, more energy-efficient lighting that is even better for the environment. TCP is the first manufacturer using 100 percent amalgam, a small pill that is a solid-state form of mercury and other elements. The amount of mercury contained in the pill is 70 percent below what the Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR program mandates.
Yan has also helped the company sharpen its focus on designing the lighting products of the future. In May 2008, TCP announced its new specification division, ecoVations, which combines energy-efficient technologies for a creative approach to helping facility owners and managers reduce rising energy costs while protecting the environment. From linear fluorescent and LED lamp hybrid fixtures to innovative down-lighting options, the division responds to the difficult and diverse needs of both existing and new construction projects as well as industrial facilities.
With its look toward the evolution of the industry and a long litany of first-to-market technology, Yan is constantly getting TCP customers involved to see what needs they have and how the company can fulfill them. In so doing, TCP’s latest catalog contains more than 1,000 energy-efficient lighting items to suit industries from residential to retail. By constantly keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry, Yan has turned TCP into the name brand in the lighting business.
To handle the continuing growth that comes with being the top brand, TCP moved into a new 154,000-square-foot global headquarters in May 2007. The facility has a two-story office space, warehouse, distribution center, product testing labs and a customer service call center. TCP also recently relocated its West Coast distribution center to Stockton, Calif., to better accommodate customers in 11 western states. That new distribution center is scheduled to bring as many as 30 new jobs.
With more space and employees than ever, and the industry receiving more and more attention from eco-friendly consumers, TCP looks to you guessed it brighter days ahead.
HOW TO REACH: Technical Consumer Products Inc., (880) 324-1496 or www.tcpi.com