COMPANIES TO WATCH
|Radial Engineering’s headquarters in British Columbia is now backed up by a U.S. distribution center in Colorado.
New leadership refines logistic efficiencies at Canadian electronics gear manufacturer.
2019 MARKS THE CULMINATION of an exceptionally eventful year in Radial Engineering’s 27-year history, following the announcement in January 2018 that the company had been sold to Vancouver-based Regimen Equity Partners and incoming CEO Mike Belitz of Ultimate Support Systems. Since the acquisition, Belitz and the Radial leadership team have focused on improving systems and increasing operational efficiencies. The centerpiece of these efforts is the establishment of a U.S. fulfillment center in Loveland, Colorado. “The largest market in our industry is the U.S., after all,” explains Belitz. “Being able to ship from a centralized location here in the States reduces shipping costs and times to our valued dealers, and subsequently increases inventory turns for our dealers and for us.” An early rollout of the facility has seen transit time decrease by three to four days on shipments to the East Coast, with orders placed by noon Pacific Time typically shipping out the same business day.
2019 also saw the promotion and addition of personnel in key positions including Product Manager Jay Porter, Marketing Manager Ben Chudyk, Director of Operations Sukh Sandhu, and Senior Design Engineer Craig “Hutch” Hutchison. Hutchison brings more than 20 years of design experience to Radial’s engineering team, with previous stints at Electric Lady Studios, Manley Labs, and Rupert Neve Designs, to name a few. The products he designed in full, or substantially contributed to, have won more than 15 TEC awards and garnered 20 nominations. Recognized as one of the world’s leading audio circuit designers, Hutchison has been, in Belitz’s words, “a welcome addition to the staff for both his expertise and his mentoring skills.”
Founded in 1992, Radial Engineering began exporting products to the U.S. in 1996 and globally in 2000. For years, it targeted high-end professional users. But with the 2014 launch of its ProClass series of cost-effective direct boxes, it began selling direct to smaller dealers, and suddenly Radial was providing affordable solutions to a much wider market.
Over the years, the business’s scope expanded dramatically through both organic internal growth and acquisition of esteemed brands. Today, the Radial brand primarily addresses live sound and recording; Tonebone focuses on products for guitarists and bassists; Jensen Transformers mainly serves contractors; and Primacoustic (acoustic panels) reaches not only the pro audio world but also houses of worship, entertainment venues, food and beverage establishments, educational facilities, and offices.
Among a range of products designed specifically for acoustic guitar, electric guitar and bass, keyboards, pro audio, and recording, in-demand items include rack-mount, desktop, and stompbox-format preamps and reamps, direct boxes, splitters, and a wide array of interfaces (standard audio, Dante, and Bluetooth). For example, Radial’s BT-Pro Bluetooth Stereo Receiver makes it easy to quickly connect to any smartphone, tablet, or mobile device for high-quality audio playback through a sound system. The new SW8-USB is a complete solution for performances that utilize redundant playback systems for backing tracks, combining two built-in high-performance USB interfaces with an auto-switching feature that detects dropouts and effortlessly switches to the backup computer in an instant. And the JDX Direct Drive is a combination amp simulator and DI box that provides a realistic amp sound through a p.a., eliminating the need to bring an amp to the gig.
Belitz anticipates “plenty to look forward to” at Radial, including “a refreshed marketing strategy and exciting new products in development for both new and existing product categories.” Amid these improvements and changes, he remains committed to keeping the core values in place that have helped guide Radial to success over the years, including innovative, made-in-Canada products and top-tier service. “The team at Radial are rightfully proud of what they’ve accomplished over the years,” he says. “We want to keep it that way and enable them to continue doing what they’ve proven they do better than anyone.”