Lansing’s ADC develops diverse set of products (Central NY Business Journal)
08/05/2005 - 11/30/-0001
What does your company do? Advanced Design Consulting USA, Inc. (ADC) is an engineering and scientific-consulting firm that also manufactures the products it designs for clients. ADC provides devices, integrated systems, and high-precision components and instruments to commercial firms and academic and government institutions throughout the world. It works in areas like precision robotics, sub-micron positioning systems, and optical subsystems. When Deyhim founded the firm, he says he had a vision to create a company that could handle any scientific or engineering project.
What are some specific examples of projects you are working on?
ADC develops and manufactures everything from sensors that function on a microscopic scale to cargo bridges designed to transfer vehicles and other equipment on and off U.S. Navy vessels. ADC is currently developing a sensor that can be dropped into wet concrete to
monitor its integrity once it dries. It is working on a device called a shot counter for the military that can monitor the performance of weapons. Another project on the military side is the development of a synthetic rope to handle loading of heavy cargo. The rope is meant to
replace steel-wire lines used now. Many of the technologies have commercial applications as well. ADC is developing a sensor for monitoring ocean temperature and pressure that can be used to detect broad changes in ocean environment.
The device is valuable to commercial fishermen as well because they use ocean temperatures to determine where to cast their nets, according to ADC.
Why is the company so diverse? Deyhim attributes ADC’s success and growth to the broad array of projects it takes on. “The fact is we enjoy the challenge,” he says. “As a matter of fact, we have some very high-caliber people here and they get extremely bored if they’re
doing the same thing for a couple of years in a row. They need to be pushed to the limit. It’s extreme engineering.” The diversity of ADC’s business is attractive to potential employees, Deyhim explains. By working on so many different types of technologies, the company is
able to attract top-notch engineers to its ranks. That, in turn, allows Deyhim to pursue continually more aggressive and complex contracts. Each device or technology the company creates for specific contracts is then commercialized and becomes part of its general product
catalog. Patents protect the company’s various devices and technologies. Deyhim says some of ADC’s technologies could eventually be spun off into separate companies.
What kind of growth are you projecting? Deyhim is projecting 2005 sales of about $4 million, but within four years expects the company to be doing $30 million to $50 million per year.
How will you achieve that jump in sales? The company’s growth will come from its diverse capabilities. In order to win the contracts that will take the firm to the next level, however, it needs to expand its design and manufacturing capacity, Deyhim says. The company plans to be moved into a new, 50,000-square-foot facility in about a year. Its current building has 15,000 square feet. After moving into the new building, Deyhim plans to add 170 employees in the next one to four years. The company currently has 34 employees. “When you’re going after large contracts, they need to see the capacity,” Deyhim says. “They need to see you have a plan and you have everything together. They need to have that confidence.” The building will cost $3 million to $5 million to build. The company still has to
nail down financing details, Deyhim says, but plans include borrowing, cash spending, and grant applications.
Any other expansion plans besides the new building? ADC already does business on an international level, but Deyhim plans to open a sales and engineering office in the United Kingdom within the next three to 12 months. ADC representatives already travel overseas now, so having a European office will allow the company to pursue even more business in the international market. The company has worked in numerous countries including the U.K., Sweden, and Canada. The U.K. office will start with two people and in the next few years, it
probably will have a total of five to 10 employees, Deyhim says.
What is your background?Deyhim, who founded ADC in 1995, has a degree in mechanical engineering from Reading University in the United Kingdom and a master's in business administration from Cornell University. He founded ADC, which is now employee- owned, as a part-time venture while working at Cornell. As the company won more contracts, it became a full-time effort. “When I started, it was really almost a hobby,” Deyhim says.
From the start, however, ADC was different than most engineering firms, he adds. Deyhim says he focused on his diverse business model early on and grew the company by avoiding debt. He says he only hired people or purchased new equipment when he had a contract to
support those moves. ADC employees even designed and built much of the company’s current facility themselves. “I did the shingles myself,” Deyhim says. “When you look at it and break it down, it’s just a project like any other project. You just take it and break it down into its steps.”