Benson serves up expansion plan

Sunday, May 1, 2005

GILBERT, Ariz.--For several years now, Benson Systems quietly grew its business, adding field offices across the country that in many cases evolved into full-fledge branches.
Now, thanks to that growth, the company has embarked on its largest expansion yet, building a more than 50,000-square-foot, $6-million facility here to accommodate the system integrator's past several years of growth and development to come.
"This building is our commitment to the national growth and the growth we anticipate happening in the next few years," said Kimberly Zeigler, marketing manager for Benson Systems.
It has only been recently that Benson Systems started to branch out beyond Arizona, and its location here and in Phoenix. In 2001, it added offices in Texas and California to support national customers, before tackling other markets.
"As we did more work for some of these national clients, it prompted growth," said Zeigler. "We started with field offices and then separated those into a satellite and then a full blown branch."
Today, the company operates offices in Dallas, Orange and Livermore, Calif., and Minneapolis, with satellite branches in Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Tampa, Fla. In 2004, the company reported revenues of $16 million, and today employs 122 people and lists clients such as Target, Wal-Mart and Cox Communications.
That's a significant change from when Shawn Benson started the business 18 years ago with $10,000 and five employees.
Construction on Benson Systems' new facility began in January and is scheduled for completion in November. About 33,000 square feet of the facility will be devoted to the systems integrator, with the rest of the building leased to a tenant.
Unlike its current location, which measures 10,000 square feet, including the size of the warehouse, the new facility will include a multi-purpose training and technical center.
It will enable the company to offer training for technicians in-house, whereas now the company uses a local banquet facility or hotel to host classes.
Another feature will be the company's IT area, which will be secured, but put on display, so walk-in traffic can see the company's systems through a glass wall, said Karen Lyons, executive liaison for construction for Benson Systems. "The low voltage systems in our building will also be showcased," she said.
Lyons anticipates the facility to accommodate the company for the next five to seven years.