After relocating production and assembly of all of its product lines to Rockledge, Florida, VividGro® is leading the field in cost-effective domestic manufacturing of LED fixtures for horticultural applications. With the needs of indoor agriculture driving design and pricing, VividGro has created strategic partnerships with leading U.S. suppliers, minimizing the need to source parts from overseas. The new structure has created numerous jobs in the U.S. this year, both in VividGro product manufacturing as well as component manufacturers. With metals forged in Georgia, and tools, glass and end caps made in Florida, independently-owned U.S.-based companies are reaping the benefits.
“It is an amazing feeling to contribute to the success of hard-working Americans,” stated Albert “Butch” Tomasko, Vice President of Operations for VividGro. Tomasko added, “Our contract manufacturer is located twenty minutes from our office in Florida. Our contracts have created jobs here in Florida and across several states, providing steady income to people working hard to support their families. We’re not only supporting VividGro employees through this business model, but also creating success for our suppliers and ultimately our customers. These people depend on our lights for their own production.”
The VividGro manufacturing model makes financial sense. Production flow is designed around LEAN, Kanban, and 5-S principles, eliminating the need to assemble lighting fixtures or source most components overseas. “When you look at the price per assembly, it seems like doing business in China at first glance appears to be a good idea,” said Tomasko. “But when you consider the massive quantities that need to be bought, shipped, insured, and stored, the benefit decreases dramatically.”
In addition, smaller batch production is key to providing the flexibility needed to easily tailor lighting solutions to specific client needs. “We aren’t limited to modifying what is already in stock: we can work with our clients to create truly customized assemblies without sacrificing our industry-leading standards for quality and competitive pricing,” Tomasko says.
In the first quarter of 2018, VividGro moved production back to Florida after exploring production in China and Mexico. By the third quarter, all supplier contracts were in place and production had begun. Now in the fourth quarter, robust sales are continuing to support the new business model.