- Associated Press - Monday, June 16, 2014

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (AP) - York Electronic Systems hopes to nearly double its size through two growth strategies.

The 30-year-old installer of low-voltage security, fire, surveillance, information, and other electronic systems has enjoyed increasing demand for audiovisual and unified communications equipment, owner and President Jennifer Jezek told The Journal Record (http://bit.ly/ScIvfL).

That helped the Native American-owned commercial construction contractor achieve a 3-percent revenue increase last year to $5.4 million, with a similar climb expected this year.

Jezek foresees two developing areas spurring double-digit annual increases for 2015 and beyond: York’s expansion into Oklahoma City and western Oklahoma, and rising momentum within the health care sector to upgrade information and monitoring systems.

Such medical installations alone could spur 20 percent or greater annual revenue increases, Jezek said.

The company could also benefit from existing ties to Native American companies and organizations. Jezek said her 34-employee company draws 25 percent of its revenue from tribal sources, with activities well beyond gaming.

“In five years, I would look for our growth as a company to be approaching $8 million to $9 million,” she said of annual revenue. “Hopefully, 25 percent of that would come from western Oklahoma.”

As a supplier and installer, Jezek said, York offers commercial and educational building operators thousands of different product lines. But she singled out strategic partnerships with manufacturers of about 20 health care products as a primary lure bringing Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas business to its doors, with clients ranging from hospitals and clinics to senior living facilities.

“Next year we expect to see a lot of this growth and development,” she said, noting how York does not get paid until installation actually begins. “A lot of these projects now are in the planning phase, not the construction phase.”

Her observations tie into national, state and local initiatives to boost electronic records systems. Several Oklahoma tribal governments have also launched clinic and hospital construction projects, many of them ongoing.

This work played a role in York’s decision to broaden its geographic area from northeastern Oklahoma to the rest of the state. When nurse-call product manufacturer Ascom Wireless Systems decided to reorganize its distribution network, it asked York to represent its products across the state.

“We’re licensed in Oklahoma and Arkansas,” Jezek said. “And so we asked ourselves, ‘Why not go to Norman? Why not go to Yukon?’”

In most contracts, Jezek said, York has relied on its own employees to install products, working from its 14,000-square-foot headquarters in Broken Arrow. But with the western Oklahoma expansion, York already has some subcontractor relationships for installations. To retain those ties, Jezek said she expects to limit her Oklahoma City office launch next year to a staff of about five sales and service people.

“We’re growing organically in Oklahoma City,” she said. “There’s no silver platter that people are handing us a bunch of deals. It’s a very different market from the Tulsa market. Culturally, it feels different.”

Over the long term, York’s Tulsa operations may also evolve to more of a sales and service focus, outsourcing installs to subcontractors able to maintain its quality expectations, she said.

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