Dean Technology Inc. was founded in 1989 with the intent to grow in an evolving industry using three classic methods: mergers and acquisitions, product efficiencies and new product development.
The first step was the purchase of HV Component Associates, a company with a 40-year history. Craig Dean joined the company in 1997, after completing his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at Syracuse University. At the time, the company had only 17 employees, and Dean began aggressive mergers and acquisitions, the first major achievement of this campaign being the purchase of CKE in 1999.
Since Dean purchased Dean Technology in 2001, the most notable additions include founding HVP, a European distributor partnership in 2005; purchasing High Voltage Power Systems in 2005; and acquiring, in 2006, Anshan Sun Locus, a Chinese manufacturing facility, which was originally started as joint venture in 2003.
With growth, there has been a wide range of challenges, from classical operational concerns, like the discontinuation of suppliers' product lines, to logistical complications, such as operating a manufacturing facility with a foreign government. Dean has accomplished this while being one of the youngest members in a classically older industry. He faces this pressure with the simple belief that bringing his knowledge of modern technologies and techniques to a mature industry will only create opportunities.
Quality, honesty and fairness are the three traits that are most important to Dean. He uses these attributes to judge success both personally and professionally. Dean's core policy is that doing the right thing, regardless of the relative difficulty or cost, and having the patience to see decisions through is what leads to success. In running Dean Technology, Dean puts these concepts into action at every level of the organization. The company's goal is to always provide stronger support and better product quality than would be expected if it were the customer. Dean Technology will not deliver a product to a customer if it would not be willing to use that same product internally.
In business, as in life, risk is a constant factor. When confronted by a high-risk situation or decision, Dean takes a simple approach. He gathers all available information, considers it, makes a decision, and then employs patience and commitment to follow through on that decision. It is this last step that he believes is the most important. Along with this, he feels that the ability to reconsider a prior decision and make a change is important. At Dean Technology, there is an unwritten rule that all employees are banned from using “we've always done it that way” as justification. This illustrates how the company remains flexible and able to adapt to the ever-changing environment of business.
Many segments of the electronics industry are experiencing drastic change. The industry as a whole is based on ideals, relationships and techniques that were developed as early as the 1940s. Due to the radical leaps forward that have been made throughout the rest of the technology industry, there exists a wide gap for the electronics-manufacturing industry. It is this gap that Dean Technology's core business model is based on.
The model consists of three main ideas: keeping the business modern, maintaining efficient production and continuing to produce end-of-life products. This simple approach creates a competitive advantage for the company at every turn.
The use of new technology and infrastructure, like VoIP communication, allows Dean Technology to work more efficiently. Moving the manufacturing of proven but expensive-to-produce products overseas enables the company to keep the production of these products as efficient as possible. These two enable the third, most important idea. While other companies in this mature industry are discontinuing the production of older products, Dean Technology is able to ensure that its customers will never be left without a provider. As this trend continues, Dean Technology will stand out as the only remaining manufacturer of many important technologies and will continue to be dedicated to growing markets that others are no longer serving.
Future growth for the company will be built upon this model and will continue to focus on the main approaches, mergers and acquisitions, product sales growth and production efficiency, and new product development. Many of these activities are well underway, with the focus being on international expansion.