Spokane Journal of Business

Telect finds new home for its U.S. operations

Company to employ up to 125 there after transition

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Telect Inc., the Liberty Lake-based communications networking equipment manufacturing company, has leased and is moving its U.S. operations into manufacturing and office space in the Liberty Lake Business Park, at 22425 E. Appleway, says Wayne Williams, president and CEO of Telect. 

Williams says the manufacturing space has been empty for about 12 years, and he’s doesn’t know whether another tenant formerly was located there. Vivint Inc., the Provo, Utah-based security and home automation systems supplier, did previously have a call center in the business park, but shut down that operation last summer, as the Journal reported earlier. 

Williams says Telect will be occupying about 60,000 square feet once its move is completed in March. Until then, the company is occupying an additional 60,000 square feet of manufacturing space to get its product lines set up, he says. 

Telect will be closing its metal fabrication and systems development center in Plano, Texas, as previously reported, and relocating its headquarters from 23321 E. Knox in Liberty Lake to the building on Appleway, also in March. 

Telect began production of its fiber optic product line in the new space earlier this month, Williams says. The facility also will house the operations for integrating those products into the racks, cabinets, and enclosures that hold them.

“All the equipment we design and engineer goes inside racks, cabinets, and enclosures,” Williams says. 

Prior to 2004, Telect purchased the racks, cabinets, and enclosures, Williams says. In 2004, it acquired Santa Barbara, Calif.-based telecommunications network infrastructure manufacturer Hendry Telephone Products, which had the facility in Plano. 

“They had two primary product lines: one was power and the other was the cabinets, racks, and enclosures,” he says. “The strategic purchase was first and primarily for the power product line, and then what we also got was a product we were purchasing from them before, the racks, cabinets, and enclosures.”

In the new facility, Telect still will be handling the design, engineering, and final assembly of the enclosures, racks, and cabinets, but it won’t be manufacturing from raw sheet metal. 

“We’re going to be accessing local people to build from raw sheet metal,” Williams says. “We tend to do the final assembly, make the final cuts, make sure it’s right, and then send it out to customers.”

The facility also will house Telect’s customer service and fulfillment operations, he says. 

Telect has about 85 employees in Liberty Lake right now, Williams says. 

 “It’ll probably be in the neighborhood of 120 to 125, and it could end up being more,” he says.

Once the consolidation is complete, Telect will be looking to hire more people, Williams says. He estimates the company will be looking for 60 to 75 people to work in operations at its local supply chain partners, but that number could change, he says.  

Williams says that the company decided to consolidate in order to keep fixed costs down. 

“For us, the strategic move was to get the fixed-cost structure down, so we can maintain and improve our ability to be nimble and agile in the market,” he says. “It also helps our ability to weather down cycles with customers.”

Telect will continue to operate its facility in Guadalajara, Mexico, Williams says.

Katie Ross
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Reporter Katie Ross covers manufacturing, hospitality, and government at the Journal of Business. An outdoor enthusiast and snowboard fanatic, Katie is a recent graduate of Gonzaga University.  

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