A: Our success as a startup had begun to impact the market significantly. Not so much at first, because we were initially selling directly to hotels, and did not yet have a distribution channel, or endorsements with major hotel franchise corporations.
Q: But that changed?
A: Yes, in June 1998 we shifted from direct sales to channel distribution, and over time began to be recognized as a viable supplier to the hotel industry. Maintenance Warehouse, now known as HD Supply, a major multi-billion dollar hotel supply company based in San Diego, California with distribution centers throughout the U.S., began to distribute our products that year. During that same period, we received our first major hotel brand endorsement from Choice Hotels International, and our sales continued to grow exponentially.
Q: But if things were going well, why did you shift to an acquisition strategy?
A: Actually, I've asked myself that same question, because at the time we were exceeding our sales goals every quarter, had no corporate debt, and our products were growing in acceptance in the industry. However, in 2005 when I discovered that TeleMatrix of Colorado Springs, Colorado, the #2 hotel phone supplier globally, might be for sale, I investigated the report and found it to be true.
Q: How did that work out?
A: We began meeting and negotiating with their executives, and in 2006 finalized our offer, which was accepted. The acquisition was financed by a bank, and we were able to retire the debt within 18 months! From 2006 to until 2009, when we acquired Teledex, we maintained Scitec and TeleMatrix as 2 legal entities, operated as Scitec, Inc. and TeleMatrix, Inc.
Q: You acquired Teledex?
A: Yes, at that time Teledex, LLC. of San Jose, California, was the global leader in hotel phones, and the inventor of the first hotel phone with pre-programmable guest service keys and a full-length instructional faceplate. We acquired Teledex in December 2009, merged it with TeleMatrix and Scitec, and formed a new Cetis, Inc. corporate entity in 2010 to assimilate the 3 hotel phone brands.