Delavan-based Millennium continues to surpass expectations in more ways that one. The telecommunications solutions company has been continually named one of America’s fastest-growing companies and 2022 has been no different. James Kyle, founder and CEO of Millennium, told BizTimes Media in March the company had 165 employees and was expecting to bring in $300 million by the end of 2022. Now, the company employs 202 people, is on track to bring in $430 million in revenue this year and has helped connect over 2 million homes to broadband internet this year. “The number of times we hear feedback from people that they’re so elated that they’re able to get online for health care and education…it’s a blast to see that what we’re doing is making a difference and the difference is providing opportunity for people who wouldn’t otherwise have it,” said Kyle. Millennium is a national distributor of fiber optic network materials that has differentiated itself by providing a range of related services throughout the life of a project. More than just offering materials, the company helps secure project funding, rents and leases equipment and makes use of its geospatial information system. This year, Millennium has opened a new distribution facility in Newport, Pennsylvania. Construction on one other has begun in Schulenburg, Texas. The company has also just signed an agreement to open a new location in Dayton, Minnesota. Its new Delavan headquarters has also been completed. Heading into the first half of 2023, Millennium will have approximately 40 open positions. Kyle said the key to Millennium’s continued success is the expertise employees bring to the table. While there’s currently millions of dollars being invested in the creation of broadband internet networks nationwide, not everyone knows how to build out a network -- or if building one is even feasible. Millennium also works with smaller providers and companies that larger distributors mostly pass up. “There’s not really another company people have been able to turn to,” said Kyle. “A lot of it is right place at the right time with the right people.” Millennium has also bolstered its suite of offerings for customers this year. The company has raised the cap on its infrastructure fund from $30 million to $75 million, which is money used to help clients get grants for projects, and increased the amount of capital equipment available to rent or lease. Millennium has added 150 pieces of equipment so far this year. Through a partnership with a Virginia financial firm, Millennium’s customers also have a resource to aid them through the process of getting grants for their projects. “As the FCC has gotten better at identifying where those (underserved) spots are, we’re able to work with our clients and help them apply for some of that grant funding, which is huge,” said Kyle. “The application process is a challenge, and then securing the money, and then compliance is another challenge. We kind of walk them through the whole process.” Recovering from pandemic-related challenges Like most businesses in 2022, Millennium is still recovering from some of the headwinds created by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a national distributor, getting ahold of materials during supply chain backups is of particular importance to Millennium. The company has become increasingly involved with the early planning stages of their clients’ projects. This allows employees to better predict what parts a customer might need a year or two out. The company has also consolidated how much money it spends on materials to 10 preferred vendors that get about 70% of Millennium’s purchases. There are another 30 strategic vendors that can be used to help source materials. Millennium has doubled its amount of inventory on hand to address supply chain backups. When looking into where to build new facilities, the company often builds warehouses where it already has an established presence. This makes it easier to get the needed supplies to ongoing projects. “We have pretty big gaps out west that we’re going to be addressing,” said Kyle. “As we expand, we’ll add people, we’ll continue to get further involved in these projects, but it’s going to be with intent and not a reaction to the market.” Millennium has also been navigating the ongoing labor shortage by introducing new benefits to attract and retain employees. To retain its current workforce, the company has introduced a $1,000 personal wellness stipend. Employees now also get four hours a month in dedicated community service time. Another four hours a month of PTO time was also added, as well as four hours dedicated to personal development. “It could be spiritual, mental, physical…them just trying to improve themselves,” said Kyle. “With the growth comes an immense amount of stress for the organization and the people. Taking care of them creates a lot better retention.”
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