Leadership: Juan Hernandez, founder and chief executive officer
What it does: Distributes rugged technology to first responders
Next goals: Hire five more employees to meet demand
Revenue: $10 million
When Milwaukee IT firm TKK Electronics LLC won its bid for a national contract with public safety purchasing cooperative Savvik Buying Group, it gained a potential 7,000 new customers, which it expects will double its revenue.
As a result of the recent award, TKK is adding five new employees to its 10-person staff, said Juan Hernandez, founder and chief executive officer.[caption id="attachment_339599" align="alignnone" width="770"] Juan Hernandez
He plans to hire the new customer service representatives to take on the additional call volume by the end of the first quarter, while adding a new back end e-store ordering process for Savvik customers.
“We have normal e-store orders for our existing customers, but this is a contract so it’s a little bit different as it’s different pricing,” Hernandez said. “So we have to separate that.”
TKK, which is based in Walker’s Point, distributes rugged electronics to be used by first responders in critical applications. For example, TKK may sell several tablet computers that can withstand heavy use and drops to a police department for use by officers on crime scenes.
Savvik is an industry group that helps police and fire departments, EMS, hospitals, schools and other organizations pool resources to complete vendor bid processes for equipment and supplies at lower prices.
While TKK had won a contract with Savvik once before, it was for one product. This time, Savvik members will be able to buy all 200,000 of the IT products TKK carries, Hernandez said.
“The major difference with this contract is that it has a broader portfolio of products and services for TKK Electronics to offer, which simply means we are just scratching the surface on where this partnership can go,” said Mickey Schulte, executive director of Savvik.
TKK’s current annual revenue is about $10 million. Hernandez expects the new contract to bring in an additional $10 million per year. The contract runs through 2020.
“It’s a national, publicly bid contract. It’s valid in all 50 states as a purchasing avenue,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez founded TKK in 2006 after working for another technology company and seeing the need for rugged technology lines in police and fire departments, but not many vendors offering them.
Now among TKK’s customers are FEMA, Ford Motor Co., the Brazilian Air Force and Volkswagen of America.
“Some of the products are available through traditional avenues like online ordering and big box stores…but I think what sets us apart from companies that sell the same products is we do provide customer service,” Hernandez said. “We talk the customers through the buying process and make sure they’re ordering the correct product the first time around.”