A Global Niche Market Leader
Evans Consoles Incorporated, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, has gained recognition as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of 24/7 mission critical console solutions. The company’s client list is impressive: NASA, AT&T, Honeywell, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Deutsche Telekom and China Railway Corporation, to name just a few.
One of the most powerful tools in business is the ability to foresee niche market opportunities. Entrepreneurs with a keen sense of niche market strategies realize that specialized products and services offer a unique advantage in a globally competitive world. What these entrepreneurs also realize is that their offerings utilize skills and accompanying talent that make their company a dominant player in their market segment, long before competitors have a chance to react.
“Evans is recognized globally as the largest control room solution provider in the world,” says Bill Burkett, CEO. “As a result, Evans is often engaged in some of the largest scale projects in the world, both in terms of physical size, but also in terms of complexity or as a global program for a customer (providing multiple sites for a single customer globally).”
The company was established in 1980 by Ross Evans, an accountant in Calgary’s oil and gas industry with an impressive talent for woodworking and a keen entrepreneurial spirit. Evans Consoles Incorporated has now grown to over 300 employees with twenty-one offices worldwide.
The company serves a number of sectors including government, public safety, air traffic control, corporate and homeland security. Evans has an office in Dallas, Texas, and Washington, D.C, as well as factories and offices in Shanghai and Beijing. It also has subsidiaries in the Netherlands, India, and Dubai.
Evans offers clients turnkey solutions for mission critical operations. All aspects of the control room are taken into consideration at the design phase: acoustics, lighting, temperature, traffic flow, and even floor covering. Every control room is a unique environment with operations reliant on, “monitoring and optimizing a specific function,” says Burkett.
Creating an ideal customized space for applications, “is critical in ensuring the ongoing success and effectiveness of the control room,” he says. “All aspects of the operation, and not just the consoles, need to be considered and tailored to fit the needs of the room. Creating the perfect environment minimizes distraction and focuses the key stakeholders on the operation at hand.”
Because of the unique qualities of each control room, tailoring to meet customer needs always takes precedence since efficient control room operations are in demand every hour of every day, year round.
“Even the smallest functional or design detail is important, and proper design goes a long way to the longevity and quality of the control room,” notes Burkett.
As any successful business will affirm, investment in research and development secures not only long-term growth, but enables more efficient processes to deliver the services customers want and need. Evans realizes that control rooms are critical operations, and in order to remain at the forefront of evolving technologies, it invests heavily in R & D – over $500,000 annually – a strategy that has garnered the company a competitive advantage.
“Our ability to not only keep pace with technology change, but often drive the direction of control room application development is one of the key benefits that our customers recognize when they work with Evans,” Burkett says. “This continuous focus on innovation and development has resulted in Evans having over seventy patents around the world for various applications.”
Burkett shares that the new console design for air traffic control towers in the U.S. is a prime example of market innovation. The company’s unique solution has enabled the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), “to significantly increase the footprint within the constrained space of an air traffic control tower.”
He indicates that Evans user-focused solution allows controllers more flexibility such as increased visibility of runways with closer proximity to the glass and the “ease of future technology integration and manipulation.”
Mounting technology innovation and design have given rise to the FAA’s expansion of tower capacity, subsequently leading to more efficient handling of increased air traffic volume. “As a result, many facilities are now being modernized as opposed to doing new construction towers,” says Burkett. “This represents a savings of 50 to 100 million US dollars per tower.” Evans Air Traffic Control vertical offers a complete turnkey solution through diligence in planning, design, construction, and installation of each tower.
And it is certainly technological changes that determine a control room’s lifespan and indeed the primary reason for upgrades. “There are many new operational and ergonomic implications in today’s environment, and this is something that continues to drive research and the design of new products and operational models,” Burkett adds.
He also asserts that the success of Evans Air Traffic Control solution is evidenced by the fact that, “The FAA has awarded Evans a nationwide contract for all air traffic control towers. This type of innovation and strategic approach to product solutions is typical of the Evans culture and continues to be a key driver of our success.”
As part of its growth strategy, Evans acquires subsidiaries worldwide. Recent acquisitions include Command and Control Environments (CCE) of Texas, in 2012, and Dutch Airport Solutions (DAS) and its interior division NKI Solutions of Holland, in 2011. Both DAS and NKI were acquired after Evans established Evans Airport Solutions/NKI division in the Netherlands, which provides airport and passenger terminal furniture.
“We have made acquisitions in the States and in Europe that have helped our core control room business and enabled us to continue to expand our airport business through the acquisition of NKI,” says Burkett. “Acquisitions are an important part of any company’s strategy for growth for both their core markets and diversification.”
Being a leader and working with some of the largest corporations in the world is a challenge from which Evans has never shied away. In fact, it is the challenge in each unique project that propels the Evans brand forward with its team of dedicated and talented people from all over the world. “Our large number of international projects keeps people challenged and learning new things,” shares Burkett.
“Some of the largest scale projects for Evans are global programs that we have delivered over the years, including customers like Exxon and National Air Traffic Services (NATS). In all of these examples, Evans has leveraged its international reach and our ability to support our customers globally as a unique (and differentiating) capability.”
He also notes that quality measures are utilized in every step of the Evans process through the implementation of best practices for quality management such as those found in sectors like automotive and aerospace.
“Our manufacturing facilities are ISO 11064 and products are Greenguard UL 2818 certified for indoor air quality.” Greenguard interior products are recognized by building codes worldwide and are trusted to be safe with low chemical emissions.
Hollywood and the Evans name have joined forces to create a realistic theatre experience and have created an exciting new vertical for the Evans brand. Evans was approached by Universal Pictures for its Fast and Furious 7 sequel released in April 2015. The company responded to the call of ‘lights, camera, action!’ by designing and manufacturing state-of-the-art control room consoles for the film’s FBI (a major client) headquarters. The company will be working with Hollywood producers on a number of future feature films.
Speaking about the unquestionable bright future of Evans Consoles Corporation, Burkett concludes, “Our goal is to dominate the control room market worldwide. To support this goal, we strive to provide our customers with great products and services while giving them an outstanding customer experience.”