Advanced Technologies & Services, Inc. (ATS), based in Wayne, NJ, has been named one of America’s entrepreneurial growth leaders by Inc magazine, which today released its annual ranking of the Inc 500, the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.
Started in 1982, the Inc 500 ranks the nation’s leading entrepreneurial firms according to sales growth over the previous five years. Former Inc 500 companies that have gone on to become household names include Microsoft, Timberland, Domino’s Pizza and Patagonia. This year’s Inc 500 set records in terms of both collective sales and growth rates, racking up a collective total of $12.5 billion in sales and an average 5-year growth rate of almost 2000%.
ATS achieved some 1758% growth from 1996 through 2000 and will grow again in 2001. The telecommunications software and technology provider works with some of the largest telephone companies in the United States, and assists them with network integrity, switch automation and revenue assurance.
“All of us at ATS are honored to be in the select group of growing companies recognized by INC magazine,” said ATS CEO, Randall B. Guthrie. “Our growth and success over the past six years is due to a group of dedicated employees who have developed a unique customer driven focus.” “Becoming members of the prestigious INC. 500 will certainly help to motivate our people to work even harder to develop creative and innovative solutions for all our clients.”
California is once again home to the greatest number of Inc 500 businesses this year (59), followed by New York (33). Massachusetts and Texas tied for third place, each having 29 ranked companies, followed by Virginia (27) and Florida (26). New York City, meanwhile, is the metro area with greatest number of Inc 500 companies, with 39 located there, followed by Washington DC (31), Boston (30), San Francisco (26) and Chicago (24).
Among the key trends: Inc 500 enterprises are dramatically larger than they were 10 years ago, with an average of 160 employees, compared with just 61 employees on average in 1991. In existence an average of eight years, 56 percent were started at home, approximately 63 percent of which had five or less employees when they moved from home. About 50 percent were started with an investment of $20,000 or less, and 15 percent were started with less than $1000. The companies as a group generated a total of 80,188 jobs and some 76 percent of Inc 500 companies were profitable in 2000.
Reflecting the technology boom in the past five years, the largest percentage (38%) of Inc 500 companies were in “computer software and services,” followed by “diversified services,” such as human resources and advertising, (21%). Telecommunications was a distant third with 5 percent.
“The Inc 500 gives America a window on the future – which companies will be the Microsofts and Timberlands of tomorrow,” said George Gendron, Inc editor-in-chief. “The economy may have slowed, but entrepreneurial enterprises have always been, and will continue to be, the nation’s foremost engine of growth and job creation.”
To be eligible for this year’s Inc 500, companies had to be independent and privately held through 2000, have at least $200,000 in sales in the base year of 1996, and their 2000 sales had to have exceeded 1999 sales. Holding companies, regulated banks and utilities are not eligible. Inc verifies all information using tax forms and financial statements from certified public accountants and by conducting interviews with company officials.
Founded in 1979, Boston-based Inc magazine was acquired last year by G+J USA, one of America’s largest magazine publishers and is part of the company’s newly-formed Business Innovator Group. G+J USA also publishes Fast Company, Rosie, Child, Family Circle, Fitness, Homestyle, Parents and YM. The company is 25.1 percent owned by the Jahr Group and 74.9 percent owned by Bartelsmann AG, the largest privately held and fifth largest media company in the world with yearly revenues at $16 billion.