Apex Aims for 30 Markets in Five Years
Most recently establishing licensees in Nashville, Chicago and Washington, D.C., Apex Energy Solutions aims to be selling replacement windows and other building products in 30 markets within five years. The Indianapolis-based firm, which sells high-end, triple-glazed windows using high-tech marketing tools and strategies, also recently launched a new app for Apple's iPad.
The company kicked off its expansion effort in the beginning of 2009, establishing licensees in Minnesota, Charlotte, Denver and Kansas City, reports Michael Foit, Apex president. The company traces its roots back to Cincinnati, where Foit and a partner co-founded Apex Energy Solutions in 1998. Moving into the Louisville, Ky., market in 2000 and Indianapolis in 2002, Foit's former partner now operates the Apex Energy Solutions business in Kentucky and Ohio, while Foit is focused on Apex Energy Group, which licenses the Apex business model that enabled the operation to grow successfully.
Primarily a sales and marketing organization, Apex offers an ultra-high-performance triple-glazed window manufactured exclusively for the company by Alside Windows, as well as a "Master Install Program," which also utilizes Alside installation personnel. It also offers siding and a variety of other building products with an emphasis on composite and high-performance.
Despite weakness in the economy, Foit sees Apex making steady progress on its goal of getting into 30 markets in five years. Rather than working with people already in the home improvement business, Apex has been successful with licensees with other types of business experience—typically individuals in their late 20s, he notes. Many are attracted by the company's green, energy efficient product offerings. Many younger people also find the corporate world much less attractive these days, he adds.
|Apex worked with an Apple-licensed iPhone/iPad app developer, Plow Digital, to create its new iPad sales tool.|
What has always set the company apart is its focus on technology and its ability to reach consumers with its message about the value of high-performance products, Foit states. The company, recognized as a 2007 Window & Door Dealer of the Year for its marketing efforts, has now packaged that expertise, as well as a high-end product line, installation and a variety of other services for licensees.
"Apex has always been about educating the homeowner," says Foit. From the beginning, it has invested a significant amount of time and effort developing its product demos and presentations. "We're not just a Powerpoint," he emphasizes. "We use a variety of animation to educate homeowners about glass, energy, everything." One of the reasons he was immediately attracted to the iPad, Foit states, is that unlike a laptop, the iPad makes the presentation much more interactive. You can put it right in the homeowner's hands and see where they want to go."
Apex recently invested about $100,000 in a new Web site, working with Plow Digital, a company that develops interactive games as well as working on corporate Web sites. In addition to a new, more contemporary look that also carries a "more of a sustainability theme," the new site puts new tools in the hands of licensees, include a "product finder" powered by Google. If a homeowner is interested in Apex windows that are a certain style or color, they can locate them on Google map and drive by and see them," Foit explains. Also pointing to Plow Digital's efforts to create the iPad app, Foit adds, "It's been a very fertile partnership."