Lectrus was founded in 1968 by the Steffner family as a division of Electrical Systems, Inc., an engineering and manufacturing company supplying control equipment to the textile and paper industries. The company’s original mandate was to provide custom electrical enclosures for ESI and several other local companies. In 1979, the two sister companies moved from their shared location on 23rd Street in Chattanooga to a new 69,000-square foot building at its present location at 1919 Polymer Drive. The facility underwent major expansions in 1992, 1996 and 1999 bringing the facility to its present 210,000-square feet.
Lectrus continued as a captive manufacturing subsidiary of ESI until increased outside demand for its products caused it to be incorporated as a separate company in November 1993. In its first full year, the Company generated $6.3 million of revenue. Lectrus continued to grow organically alongside ESI until 2000, when NSC purchased the operating assets of ESI.
After the purchase, Lectrus, NSC and Electric Motor Sales & Supply Co., Inc. (“EMS”), an electrical parts distributor also owned by Mr. Steffner, shared the Polymer Drive facility until NSC moved into its own facility in November 2001. The continued growth of both Lectrus and EMS made it necessary for EMS to relocate in early 2003, turning the entire Polymer Drive facility over to Lectrus.
To fuel expansion, in 2004 Mr. Steffner acquired all of the operating assets of Cleveland Manufacturing, a Houston-based competitor. This transaction allowed the Company and its customers to compete on equal footing in the Midwest and Western U.S. and provided access to the Gulf coast ports and major engineering firms located in Houston.
Mr. Steffner decided to exit the business. On April 1st, 2007, RFE Investment Partners acquired the company from Mr. Steffner. RFE not only provided the liquidity that Mr. Steffner desired but also brought both the desire and financial aptitude to fuel the current growth plans.
In February 2009, Metal Systems changed its name to Lectrus in an effort to build a consistent brand and reflect the value and vision of the company. In April 2009, Lectrus moved about 20 sales, marketing, finance and operations personnel from Polymer Drive to a new corporate headquarters three miles away on Olan Mills Drive.
On January 30, 2010, Lectrus acquired D.T.S., Inc. of Tea, South Dakota. D.T.S., Inc. was established in 1979 and manufactures custom steel and aluminum enclosures, sub-base tanks and trailers for the commercial generator market.