Exactech growing with new warehouse

International shipping technician Erika Duran picks components of a customer's order from racks of inventory on Wednesday at Exactech's customer operations center in north Gainesville.

JARRETT BAKER/Special to The Sun
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 9:35 p.m.

Exactech Inc. is in growth mode with the opening of a 29,000-square-foot customer operations warehouse and office building and the Jan. 1 close of its auisition of North Carolina-based Altiva Corporation.

With the new center and warehouse, the company continues to spread throughout the Northwood Commercial Park off State Road 121/NW 34th Street near U.S. 441. Exactech's fifth building gives it 149,000 square feet.

Exactech manufactures orthopedic implant devices, surgical instruments and biologic materials, with its sales spanning internationally. The company employs 267 people and has 28 openings. The company contracts with an independent sales force.

Distribution moved from a 10,000-square-foot building, which CEO Bill Petty said the company will soon need for other purposes.

"We're still under-spaced, even for our growth we're expecting this year," he said.

Exactech expects $120 million in sales when the final tally closes on 2007, with 20 percent growth through the first nine months and 27 percent for the fourth quarter. With the purchase of Altiva, Exactech expects sales of about $150 million this year.

On Monday, director of customer operations Kevin Godwin showed visitors the warehouse and explained inventory tracking and quality control methods. He said the conveyor system is 60 percent more efficient than standard conveyors, with motors inside rotors and boxes triggering specific sections of the conveyor to roll so sections not in use shut down.

"Just like you add more employees, you have to get more efficient at what you do," Petty said. "It's set up to be very efficient, but also to be as error-free as we can make it."

Altiva gives Exactech a line of spinal implant products. Exactech, an early investor in Altiva, exercised the option to purchase Altiva in a stock and credit deal worth $25 million. Altiva will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary and remain in Charlotte, N.C.

Anthony Clark can be reached at 352-374-5094 or anthony.clark@gvillesun.com.

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