Diamond Assets CEO Mike McKenna said he hasn’t looked at a line chart on his company’s recent growth, but if he did, it would appear as a vertical line—or nearly so.
McKenna doesn’t need a sketch of Diamond Assets’ uptick in business. He knows the electronics and technology trade-up firm has cycled through four different buildings in the last four years. The current one is a 50,000-square-foot facility completed earlier this year.
Diamond Assets’ revenue has grown by a gaudy 19,780 percent over the last three years, the company reports. This week, it was named the seventh fastest-growing private company in America, according to Inc. magazine’s prestigious “Inc. 5000” list.
Compiled annually for 37 years, the list ranks the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. Wisconsin had two companies in the top 10; at No. 7, Diamond Assets was one of them.
McKenna said his company is growing and hiring, which has boosted its summer headcount in Milton to 120. Workers who refurbish Apple products—tablets, computers and other devices—are now six times busier than they were just a few years ago.
The company works with school districts and private firms on a trade-up program that involves buying back and reselling Apple products. It’s now processing 3,000 devices a day—up from 500 a day in its earlier years.
McKenna said clients can see the growth even if they haven’t visited Diamond Assets’ facility within the last few years.
“Every building we’ve moved into is bigger. Every building we’ve learned a little bit more. We get operationally better,” he said.
Diamond Assets had never applied for consideration on the magazine’s list until this year. McKenna said he looked at the growth rate the last few years and figured it had a shot to crack the top 10.
It did better than that, trailing only one other Wisconsin company, Madison’s SwanLeap.
SwanLeap, which provides shipping solutions to manufacturers, ranked No. 1 on Inc.’s list this year. It posted a whopping 75,660.8 percent leap in sales over the last three years, according to Inc. 5000’s ranking.
McKenna said the driver behind his company’s growth is its product line—Apple devices—and the fact that clients buy in to the strength of Apple’s products.
Apple devices tend to hold their resale value and perform well, McKenna said. That means that Wisconsin school districts—and other states as far flung as Alaska—are getting top dollar for trade-ins. Meanwhile, secondary buyers who purchase refurbished products are getting quality devices at a good value.
In Milton, Diamond Assets has increased its staff in the office and in cleaning and packing lines for refurbished products. Some hiring, McKenna said, has stemmed from creative programs hatched over the last year by the human resources department.
Summer is the company’s busy season because many school districts are cycling out old electronics and bringing in new products, McKenna said. Diamond Assets works with local high schools and technical colleges to fill internships and seasonal jobs in the summer months.
The new Milton facility, which is in the city’s Crossroads Business Park, has plenty of room for Diamond Assets to grow if the revenue uptick continues.
The property is 7 acres—enough for the company to double the size of its operations to 100,000 square feet.
McKenna said he sees Milton as a good long-term fit for his company—partly because of promises he made to his family and employees.
“I promised my wife this will be the last building we’re ever in,” he said. “And Operations got tired of moving every year. I told them this will be the last one.”