Two of the country's fastest-growing privately held corporations - including the fastest growing company in the state - are in Utah County.
Bushman Press Inc. was recently ranked 36th in INC magazine's list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies for 1988. WordPerfect Corp. was listed at 71st."We are pleased with the fact that Utah Valley, over the last four years, is always represented on INC's 500 list," said Richard Bradford, executive director of the Utah Valley Economic Development Association. "It is evidence of the fact that we are in an area that can support rapid growth, has a pro-business attitude, and provides an environment for companies to prosper."
Bushman Press, in Provo's East Bay Business Center, began operations six years ago in a small building in north Orem. In four years the company has had a 4,983 percent growth in sales. Sales in 1983 were $153,000 compared to $7.7 million in 1987.
Bushman Press is a full-service commercial printer producing single-color to full-color work. The company operates small and large offset printing departments and has in-house typesetting and bindery operations.
The company moved into its new East Bay facility in 1987 with 26,000 square feet. A year later Bushman Press more than doubled its space with an addition, bringing total square footage to 60,000.
President and founder Steve Bushman said he expects more expansion in the next six months.
"We hope business keeps up," he said. "We kind of found a niche in the market that wasn't being filled before. People in Utah County felt that if they wanted to get quality printing then they had to go to Salt Lake. The past couple of years have turned around drastically. Now people bring printing from Salt Lake to Provo."
Bushman Press has grown along with its longtime customers and neighbors, and without an advertising budget.
"Word of mouth has been our best advertising, and good-quality products," he said.
Bushman began the business in 1982 with his wife, Rilla, and one other employee. The company now employs 300 people along with a number of temporary employees. It operates around the clock, six days a week.
"We've brought employees up through the ranks and trained them. We give them highly skilled jobs within a few years. They produce quality products that are among the tops in the industry now."
The growth of a company is great, but it poses many management challenges as well, Bushman said. Equipment availability, corporate culture change, and a needfor more production space are the biggest challenges.
WordPerfect, the software developer known for its word-processing program, was on the list with a 3,347 percent increase in sales. In 1987 WordPerfect had $94.6 million in sales compared to $2.7 million in 1983.
WordPerfect's facilities have absorbed 20 to 25 acres a year, according to R. Duff Thompson, general counsel for WordPerfect. In nine years the company grew to 1,000 employees.
The list, published in the December issue, includes another Utah company as well. Salt Lake City's Kenex Systems - a provider of job cost accounting software - was listed with 1,991 percent sales growth from 1983 to 1987.
Kenex went from $118,000 in sales in 1983 to $2.5 million in 1987.