LED module developer MetroSpec Technology expands OEM sales channel with Bill Brown Sales

June 13, 2023
Lighting components agent prepares to support MetroSpec with shorter lead times and an established customer service reputation for OEMs, says executive Todd Crandell.

Yesterday, Bill Brown Sales (BBS) and MetroSpec Technology announced a new distribution partnership under which BBS would act as the North American OEM sales channel for FlexRad flexible LED light engines. The distribution deal brings BBS’ partners to 13.

For more than 15 years, MetroSpec has been manufacturing FlexRad LED light circuit offerings in the U.S. from its Minnesota facilities. The company’s Linear360, FacetCore (both in 2021), FacetCore Spline, and FlexRad BoardOnCoil Minnie light engines have been recognized under LEDs Magazine’s Sapphire and BrightStar Awards programs from 2021 to 2023. In a joint conversation with BBS and LEDs during LightFair, MetroSpec general manager and founder Vic Holec said the manufacturer’s competitive advantage has rested on its U.S. base of assembly, deep circuit design expertise, and reliable, flexible illumination technology, and now “we’ll be able to furnish even more lighting OEMs with our high-intensity, thermally efficient light sources.”

“We’re excited to have MetroSpec Technology in our lineup of OEM offerings,” BBS president Donny Wall said. “We are ready to start [collaborating] yesterday.”

MetroSpec president and CEO Todd Crandell echoed Wall’s eagerness. “This partnership with Bill Brown Sales enables new synergies with our customers for components acquisition. We expect it to enhance lead times for customers, which have generally been well controlled, even reducing them from weeks to days, by combining multiple supplier relationships under one channel,” he told LEDs.

When asked how the distribution channel will open up new opportunities for MetroSpec, Crandell said that up to this point, “everything [we’ve engineered] has been custom or private label.” With BBS' long “history in the [lighting] industry,” he explained, the OEM sales agency can expand awareness of MetroSpec’s current FlexRad products and future developments.

Wall said BBS has observed greater demand for “Made in America” lighting components, with “more specs coming in [from product developers] to require that up front,” and the distribution deal will deliver “huge benefits to BBS clients.”

Family-operated BBS has been representing lighting component manufacturers for nearly 70 years, founded by Bill Brown (ret.) in 1955. His son, Steve Brown, now serves as CEO. “With this family-owned model, we’re always looking for partners who are in it for the long haul,” Wall commented.

In addition to MetroSpec, BBS represents A.L.P., Bridgelux, Genesis Plastics Technologies, Inventronics, Light Tool International, Lynk Labs, Morelux Lighting, RLR Industries, Roytec Industries, Sur-Seal, Tripar, and Wald Wire & Manufacturing.

CARRIE MEADOWS is managing editor of LEDs Magazine, with 20-plus years’ experience in business-to-business publishing across technology markets including solid-state technology manufacturing, fiberoptic communications, machine vision, lasers and photonics, and LEDs and lighting.

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About the Author

Carrie Meadows | Editor-in-Chief, LEDs Magazine

Carrie Meadows has more than 20 years of experience in the publishing and media industry. She worked with the PennWell Technology Group for more than 17 years, having been part of the editorial staff at Solid State Technology, Microlithography World, Lightwave, Portable Design, CleanRooms, Laser Focus World, and Vision Systems Design before the group was acquired by current parent company Endeavor Business Media.

Meadows has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards, and has volunteered as a judge on several B2B editorial awards committees. She received a BA in English literature from Saint Anselm College, and earned thesis honors in the college's Geisel Library. Without the patience to sit down and write a book of her own, she has gladly undertaken the role of editor for the writings of friends and family.

Meadows enjoys living in the beautiful but sometimes unpredictable four seasons of the New England region, volunteering with an animal shelter, reading (of course), and walking with friends and extended "dog family" in her spare time.