The company that builds ventilation systems sees sales grow 10% as customers seek to to improve the air in their buildings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
When COVID-19 hit, businesses, building owners and others realized the need for fresh air in their facilities to mitigate the spread of the virus.
So when demand for air filtration increased during the pandemic, Soler & Palau was ready with its supply of ventilators and fans for customers wanting to freshen their air.
Following the onset of the virus, CEO Jeff Bredeson said S&P launched a catalog for COVID mitigation solutions featuring the company’s products that fit that category.
It also developed lines of filtered fans, which “more heavily filtered the air coming into the building,” he said.
As a result, Bredeson said the company performed “surprisingly well,” with sales growing nearly 10%.
“Part of that is the COVID impact. Ventilation has become a much more important topic,” he said.
“People who had never heard of it or cared about it in the past are starting to pay attention to indoor air quality and to ventilation systems.”
Bredeson said he sees companies and building owners paying more attention to indoor air quality.
“Now we build systems called domain control ventilation systems that can turn on and off different parts of the ventilation system based on poor indoor air quality,” he said.
“But I think once people are aware of that, and aware of the health impacts to bad indoor air quality, I think they’re going to see that as an important thing.”
Aside from sales related to COVID-19, Bredeson said S&P has been looking at ways to grow.
In the past several years, S&P added residential products to its lineup.
It also wants its catalog to include products made by S&P subsidiaries.
“I think there’s plenty of opportunity for us in the market to grow,” he said.
“We just have to be open to what we need to do to take the growth.”
Bredeson said S&P created a growth initiative, which identified areas of the market “where we win more often.”
He said salespeople are instructed to pursue those opportunities.
The company primarily sells in the U.S., Canada, Central and South America and the Caribbean.
He said of the company’s broad line of products, it most often sells outside air solutions, filtered outside air solutions and centrifugal power roof ventilators.
“I think it’s our mix of products that makes us unique,” Bredeson said.
“When we do studies and evaluations on our product lines, we find that we have a much broader mix than most of our competitors.”
S&P was founded in Jacksonville in 1956 as Stanley Fans.
In the 1970s, it moved to its location at 6393 Powers Ave. in the Bowden area of South Jacksonville.
There, it manufactures its products.
Stanley Fans purchased Breidert Air Products and JencoFan in the 1990s to expand its offerings to include centrifugal and food service products.
In 2004, S&P purchased the company, and it became known as S&P USA Ventilation Systems. Its parent company is based in Barcelona, Spain.
The Jacksonville operation employs 120 to 130 people, depending on the season.
S&P has been in the Powers Avenue facility since then, but S&P sold the property in June as it searches for a larger location that will accommodate all of its business under one roof.
For now, it still occupies that space and leases it.
It also has offices and warehouse space at 8215 Westside Industrial Drive in Westside Industrial Park.
“We have about 150,000 square feet here in Jacksonville currently,” Bredeson said.
“We really need about 200,000 in order to not have capacity constraints that would stop us from reaching our goals.”