Building Blocks of Growth

The 2019 Corporate Report 100 welcomes new faces to the fast-growth club . . . and recognizes some familiar players in the path from start-up to scale.

Click here to view winners one through 10.

Click here to view winners 11 through 100.

If there’s a testament to be offered for the vitality and vibrancy of this region’s economic ecosystem, it’s hard to think of a more representative group than the fastest-growing companies in the roughly 150 miles between western Shawnee County in Kansas and the eastern border of Pettis County in Missouri.

That 22-county area, from which our annual Corporate Report 100 companies are drawn, has once again demonstrated its fertility with an impressive roster of not just fast-growing companies, but those who are making their first appearance on this list.

Better than three in five this year are on it for the first time. And only one, 20-year-old digital marketing firm DEG, has made double-digit appearances herein; this being its 14th year to be recognized. As we take a look at the numbers inside the numbers, DEG is a great place to start. If the firm has a mascot, it must surely be a combination of both tortoise and hare.

For a while the Overland Park company has logged more appearances than anyone else this year, and earned its place on our All-Time Honoree list, the remarkable thing about its history has been its measured pace of rapid growth. Not once in those 14 appearances did DEG crack the Top 10, a place where you might want to be once, perhaps two times, and occasionally a third.

Why? Because the kind of triple-digit growth, and often quadruple-digit growth, that is required to claim a place in the Top 10 is often accompanied by growth pains that, in subsequent years, has often taken those high-fliers out of contention—and sometimes out of business.

But consider what CEO Neal Sharma and his team have achieved at DEG: It’s highest ranking came in 2012, when it placed No. 13. It had two other Top 20 finishes, but the 11 other placements ranged from 25 to 73 before settling in this year at No. 59. That, friends, is consistent, high growth that has been well-managed, focused and intentional, coming in a blend of organic increases and strategic acquisitions.

That said, let’s take a look inside some of the other numbers that distinguish this year’s Corporate Report 100 from the 33 that preceded it:

146.33% The average growth rate for this year’s CR100 winners.

$4.58 billion Combined top-line revenues in 2018. That was up from a combined $1.86 billion in the 2015 baseline year. The figures for last year’s CR100 cohort were $1.136 billion for the baseline, to just over $3 billion in aggregate 2017 revenues.

140. That’s the age of the oldest institution on this list, Goppert Financial Bank (140), which beat out a comparatively spry U.S. Engineering (126). Only three others are centenarian companies, and all are banks: Stanley Bank (chartered in 1905), Tricentury Bank (1909) and Bank of the Prairie (1914).

61. Companies making the list for the first time.

23. The average age of a company on the list this year. But if you factor out the five centenarians above, that figure falls to 15. Those crashing this party for the first time are, on average 24 years old, but again, factoring out those same five 100-plus-year-olds, the figure falls to 17.

$856,974,000. The highest revenue figure for 2018 from anyone on the list. That figure belonged to No. 76, Custom Truck One Source.

$1,012,822. Lowest revenues among the 100 for 2018 were posted by Wingman Realty to meet the growth threshold for inclusion.

84: Companies with triple-digit growth.

26: The number of companies from the construction sector most frequently represented this year. That includes home builders and commercial builders, as well as ancillary services such as landscaping, electrical work and plumbing. Other sectors on this list, by frequency:

Financial services, 12 (banking, accounting, insurance, etc.)

Logistics, advertising/digital marketing, 9 each

Real estate, 8

Business services, design firms, 7 each

Information technology: 6

Health care, vehicle sales/leasing, 3 each

Retail, consumer products or personal services, 8

Publication, manufacturing: 1 each

Corporate Report 100 No. 1 Companies (1986-2019)

For 34 years, dating to its inception as Corporate Report Kansas City, Ingram’s has tracked the growth of thousands of companies in this region to produce the annual list of the top 100 fast-growth enterprises. Some of the names in that roster of No. 1 companies over the years will be familiar to you as pillars of regional commerce today. Many others are but fading memories—examples of how fast growth can give, and fast growth can take.

1986 United Telecommunications (now Sprint) 1987 Innovative Sofware

1988 Wrenn Insurance Group                                1989 Hall-Kimbrell Environmental

1990 PSI – Hall Kimbrell                                          1991 Oread Laboratories

1992 American Italian Pasta                                   1993 TouchFax Information Systems 

1994 MacHardware, Inc.                                          1995 Empower Trainers & Consultants 

1996 Spencer Reed /Personnel Connection         1997 J.M. Neil & Associates

1998 Intermedia Media Works                               1999 Innovision Corporation

2000 NetSales                                                            2001 RiverPoint Group

2002 Inergy, LP                                                         2003

2004 RED Development                                          2005 Sunlight Saunas (Sunlighten)

2006 Evolv Solutions                                                2007 Nextaff

2008 Acceleration, LLC                                           2009 SFP Specialty Fertilizer Products               

2010 BATS Global Markets (now Cboe)               2011 Rhythm Engineering

2012 Nextaff                                                               2013 The Logistics Store

2014 Pendo Management Co.                                 2015 Foodlinks, Inc.

2016 40 Digits                                                            2017 Vazquez Commercial Contracting

2018 Aratana Therapeutics                                     2019 Dynamic Logistix