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Turning Technologies acquires its biggest competitor

Published: Thu, August 8, 2013 @ 12:10 a.m.


Mike Broderick, CEO, Turning Technologies

By Jamison Cocklin



Turning Technologies on Wednesday completed the acquisition of its largest competitor, eInstruction, in a move expected to increase the Youngstown-based company’s international sales and expand its market share significantly.

Founded in 1981, eInstruction is based in Scottsale, Ariz. and has offices in Texas, Kentucky and Paris, France. The company develops educational technology, including classroom instruction systems, student response systems, interactive whiteboards and testing sof tware.

Turning Technologies long has been the market leader in corporate and business response systems, developing products and software similar to eInstruction that allow polling and interactivity during presentations and classroom instruction. But Turning was second to the newly acquired company in the education-market segment, where eInstruction has deployed millions of response systems in hundreds of thousands of classrooms worldwide.

The terms of the deal are confidential and will not be disclosed, said Turning’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Broderick. Turning will assume eInstruction’s brand, products and other assets — among them Insight 360, a popular classroom instruction system and ExamView, a software that allows instructors to create tests and other classroom assessments.

Broderick said during a news conference Wednesday that eInstruction’s Texas office and operations will be phased out. A warehouse and distribution center there will be relocated to Youngstown in the very near future.

Broderick added that Turning plans to lease between 40,000 and 50,000 square feet in Youngstown, where light assembly, packaging and distribution of the company’s products will take place. The warehouse in Texas has a lease that expires Sept. 30 and Broderick said Turning is working quickly to identify a location for its warehouse in Youngstown.

Currently, Turning employs about 200 people. Broderick said about 150 of them work in Youngstown, 10 in Europe and the rest in various sales roles across the U.S. The acquisition will immediately add 100 employees to Turning’s payroll, who will work at eInstruction’s existing offices. Another 30 interim employees will stay aboard to assist in integrating the two companies, but they will eventually be replaced and join the staff in Youngstown.

“This is exciting,” Broderick said of the acquisition. “But I still think we’re just getting started, and you can see the runway ahead.”

Turning had been evaluating the acquisition for about six months. With its completion, the company will now move into international markets in Russia, France and Indonesia, among others. Broderick said the company will grow its market share to 50 percent in its core sales areas and he expects international sales to now account for 20 percent of Turning’s annual revenues.

Turning Technologies was established in 2002 and was a member of the Youngstown Business Incubator. In 2007, the company was named the fastest growing software company in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine after it grew by more than 3,000 percent between 2004 and 2007. Today, Turning is headquartered on West Federal Street.

As a graduate, it remains part of YBI’s managed cluster, a network of companies that help support start-ups .

Jim Cossler, CEOof the YBI, called the acquisition of eInstruction “a validation of a model at the YBI that many people didn’t believe would work.” He added that the acquisition is proof “we have something in Youngstown that’s working.”


1DND(5 comments)posted 1 year ago

This is fantastic - T.T. buying a company and bringing more jobs to our area! Thank you!

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2chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 1 year ago

WOW. 150 jobs right here in downtown Youngstown. Plus more warehouse jobs that will be low paying, now that's exciting.

VM Star and the Marcellus Shale are the real success stories.

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3Erplane(482 comments)posted 1 year ago

Congrats to Turning - that is great news, and happy that there will be continued growth in the Youngstown area!

Chuck_carney, Turning and the YBI is a success story for the Valley. Last week the YBI was ranked by a Swedish trade magazine as one of the top 25 incubators in the world. Just the PR from that alone is excellent, and if you hang out on that side of downtown, you see young people working downtown.

I agree, V&M Star (now Vallourec Star) is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that landed here. And the subsequent supply chain, drilling, and processing growth coming here from shale is another game-changer for the Valley. But the Valley's long term success will not be reliant on one industry. Technology coming out of NAMII, YBI, new industries that the Regional Chamber bring in, better educated 4-year degree students (including the Siemens PLM investment), warehouse and logistics jobs, are all essential.

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4ailierdroit(105 comments)posted 1 year ago

Let him go, Erplane. Chuck has long been critical of Turning and the YBI. Forgive Charles, Father, for he know not what he talketh about.

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5lovethiscity(146 comments)posted 1 year ago

Very true...check out archived comments about YBI and Turning. He's been ripping them for years. Guaranteed he has never once talked to either directly or visited the YBI complex. It's the best thing by light years in the downtown.

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6zz3(931 comments)posted 1 year ago

Way to go, now this company should be thrown a parade!!! Great job. Erplane, I think you have been sniffing something. Maybe all the bars, nightclubs, etc, hve come and gone and that some think will be the catalyst that will bring intelligent people back to Thugstown, get real. Turning is showing you (but your blind) that real jobs from LONG TERM companies like Turning , Racino, & V&M are companies we need to grow and hopefully change the image of Thugstown.

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7DwightK(1251 comments)posted 1 year ago

This is great news. Nice to see our employment base growing and diversifying.

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