Workman came to Ultimate Electronics as a salesperson about 23 years ago, when he said only about 35 people worked for the company. "Now we are over 3,000 employees. We moved from the classic audio store in the 1970s—for all that means, good and bad—to grow up and become a real business. It was pretty fast and furious back then; you figured it out as you went along. A lot of those challenges remain the same; now we just have more resources to draw from."
Going public"forces you to plan your business better," Workman said. "There is suddenly a third party, the shareholder, who is going to have an expectation of you."
The company always had good internal financial controls, Workman said, but it has had to evolve its systems as it's grown from an $88 million company when it first went public to its $580 million volume today. For example, over the next year and a half, the company is upgrading its internal software systems to Tomax's Retail.net applications and Oracle Corporation's e-Business suite.