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Generico Entertainment Products

Mike Wharton • Company SpotlightMay 2018 • May 14, 2018

Generico is the company supporting the new six-year, 10-city museum exhibition tour, King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh (See related feature, PLSN, May 2018, pages 44-45).

Generico’s origins began in 2005 by importing molded Edison cable from China. Actual manufacturing for the rest of its products began in Shenzhen in 2007. With the introduction of the Generico truss line in 2010, manufacturing headquarters were relocated to a more suitable facility in Guangzhou. Further manufacturing, including cable assembly at its corporate headquarters in New Jersey, began that same year.

The company now has an office and warehouse in California as well. Along with their truss offerings, Generico produces quality products that are the everyday “bread and butter” of virtually every production company, AV provider, theatrical production, auditorium, and studio on a daily basis. All metal fabrication is done in Guangzhou, China.

“The hallmark of our company philosophy is getting the quality versus economic benefit metric correct,” Paul Edwards, general manager of Generico, told PLSN.

Generico 20” by 20” box truss is one of the most popular items.

‡‡         Beginnings

Generico’s launch in America had rather humble beginnings. A vendor mentioned in a casual conversation how his sandbags continually disappeared at the end of events. He asked Edwards if Generico could manufacture empty sand bags and ship from China, so he could then fill them with locally sourced sand. A couple of cardboard boxes with empty sandbags constituted that first order. “We made bags with Velcro closures, and wound up selling thousands of them” said Edwards.

DMX cable manufacturing followed shortly thereafter. “The first time a 20-foot container that was half-full showed up at our dock,” recalls Edwards, “I just shook my head and thought, ‘Wow, we really are in business.’” Now there is a 40-foot container showing up at least every other week.

The Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh is not the company’s first venture into the museum exhibit world. In 2012, G-Force purchased four full sea container loads of Generico equipment, each with over 200 pieces of truss, along with all the lighting fixtures, cabling and distribution to build four large exhibitions traveling throughout Europe.

“Six years later, the equipment continues to work well, and looks great. It was a huge undertaking to get it right and done on time. Generico came through with a good price and exceptional quality,” said Arnie Geller, president of G-Force.

Generico makes a number of different lines of truss. Their 12” x 12” box truss is one of their most popular items, along with other products including their unique 20.5” ballroom truss that is 12”x18” and can be used either 12 inches or 18 inches high. This month, Generico is introducing its own moving light truss, fully compatible with other leading moving light truss brands.

“We’ve made a lot of brand impact,” notes Edwards. “We’re now seeing request for bids specifying Generico truss. You can find Generico truss as part of the inventories of Brown United, Branam Enterprises, Clair Brothers, Mountain Productions and hundreds of other small and mid-size companies throughout North America and beyond.”

“Brown United has purchased numerous truss and hardware products from Generico, and we are very satisfied with the quality, price and availability. Their professional hands-on service is unparalleled,” says John Brown.

The Generico staff is comprised of 14 touring veterans who know the demands on gear from the rigors of the road, and the necessity of those items that pulled them out of the fire again and again.

“We all draw on the gigs we’ve worked on, and realize here is something that has some value. It does not have to be a best-seller item. What drives our company philosophy,” says Edwards, “is the price/reliability value to our clients.” It has to be dependable.

‡‡         How Soon?

Generico’s support of the King Tut exhibition was initiated when Brad Malkus, the lighting designer, gave Edwards a heads up that he needed to place a large order of 12-inch black truss for the project — “soon.”

As a rule, Generico keeps a fair amount of black truss on stock, and can usually coat as needed within 24 hours. When the 350-piece order arrived at the 11th hour, the company was easily able to deliver. Another instance of Generico always striving to do what is best for their clients occurred with the 54 12-inch black flush plate corners Malkus ordered with the truss. Upon delivery, it was discovered that, since the pieces were actually 12.00 inches and not the normal 12.75 inches, they would not work dimensionally for the project.

“Literally, two hours after Brad called us,” says Edwards, “we had the replacement stock at the museum in L.A. It’s fortunate we had them. I would love to say we always do that, but I would be misrepresenting. We just happened to have received a shipment in our L.A. warehouse, got it there quickly; and took the other ones back; no muss, no fuss.”

The producers and Malkus were further impressed when it came time for their cabling order. “They ordered a boatload of cable on a Friday and I told them we could ship on Monday,” says Edwards. “We build the cable in our New Jersey office. We worked all weekend, but we delivered to the West Coast as promised.”

Generico also manufactures specialty items to customer’s specs. Christie Lites takes full advantage of this.

“Dealing with Generico has allowed me to significantly reduce my overall costs while still getting the quality in product that we are used to getting here in North America”, says Karina Mendoza, VP of purchasing for Christie Lites. “We own well over 60,000 clamps and they are currently all being produced by Generico. We have spent the time to do our own destruction testing, and all their product has not only met but surpassed all the rated load limits. They have also produced a lot of custom pieces for us, following our drawings and specifications to a T.”

In conclusion Edwards says, “We don’t have a “million” products like some top tier suppliers. They are great companies; very good at what they do. We all grew up with these guys. We just have a more narrow focus, so the stuff we are good at, we are able to deliver quickly. We know what our clients look for. This is a long term play for us.”

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