In addition to its 26,000 square feet of lab space, Ace has plenty of room for additional growth with 55,000 square feet of available space for enhanced services and equipment as the timing allows.
But investments in better services don't always translate to additional square footage. This year, particularly, the biggest investments have come on what Sharp calls the business "infrastructure." Because Sharp sees even more growth on the horizon, with lab outsourcing trends continuing.
And when the business grows, he and Ace Laboratories will be ready.
"The main thing about growth is that you have to be able to handle it," Sharp said. "So we wanted to make sure we proactively got behind that and started putting that in place right away this year. … We are doing some key system pieces internally and building our infrastructure. We're improving how we're tracking orders and managing orders, giving visibility to our customers on their statuses and things like that."
That infrastructure piece is critical, especially as Ace Laboratories continues to expand its reach globally.
United Kingdom-based partnerships Ace has established in the previous few years have played key roles roles in that growth. Two of note are with England-based rubber industry marketing specialist Rubber Heart and U.K.-based testing equipment maker Wallace Instruments.
"We are seeing great growth internationally, and Europe has been a great sector of that growth," Sharp said. " … It has been great having a presence over there with (Rubber Heart founders) David (Cawthra) and Gail (Reader) right there. It's been a good segment to build into.
" … That has been going well there, and we continue to make strategic efforts in parts of Asia and other areas, but Europe seems to be the most prime," he added. "We see a lot of opportunity to continue to grow there."