What Happened to Feniex Industries?

Jman423

Site Owner
Original poster
Administrator
Sep 10, 2010
3,362
Auburn, AL
EDITORIAL OPINION

The idea was born as SpeedTech Lights. That idea bombed, hard, with those in the industry that require reliability and trust. Born from ashes of that debacle, Feniex Industries arose.

The Beginning:
The Good
  • Customer Service
  • Customer Interaction
  • Lead Times
  • Pricing
  • Products Designed In-House
  • Warranty
The Bad
  • Untruthfulness- fake names and relationships
  • Deception- marketing
  • Product Quality
  • Underqualified Design Process
  • Poor Beta Testing
  • Rush to Market

The Present:
The Good
  • 10 Years of Experience- Lessons Learned
The Bad
  • Leadership is seldom present, or completely absent
  • Inexperienced operating officers steer the day-to-day
  • 10 Years of Experience- Ways to undermine dealers and consumers
  • Purchasing products right out of Chinese brochures and slapping a Feniex decal on them
  • Still Underqualified Design Process- shameless attempts to copy the Big 3's products
  • Virtually unreachable sales and support teams
  • The QUAD Series- Saves Feniex, Costs Consumer (poor output, compatibility, & reliability)
  • Most distributors find better pricing with Whelen or FedSig which offer better products (win/win/win)
Summary:
If you are a knowledgeable professional in the field of emergency warning equipment, you already know all of this and more about Feniex. Chances are, you were using Feniex to pickup those budget customers that didn't care how effective or reliable their warning equipment was. Along the way, those dealers were stepping stones used by Feniex to cut out the middle-man and go straight to the consumer. This practice often left loyal dealers with stock that was pumped and dumped on them while Feniex was trying to clear space in the warehouse for the next failed product line or import... effectively screwing the stocking dealers with thousands and thousands of dollars of nearly useless outdated stock. The CEO is all but absent from today's Feniex, that's another whole story, and the current regime is run by someone who entered the company with zero knowledge of the industry and has since risen in rank working from poor training and experience garnered from Feniex (solely).

Various dealers that I talk with from time to time all seem to have the same things to say about Feniex, and the tables will eventually turn again.

This thread will surely provide many more talking points and opinions from both sides of the fence. As a knowledgeable industry professional, I warn anyone who will listen away from Feniex. However, no differing opinions have been, or will be punitively addressed here on eLightbars... but it is important that potential dealers, consumers, and/or agencies know what they're getting into if they should choose Feniex.

As always, full disclosure: I am a former employee of Feniex. For a short time in 2018, I worked as a product manager that would be embedded within the sales, marketing, engineering, and operations departments as product professional. I am not a disgruntled employee, however, I do wish things had worked out the way they initially promised. I met and worked with some amazing people while I was there. Most were lower in the ranks while the typical department heads were entitled assholes who ultimately screwed themselves out of what could have been a good opportunity. Once I saw how the company was steered by the CEO all the way down to the department heads, my confidence in both my employment future as well as Feniex as a company plummeted. I stand to gain nothing from how good or how bad Feniex does. I simply want to see the correct products used in the appropriate applications with both the end-user and the traveling public reaping the benefits.

Don't take one person's experience and opinions, ever. Do your homework and see if the facts stated here match up with your research.

Let's discuss!
 
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EMT-BLS

Member
Oct 28, 2011
2,601
Waterbury, CT
Get outta my head, man!

For the most part, I agree with nearly everything. I do disagree, a little, to the Quad concept. It is true that it makes life a LOT easier for Feniex - only stock one module, instead of dozens of color options and optics. HOWEVER - that doesn't take away from the idea actually being a good one - with duo and trio products becoming more widely used, having that 4th color is something people didn't realize they were walking away from.

Before everyone loses their mind screaming at me that they barely need 2 colors - More and more, customers are buying lightsticks that are red/blue, with amber override, but still want a flood mode for on-scene work (crime scenes, MVAs, searches, etc) - and Quad gives them that. Now, should they have canceled dual color Fusions? Of course not - but let's not pretend that Feniex is sitting on millions of dollars, like they say they do. They have limited funds, and it's easier to only stock 5 SKUs, instead of 30.

Everything regarding leadership does ring true - even to me, as an outsider. The leadership used to be front and center, and now they're ghosts. Product videos fell to the wayside. Hamza promised a weekly 'touch-base' video, that lasted 3 weeks. I change dealer reps more often than my pants (possibly not a good analogy).

Overall - lots of promise, but currently not doing as well as they could be with some strong leadership and recommitment to what got them here.
 
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Jman423

Site Owner
Original poster
Administrator
Sep 10, 2010
3,362
Auburn, AL
Get outta my head, man!

For the most part, I agree with nearly everything. I do disagree, a little, to the Quad concept. It is true that it makes life a LOT easier for Feniex - only stock one module, instead of dozens of color options and optics. HOWEVER - that doesn't take away from the idea actually being a good one - with duo and trio products becoming more widely used, having that 4th color is something people didn't realize they were walking away from.

Before everyone loses their mind screaming at me that they barely need 2 colors - More and more, customers are buying lightsticks that are red/blue, with amber override, but still want a flood mode for on-scene work (crime scenes, MVAs, searches, etc) - and Quad gives them that. Now, should they have canceled dual color Fusions? Of course not - but let's not pretend that Feniex is sitting on millions of dollars, like they say they do. They have limited funds, and it's easier to only stock 5 SKUs, instead of 30.

Everything regarding leadership does ring true - even to me, as an outsider. The leadership used to be front and center, and now they're ghosts. Product videos fell to the wayside. Hamza promised a weekly 'touch-base' video, that lasted 3 weeks. I change dealer reps more often than my pants (possibly not a good analogy).

Overall - lots of promise, but currently not doing as well as they could be with some strong leadership and recommitment to what got them here.
I should have been more clear on my QUAD opinion. Yes, it is cheaper for Feniex and more expensive for consumers, but the intensity and off-axis along with the need for a converter are the factors that taint the product for me. Having more colors than you need... not a big deal, really. My holy grail is a 4 color Vision SLR (just for the display wall). While I worked there, I advised against the "Geo Optic" which would become the QUAD optic... but now it has blind spots from the other board mounted LED's sharing the same space.
 

Jarred J.

Archive Expert
Silver Donor
May 21, 2010
11,376
Shelbyville, TN
They screwed up when they quit caring for the Lil guy.. I don't have thousands to spend on small setups.
 
Jul 1, 2021
6
Apopka,Fl
It's been a wild ride for sure. Between playing musical sales reps, pricing being all over the place depending on what CSR processes the order, shipping errors, and whatever else you can think of. There is very little sales support or brand recognition here in the Southeast if any at all, making any government sales very difficult. They do have a loyal retail following and I will continue to sell to them, but even they are questioning what is happening at Feniex.

One thing is for sure I've never seen a company with so few employees have so many "executives".
 
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kadetklapp

Veteran Member
May 21, 2010
1,554
Indiana
Answers some questions I had. I’m very interested in the One system for my new patrol vehicle and Feneix is one of two mfgers I know of with a spoiler and d-pillar mounting system for the Tahoe.
 

2004p71

Junior Member
Aug 27, 2010
350
canada
We have been going back and forth with their technical support in the last week and we had to CC in our email other people of a higher rank to get things moving . We would get vague and incomplete answers to basic question . Sales rep are not any better. A local custommer last fall requested a price for a 20 inche AI lightbar and we have been told it reach the end of life and they were no longer produced.
We got out new Master dealer pricing list and oh wait the AI bar is still listed so we gave them a call inquiring about that said bar and it was on back order. Few days later someone replied of we have plenty in stock ....
They dont look like thay are talking to esch other in this shop !
 

Jman423

Site Owner
Original poster
Administrator
Sep 10, 2010
3,362
Auburn, AL
JMan, you referenced STL. Were the companies once one in the same?
Hamza (also known by the ficticious name of Alex), the CEO of Feniex was once a partner in the family business: SpeedTech Lights. He sold off his share (supposedly, as the story goes) to spin up what we now know as Feniex. Feniex has been known to white label some sirens to STL.

In the early days of Feniex, they literally shared the same facility/offices while denying there was anything "shared" amongst the companies at all.
 
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Jman423

Site Owner
Original poster
Administrator
Sep 10, 2010
3,362
Auburn, AL
I get a sneaking feeling that 2022 isn't going to be a great year at Feniex. Just a weird vibe of giving up, radiating out of every person I speak to there.
If I was a dealer or an end-user, I would absolutely NOT sink any real money into Feniex... that's for damn sure. Now that they are "QUAD Industries" using a subpar reflector and being shady about what happened to products like the under mirror puck and the "Made in America" slogan for items ordered right out of the SanMak catalog... I will spend the extra money on the Big 3.
 

EMT-BLS

Member
Oct 28, 2011
2,601
Waterbury, CT
If I was a dealer or an end-user, I would absolutely NOT sink any real money into Feniex... that's for damn sure. Now that they are "QUAD Industries" using a subpar reflector and being shady about what happened to products like the under mirror puck and the "Made in America" slogan for items ordered right out of the SanMak catalog... I will spend the extra money on the Big 3.
They need a real 'Come to Jesus' meeting, and some new blood. The Big 3 ain't that big anymore...Code3 is barely more than a joke, Fed Sig also buys imports, and Whelen still thinks it's normal to charge $250+ for a damn SlimLighter.
 
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kadetklapp

Veteran Member
May 21, 2010
1,554
Indiana
They need a real 'Come to Jesus' meeting, and some new blood. The Big 3 ain't that big anymore...Code3 is barely more than a joke, Fed Sig also buys imports, and Whelen still thinks it's normal to charge $250+ for a damn SlimLighter.
All true. I was talking to an upfitter and he hadn’t heard of Code 3 other than Amber division…
 

Jman423

Site Owner
Original poster
Administrator
Sep 10, 2010
3,362
Auburn, AL
All true. I was talking to an upfitter and he hadn’t heard of Code 3 other than Amber division…
I should have clarified... Whelen, FedSig, & SoundOff. I've never considered Code3 one of the Big 3, though I accept that many others do.
 
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JohnMarcson

Site Founder
Administrator
May 7, 2010
9,496
Northwest Ohio
I should have clarified... Whelen, FedSig, & SoundOff. I've never considered Code3 one of the Big 3, though I accept that many others do.
Code 3 was big back in the days of metal rotators. Each new technology took a chuck out of their market share; first strobes, then LEDS. If you look back to the mid 1990s Code 3 was the heavy duty lightbar builder to beat. At that time Whelen were the strobe people and Federal were the Q siren and Police product company. At this point Whelen basically does it all with the other companies filling in niches. I like Sound Off, but I couldn't build an entire ambulance with their products. I built a command vehicle with SOS and it's great. I just did our newest command vehicles with Whelen because that is what out ambulances use and it also worked great. Our sheriff's office uses code 3 and it isn't pretty.

I hate to see one company dominate the market, but if it weren't for Q sirens and 3 big cities buying SLR visons I'm not sure what's left besides smaller departments doing a car at a time. I toured REV group (Horton ambulance among others) pre-covid and I saw three out of several hundred units with a majority of equipment in a brand other than Whelen. I think we are seeing a real spread between companies that can outfit full vehicles and companies that provide pieces and parts. That's going to make Whelen the price setter, for better or worse. Federal Signal should buy Roto-ray (if they haven't yet) and be the "expensive bling for you volunteer fire truck" company. Package a Q, a rotoray and a few other "iconic parts" and get by on that.
 

CD3

Veteran Member
May 25, 2010
366
USA, CA
Reading these posts, I'll again chime in here. If been around the lighting and siren industry going on 49 years now. In the 1990's and into the early 2000's Code 3 was the company to beat when I owned my installation shop which was the largest in CA at the time, we sold Code 3 3 to 1 over Whelen and 5 to 1 over Fed. Sig. Snd off was just getting started and knocking off copies of the Code 3 LED's. Now of course lets be realistic it all depends when other got into or became interested in emergency equipment. I will say this, Code 3 after say 2005ish fell asleep in R&D that's for darn sure then scrambled to quickly and unprepared to catch up, but CD3 was the #1 company to catch back then. Code 3 has taken some hits that's true I can say this since I've rep'ed them for 10 years. Code 3 being sold several times and the last 2 times pretty darn quick I was still reeling from ECCO's purchase, No one outside of upper management new of the last sale. But to get back on track, everyone one here has there pro's and cons about brands of equipment right? I also was our departments fleet manager for 15 years and thus got to use the BIG 3 Code 3, Fed.Sig. and Whelen. But even back then they all had their fair share of problems, but what we started to look at was most of our cars were not 100% brand specific. We ran C3 light bars with Unitrol TM-4 (Damn still miss that work horse and sound of a siren), later we added Whelen corner strobe systems. Today out here in CA I am seeing more Sound Off, Tomar and there was a time Feniex. If some of the old guys remember, the amber divisions for the big 3 were Code 3 = Public Safety Equipment PSE amber for short, Federal Signal = Target Tech and Whelen = Austin electronics.
PS: Our Matrix System is coming along, slowly but it is getting there with some new features to be out soon too.
 
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kadetklapp

Veteran Member
May 21, 2010
1,554
Indiana
It sure has changed, huh? All the above is true. Now in the day if “full builds” it’s all or nothing. In my area, moving used equipment from a decommissioning car to a new car is sacrilege and blasphemous.
 

EMT-BLS

Member
Oct 28, 2011
2,601
Waterbury, CT
It sure has changed, huh? All the above is true. Now in the day if “full builds” it’s all or nothing. In my area, moving used equipment from a decommissioning car to a new car is sacrilege and blasphemous.
The sales guys are to thank for that. The mfgs are also doing their best to make the equipment not universal, so if you want option X, you better pony up and stick to their brand.
 
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JohnMarcson

Site Founder
Administrator
May 7, 2010
9,496
Northwest Ohio
The sales guys are to thank for that. The mfgs are also doing their best to make the equipment not universal, so if you want option X, you better pony up and stick to their brand.
It sure has changed, huh? All the above is true. Now in the day if “full builds” it’s all or nothing. In my area, moving used equipment from a decommissioning car to a new car is sacrilege and blasphemous.
The other thing to keep in mind is things don't hold up like they used to. All metal rotators stayed the same and held up for years. Now plastic surfaces coated with reflective material are good for one vehicle life. Also, the the tech gets outdated (by design sometimes). It's actually more trouble for me to move over an outdated bar and try to match it to a controller. It's a disposable world.
 
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CD3

Veteran Member
May 25, 2010
366
USA, CA

Boy, I remember the days of strip-out and reinstall the same equipment over and over again. My days we had prisoner partitions from Adamson that were like puzzles they were adjustable for midsize to full size cars, we didn't use consoles, but radio racks again by Adamson where we stacked the siren, radio and installed the shotgun onto that rack. The equipment was robust alright, we left almost everything intact on the rack unplugged it threw it into the new cars and plugged it back in and go. There were times though the embarrassing stuff would happen like the darn chain in the Federal Twin Sonic would stretch and fall off one or both sides rolling code down the HWY with the rotators pointing steady in different directions. But all the manufactures realized hey were not making the money because the equipment is lasting too long. Federal Signal bought back hundreds of the Twin Sonic's and Areo-Twins and actually crushed them back at the factory. They bought our back for $75.00 ea and gave us $100 off the purchase of the Jetsonics, This was the best looking bar ever, until you turned it on then prayed that the motoring public could see it.

 

K9Vic

Veteran Member
May 23, 2010
1,225
Fort Worth, TX
JMan, you referenced STL. Were the companies once one in the same?

Hamza (also known by the fictitious name of Alex), the CEO of Feniex was once a partner in the family business: SpeedTech Lights. He sold off his share (supposedly, as the story goes) to spin up what we now know as Feniex. Feniex has been known to white label some sirens to STL.

In the early days of Feniex, they literally shared the same facility/offices while denying there was anything "shared" amongst the companies at all.

I remember the days when STL and Fenix were in that Buda location and some members here went there and the employee's yelled at them to get out of there. It is interesting that STL is in the old Fenix building, but that info is long lost in any search (Web and old ELB forums page). Last time I did a LLC lookup for STL and Fenix, the CEO both had the same last name, Deyaf. It is for sure interesting story as I remember STL being in Richardson Texas selling really cheap China lights. Seems they have a lot better products, but still nothing like Whelen my favorite.
 

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