Mayor's Business Brief
Welcome to the Mayor's Business Brief, a special column published in Libertyville's Village Views highlighting the unique businesses of the community!
In the Fall 2023 edition, Mayor Johnson hears from AHEAD, formerly known as MBX Systems
MBX Systems was acquired recently as the Engineered Solutions group at AHEAD, Inc. MBX landed in Libertyville 10+ years ago to “handle rapid growth and help recruit the area’s top tech-savvy talent.” With about 200 local employees, the company engineers and integrates custom hardware systems that run the world’s most innovative technologies, from medical devices to streaming media services. The company also employs an in-house software team to develop technologies used internally as well as for customers, to make hardware easier to manage.
How did the business get started?
The company started in 1995 as a mail order business selling computer parts like motherboards and hard drives through consumer computing catalogs such as Computer Shopper.
When did the business first open in Libertyville?
After operating in Wauconda for many years, MBX relocated to its Libertyville facility at the intersection of Winchester and Technology Way (by the soccer fields) in 2012. Since then, the building has expanded from 84,000 to 120,000 square feet to accommodate its growing engineering, manufacturing, and warehouse operations.
Who currently owns/operates the business?
In June 2023, MBX was acquired by AHEAD, an IT services and consulting company headquartered in Chicago. AHEAD builds and manages digital platforms that power the most successful organizations in the world.
What attracted you to and has kept you in Libertyville?
The location makes recruiting tech-savvy employees easier because many area colleges have strong technical and engineering programs. And for attracting employees outside the area, Libertyville’s central location makes it a reasonable commute from southern Wisconsin and Chicago and a short drive from O'Hare.
What unique product or service do you offer?
We engineer and integrate custom hardware systems that run some of the world’s most innovative technologies, from medical devices to streaming media services. There is no margin for error with these mission-critical systems, so we developed our own software that's integral to running our operations and infrastructure. We also develop a software platform for our customers to make their products easier to manage.
What should potential customers know about your business?
Our ideal customer develops complex technology with a global footprint, and they have various reasons why it needs to run on hardware systems versus in the cloud or as downloadable software. Our business requires unique engineering skills and factory automation to make sure every product ships from our facility flawlessly.
In what ways does your business connect with and support the community?
Through our philanthropic services program, our employees have had the opportunity to volunteer with a variety of community organizations, including the Lake County Forest Preserves, Feed My Starving Children, and Lambs Farm, to name a few.
The Mayor's Business Brief as featured in the Fall 2023 Village Views