Advantage gets a leg up

Saturday, October 1, 2005

HOUSTON--Feeling the company was helping the competition to expand by helping with jobs rather than getting their own, Advantage Interests Inc. diversified its offerings two years ago.
"The two owners were doing a lot of sub-contracting work in the industrial sector," according to Dan Marr, vice president of engineering. "And, they felt like they were assisting other companies to grow."
By adding engineering and installation divisions, the company has experienced modest growth in terms of revenue and headcount. Its customers for fire sprinkler, suppression and alarm systems include industrial and commercial oil and gas companies with domestic and international operations.
From the time Advantage Interests was founded in 1986 through 2002, headcount was stable at 20 as was annual revenue at $1 million. In 2003, the company took at turn to add more business and by 2004, headcount jumped to 42 and revenue spiked to $7 million.
The revenue goals are to experience 10 percent growth year after year, said Marr. The business plan is to reach $8 million this year and $10 million in 2006, he said, who joined the company two years ago from FireMaster, a provider of fire suppression products.
Advantage Interests Inc. is a product of a merger between a company of the same name, which focused on the commercial, industrial, and marine markets outside of the United States, and Texas Suppression Contractors, a fire protection sub-contracting firm working primarily in the United States.
Mike Hunsucker played a role in forming both companies and Mike Staley was responsible for TSC.
Advantage Interests' customers include energy company BP. The company has picked up several contracts fixing the fire systems on oil platforms. In most cases, Advantage Interests steps in to bring the structures up to Coast Guard standards.
"They've contracted us to do repairs to brand new systems," said Marr in reference to a recent $80,000 deal.
Other customers include the Memorial Hermann Hospital located in Houston.