Fire firm plans growth with niche biz, added marketing

Thursday, February 6, 2003

February 6, 2003

HURST, Texas - A small but top-tier Notifier distributor here is already hard at work toward reaching its goals for 2003, armed with a new focus on marketing and plans to boost its inspection and testing business as well as its installed base.

Fire Systems Design, a 20-employee company located here in suburban Fort Worth has hired Todd Burgart as its marketing director to more actively promote the company to local commercial customers, engineers and the life safety community. Jim Watkins, an existing FSD employee, was also tapped to oversee the expansion of the testing and inspection department.

With an eye cast toward increasing company revenues by 50 percent in 2003, company officials are optimistic that FSD’s new ventures will garner it more stature in the local marketplace, both as a competitive force against other national fire companies and as a dependable local company with reputable service and a focus on the customer.

“A lot of our work has come from word of mouth and referrals,” said Carl Ball, FSD’s president. “We’ve been swamped with that and haven’t put the backing into a marketing campaign. We are doing that this year.”

Although Ball declined to give out company financial information, he said that the inspection and testing component of the business would make up a significant portion of the projected 50 percent growth in revenues. To accomplish that, the company will target its own customer base as well as other installations potentially in need of testing, maintenance or a system upgrade.

“We are making an emphasis from both the service and inspection standpoint for owners and AHJs to let them know that (those areas) are an integral part of the system and is required by code,” Ball said. “We hate to use that as a sales tool…but like any other equipment, if it’s not maintained and inspected, it’s not going to work when you need it to.”

The company was also planning to roll out a new website,, in mid-February to use as a sales tool and in project design.