There’s safety in numbers

Company’s partners are secret of success
Saturday, January 1, 2005

SEATTLE - When Fire Protection Inc. moved into a new office in the fourth quarter of 2004 (see related story), the move wasn’t just business driven. Part of it was propelled by the owner’s desire to provide a better work environment for employees.

And to owner and President Roy Cats, it is well deserved for his employees - whom he calls “partners” - because they are a main driver behind the company’s growth.

“We have found that success is 100 percent from word of mouth,” according to Cats. “That is without a doubt due to the partners we have working with me. Without them in the field keeping the customers happy, we wouldn’t be anywhere.”

The new office allowed Cats to provide employees with more work space and allowed many individuals who had been sharing offices in the previous locale the opportunity to have their own office. Also, the accounts payable and the accounts receivable departments moved into separate offices.

It is one of the few things he has done to increase company morale. Cats also reduced his technicians’ work schedule to four, 10-hour days instead of the traditional five, eight-hour days. He said since the switch, productivity has risen as fuel and overtime costs have dropped.

“Morale went up because everyone has their respective days off and weekends off,” Cats said.

For Cats, treating his employees well pays off in the way they communicate and service the company’s clientele. He says it is the level of service and attention that sets Fire Protection Inc. apart from competitors.

“Too many people, especially in the fire industry, look at it as a fire code and you have to have fire protection,” Cats said. “We go beyond that.”