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Pirtek USA Plans for Growth Amid Tough Economic Times

Wed November 05, 2008 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The economy has caused many companies to evaluate their operations and cut costs wherever they can but Pirtek USA — a provider of onsite hose replacement offering 24/7 service to industries including construction, manufacturing, agriculture, food processing, transportation and engineering — is bucking the trend.

In fact, the Rockledge, Fla.-based company has plans to expand its concept across the United States, opening nearly 100 new locations in existing markets as well as entering untapped ones over the next 10 years.

According to Gwyn O’Kane, Pirtek USA’s vice president of franchise development, the company’s franchisees are increasing their sales, attracting new clients and adding mobile service units because, despite the need for the services Pirtek provides, there is little to no competition out there. The economy, he said, is actually helping his franchisees grow their businesses as opposed to hindering them.

“Times are tough and many of our clients have stopped buying new machines and have started laying off mechanics — two very good things for Pirtek because it means these companies have to outsource more tasks that were once done in-house,” said O’Kane. “Sales are up at least 10 percent from last year across our entire network and we’re sure this will continue even after the economy rebounds. Businesses have to keep operating and municipalities have to fix roads regardless of the economic climate; other industries may be suffering but Pirtek is weathering this storm with growth.”

O’Kane also said that in addition to the concept’s franchisee success, Pirtek USA hopes to open at least 12 new locations across the country in 2009, increasing that number to 24 in 2010. Today, there are nearly 40 Pirtek service centers and more than 180 Pirtek mobile service vans serving major metropolitan markets throughout the United States; the company is specifically targeting the larger New York City, Los Angeles, Baltimore/Washington, D.C. and Houston markets — which can each hold at least 16, 25, 12 and eight locations, respectively — as well as San Diego, San Antonio, Memphis, Milwaukee, Las Vegas and other markets with populations of 500,000 people or more.

Pirtek’s Mobile Service Units usually arrive within one hour of a service call, carrying a technically qualified Mobile Sales and Service Technician (MSST) and stocked with a full range of hoses and more than 700 different fittings and adaptors, along with a crimping press and cut-off saw, to manufacture hose assemblies on site. Pirtek not only carries standard component parts to manufacture hose assemblies on site, but also a wide range of European and Japanese metric fittings to match most any equipment and hard-to-find products.

“Pirtek is like the FedEx of the hose industry,” said O’Kane. “Our customers are businesses that appreciate that the single-most valuable commodity in the world is time. Pirtek service reduces down time and saves these businesses money so they can make more money.”

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