AERIAL VIEW Q U A R T E R L Y
N E W S L E T T E R
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT As another year comes to a close, I reflect on the sheer volume of things that were done over the last 12 months. Looking at our company and our accomplishments from an aerial view, it seems as though this exhausting year just began. And now we turn our focus on 2011. But before we do, I am thankful for what 2010 has brought to our company and would like to take a brief moment to describe the philosophies of our company. Over the years, Metro Fire has developed our own business model: the Business Operations Solution Systems (BOSS). This approach to outstanding customer service focuses on streamlining our accuracies and efficiencies. The BOSS is our own ISO style of development of processes and procedures that we customized exclusively for our customers. I have to ask our customers, have you noticed how Metro Fire does not double ship? Or how you only get one invoice per purchase order? In other words, we do not bill until the order is complete. And have you noticed that the invoice arrives in a timely manner after the order is completed? Well thanks to our BOSS, we stand alone in providing
many tangible operational check points for our customers to ensure smooth business transactions. There are many things that we have done in the past to be proud of for our customers, and the BOSS is just one of the fundamental assets that we have implemented that has made it easy for our customers to do business with our company. It is by design that we have positioned ourselves to serve fire departments both large and small here in Texas. Our continuing growth in personnel, now up to 53 employees in the state of Texas, is an indication that we are also keeping up with our growing customer base. I fully believe that growth must be done responsibly, one step at a time. And as it is said, Rome was not built in a day. I understand that you cannot over-allocate your resources for the sake of short term profit. We have to parallel our customer growth with business support to be able to provide the level of unmatched service that has become our trademark here in Texas. Now looking towards 2011, the year is unfolding to be a very exciting one as we are committed to increase upon the (continued on page 2...)
We have to parallel our customer growth with business support to be able to provide the level of unmatched service that has become our trademark here in Texas.
(continued from page 1) tangibles that are already in place. Some of our objectives include purchasing and implementing our new CCG Faster fleet management software; making exciting, major enhancements to our website throughout the year; placing video capabilities into our marketing department with professional Final Cut Studio Software along with Sony professional video HD cameras; adding Intercomp PT-300 portable wheel load scales to our service trucks; purchasing an additional set of ARI Hetra heavy-duty lifts; purchasing one (1) 5-ton overhead bridge crane; and increasing our mobile service capabilities with more vehicles and personnel. All of which are set to be in place by the end of the first quarter. You can imagine what the rest of the year will look like. Additionally, we will be increasing the number of outside sales Territory Managers in the field. However, our largest goal for this year is combining our corporate office and our South Houston Service Facility into one location. The merger of these two facilities will vastly improve our operations and provide even more of a focus on all phases of our customer service. All of these objectives will allow us to be better positioned to provide superior service and support to our customers. In closing, I respect and understand that we have to earn your business each and every day. You have my commitment that we will work hard on your behalf to insure that any order, no matter the size, from a flashlight to an aerial platform, will be expedited and processed in a way as if you yourself were processing the order.
APPLEBY ARLINGTON BIG SPRING BRAZOS CO. BRIAROAKS BRYAN BURLESON CLEBURNE DALLAS DESOTO EASTERLY FOREST BEND FORNEY FORT WORTH FROST FULSHEAR GALVESTON GRANDVIEW HOUSTON HUNGERFORD HURST IRVING JONES CREEK KATY LA GRANGE LAKE TRAVIS LEAGUE CITY MANCHACA MANSFIELD MISSION NAVASOTA NORTHWEST PALESTINE PEARLAND PORT ARANSAS ROBINSON SANTA FE SPRING SUGARLAND TEMPLE TUCKER VICTORIA WHARTON WHITEHOUSE
2010 NEW DELIVERIES
THE LONE STAR STATE
IF YOUR FIRE DEPARTMENT IS LOOKING TO CONTACT YOUR LOCAL METRO FIRE REPRESENTATIVE, OUR ONLINE MAP MAKES IT EASY TO FIND YOUR TERRITORY. FROM OUR NEW WEBSITE’S HOMEPAGE AT WWW.MFAS.COM, SELECT “CONTACT US” AND THEN “TERRITORY MANAGERS” FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Thanks to all of my employees here at Metro Fire for all that you do in taking care of our customers. And most of all, thank you customers for your loyal support for without your business, we would not be in existence, and trust me, I get that!
CRAIG RUSSELL President & CEO
METRO FIRE WAS THE FLAGSHIP SPONSOR FOR THE 1ST ANNUAL TEXAS LINE OF DUTY DEATH 2010 MEMORIAL RIDE & COOKOFF
SHOP UPDATES It’s been a very exciting few months here at the Mansfield location since we have moved in our beautiful new 11,000 square foot facility. My position as the Service Director at the Mansfield operation was newly created in October, and it’s been a very busy four months.
2010 has been a year of growth for Metro Fire, and that growth is none more evident than at our South Houston shop. Over the past few months, our facility has been spilling over with new trucks coming in for make-ready, many of which are from departments that have never bought from us before. It’s amazing to see the pride that everyone has in this company. Those of us that work for Metro Fire are proud to come to work every single day and that shows in our work. That prides emulates over to departments who are proud to be our business partners. We’re primed for a great 2011.
Other items we are working on for 2011 include acquiring a free-standing 5 ton overhead bridge crane and evaluating new maintenance software. We also are seeking to add new technicians to our team to be able to expand our services.
NICK RUSSELL Make-ready Supervisor South Houston location The 2010 new truck make-readies, deliveries and warranty coverage started the year with an exciting flood and ended with a deluge of the same magnitude. This made for a record breaking year for Metro Fire’s new apparatus deliveries.
Our goal at the Mansfield location is to be a one-stop shop for all of the fire departments in the DFW area for all of their apparatus and equipment needs. Through exceptional sales and service, we hope to continue to set the standard through education and outstanding customer service. We understand you have a choice where you buy and service your apparatus, and we want Metro Fire to be your first choice. The next time you are in the area, stop by the Mansfield shop to take a look at what’s going on at Metro Fire. KELLY HOGAN Service Director Mansfield location
This made for a record breaking year for Metro Fire’s new apparatus deliveries.
Our service department has also grown to help accomodate the large need for apparatus maintenance and upkeep. By having two service centers in both the Houston and DFW areas, our goal is to make quality service accessible. Metro’s dedication to superb service after the sale will continue to be a priority in the upcoming year. RANDY TAUCH Service Director South Houston location
THE SPACE OF THE SALES AND SERVICE CENTER IN MANSFIELD TO 11,000 FT.2
EMBARKING ON A
NEW EQUIPMENT TRAILER
SALES TEAM GROWTH
Metro Fire is an organization with very unique and diverse product offerings coupled with ambitious, if not impossible, goals of superior customer satisfaction. Those traits have always found a way to challenge the staff, management and leaders of this company.
and maintenance divisions as they are today while setting a goal to aggressively, yet sustainably, grow our market share in these fields.
Take any one of the many facets of this company, and you would see a market mechanism fit to sustain a company by itself. Managing the distribution of fire equipment, a franchised automotive dealership, a make-ready and assembly shop, a service and warranty center, a custom graphics shop among others is where our challenge truly stems. Metro Fire has focused on creating, developing and improving each of these categories to better meet the needs of our customers. Our philosophy is that, to successfully operate these departments, you must leverage man power and experience with software. Weâ€™ve seen this model work in our sales and distribution division and feel certain that our latest endeavor to evaluate, purchase and implement Fleet Management Software will be just as noteworthy.
NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH AND $125,000 GIVEAWAY PROGRAM
Our philosophy is that, to successfully operate these departments, you must leverage man power and experience with software. We, as an organization, resolve to never allow this product assortment to become a vulnerability, and to ensure this, significant investment must be made in the organizational structure. At times, this investment will come in the form of software.
SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH OF THE APPARATUS DEMO PROGRAM
After embarking on this endeavor, our aim is to support our service, warranty
With an initial implementation date set for April 1, 2011, Metro Fire has committed to this investment. After implementation of this new software, our employees, managers and most importantly our customers will enjoy more robust: - service scheduling - service tracking - service request processing - vehicle asset tracking - advanced notification of service - streamlined shop floor operations We are elated that the implementation of this new software is finally upon us. Metro Fire continues to develop and improve to better serve as an all-encompassing resource for our customers.
ANDY KING Operations Manager Metro Fire
SALES & MARKETING Little did I know that my first job out of college, graphic design degree in hand, would pay me to intentionally set things on fire. Well, it’s a controlled fire... at a burn house... with trained firemen... and it’s a photoshoot for marketing purposes. Nevertheless, there are flames involved. Don’t kill my pyro dreams.
with a variety of projects that showcase the many sides of Metro Fire from a product linesheet to a new website. Innovation is all around us in the way we build our trucks, how we exclusively use our own photography, down to custom-designed envelopes that mimic a fire chief’s desk.
As the marketing department, we act as the voice of Craig Russell and his innovative spirit. Sometimes that voice, however, has been known to spout projects that seem to never end. In all seriousness though, I am grateful to work for a man with such exhausting vision.
When Kelton and I were hired to start the Marketing Department at Metro Fire, we were excited to jump into such a great opportunity. It was apparent that innovation was the driving business philosophy behind the company and its success. We had our buzz word.
ANN MICHELE KING Director of Marketing and Design
As the in-house creative and PR team, we have stayed busy
2010 was a whirlwind year for me, joining the Metro family after twentyfour years on the fire equipment manufacturing side of the fence. I have enjoyed the challenges and appreciate everyone’s support and patience as I’ve worked to learn the distribution side of our business. Plus, it was an exciting time to join Metro Fire as I waded into the management and marketing teams’ efforts in developing the new website and the “first of its kind” fire department and firefighters’ grant and sweepstakes promotion valued at over $125,000. I also played an exciting role in Metro Fire sponsoring the first annual Texas Fallen Firefighter Memorial Ride and Cookoff last year. We are continuing our support this year for this organization that serves families and departments of Texas that have experienced loss. Let’s just hope for no rain this year.
We have added Territory Managers to our sales team and plan to continue this growth in the coming year. Input from the TM’s was also integral to adding several key product lines in 2010. I am looking forward to a successful 2011 for Metro Fire. We are working on using the momentum from the new website promotion to grow our sales, especially with the feedback from the fire department grant survey. We now have a marketing tool of fire department needs and purchases, based on historical data, that will allow us to partner with our core vendors and develop a sales and marketing plan that will be invaluable in supporting our Territory Managers in their efforts to do what they do best - sell! JIM MINTON Director of Sales and Marketing
BY THE NUMBERS WEBSITE HITS SINCE LAUNCH
GIVEN BACK TO TEXAS FIRE DEPARTMENTS
ND YEAR TO SPONSOR THE TEXAS FALLEN FIREFIGHTER MEMORIAL MOTORCYCLE RIDE & COOKOFF
TERRITORY MANAGERS SPREAD ACROSS TEXAS WEB GIVEAWAYS AWARDED TO FIRE DEPARTMENTS & FIREFIGHTERS
THINGS TO NOTE
ON THE SHOP FLOOR: SERVICE TIP In response to the recent inclement weather, chemicals have been added to roadways that can damage your apparatus if steps are not followed immediately. It’s extremely important to frequently and thoroughly wash your trucks to remove the corrosive chemicals deposited as a result of these corrosive snow and ice clearing chemicals. Not doing so will result in unwanted corrosion which may cause unsafe conditions and deteriorate the product appearance including promoting bubbling of paint coatings. Corrosion from these chemicals is seen on chrome, aluminum, and even stainless steel and concrete. Significant damage can result from as little as a single winter season. If these chemicals are deposited on painted surfaces that have been pitted by rocks or gravel or scratched thereby exposing bare metal, the chemically induced corrosion will eat away at the metal substrate undetected until the paint starts blistering. Therefore, it’s very important to replace chipped or scratched paint immediately through use of touch-up paint provided with each unit. (Technical Bulletin from Crimson Fire - full article on www.mfas.com)
FEATURED PRODUCT: FIREFIGHTER WINE CADDY THIS CUSTOM DESIGN FOR METRO FIRE WAS SCULPTED FROM RECYCLED STEEL AND COPPER BY AN ARTIST IN GERMANY. IT FITS ANY REGULAR SIZE WINE BOTTLE, WHICH MAKES IT AN IDEAL GIFT FOR ANY FIREFIGHTER. COMPLETE WITH BUNKER GEAR, HELMET AND SCBA, THIS WINE CADDY CAN PUT OUT ANY FIRE OF A DAY. SHIPPING NOT INCLUDED LIMITED TIME ONLY! SALE ENDS 3/31/11
TO ORDER, CALL 713.692.0911 TODAY! CORPORATE 10940 W. SAM HOUSTON PARKWAY N. SUITE 325 HOUSTON,TX 77064
MANSFIELD 1501 HERITAGE PARKWAY SUITE 103 MANSFIELD, TX 76063
SOUTH HOUSTON 514 MICHIGAN SOUTH HOUSTON, TX 77587
713.692.0911 I PH 713.692.1591 I FAX
817.467.0911 I PH 817.375.1775 I FAX
713.475.2411 I PH 713.475.2428 I FAX
UPCOMING EVENTS FEBRUARY 21-23 SPARTAN DEALERS MEETING (LAS VEGAS, NV) FEBRUARY 26 - MARCH 3 SOUTHWEST FIRE RESCUE (GALVESTON, TX) MARCH 13-15 CRIMSON DEALERS MEETING (SOUIX FALLS, SD) MARCH 21-26 FDIC (INDIANAPOLIS, IN) JUNE 17-22 SFFMA (MESQUITE, TX) JUNE 24-25 TEXAS FALLEN FIREFIGHTER COOKOFF (HITCHCOCK, TX); MEMORIAL RIDE (CY FAIR, TX) JULY 24-29 TEEX EXHIBIT & FIRE SCHOOL (COLLEGE STATION, TX) AUGUST 14-18 IAFF-REDMOND SYMPOSIUM (NEW YORK CITY, NY) AUGUST 23-27 FIRE-RESCUE INTERNATIONAL (ATLANTA, GA) SEPTEMBER 17 IAFF FALLEN FIREFIGHTER MEMORIAL (COLORADO SPRINGS, CO)