Inc. 500 Interview: Telecommunications Trends
BY Rich Martini
The Co-Founder of Purcell Systems talks about needing to be able to scale up rapidly to supply the telecommunications industry.
The telecommunications business is growing by leaps and bounds. Just look at how many people have cell phones these days. Telecom suppliers need to be able to ramp up quickly to keep up. Purcell Systems makes outdoor cabinets to house and power wireless network equipment for the likes of Cingular, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint. Purcell, based in Spokane Valley, Wash, was No. 21 on the Inc. 500 in 2005. Co-founder Peter Chase talks about the future of high bandwidth.
Inc. Technology: Where is the telecommunications industry headed?
Peter Chase: When I watch my three girls at a basketball game using their cell phones, sending text messages, taking pictures and sending them, and then watching the local cell tower burn up and fall over from all the bandwidth needed, I know that as long as parents will pay, someone’s got to provide kids with bandwidth and delivery systems. And we can provide and service the equipment for those systems. We’ve currently got sales and support offices in Texas, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, and Poland, are looking to expand into Eastern Europe and the Caribbean.
Inc. Technology: How do you service a sector that’s growing so fast?
Chase: We like to say that we offer speed, flexibility and “fanatical service.” It's fanatical because we do what we say we're going to do. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a major market launch fall apart because some construction manager is sitting out in the field waiting for a piece of equipment that doesn't appear. Having a successful business can be as simple as answering the phone, or having a person there to answer the phone and find out what the problems are, and then backing up your promises with action.
Inc. Technology: Any advice for companies serving fast-growing industries?
Chase: "It's Not the Big that Eat the Small...It's the Fast that Eat the Slow." Actually it comes from an inspirational entrepreneur's manual by Jason Jennings that me and my associates read when were starting Purcell Systems. “Do more with less and do it faster,” is its basic advice. We saw how the competition was doing -- lousy service, poorly made equipment -- and saw our way to break into the market.
Inc. Technology: How do you keep the business?
Chase: We offer a really good value for our customers. Our equipment is mostly a turnkey system. When it shows up at the site, it just needs to be plugged in, a few wires attached, and it’s ready to run. We also are really good at servicing our equipment and answering the phone.