PIRTEK Kent and PIRTEK Seattle, owned by Gregory Shideler, are unique in comparison to most of the other Service and Supply Centers within the franchise network. Due to their proximity to the Port of Seattle, the teams at these Washington locations have become specialized in hydraulic operations aboard large seafaring vessels. Home base for hundreds of fishing vessels, this port is one of the largest and busiest in the world.
While both of these PIRTEKs do, of course, welcome customers from manufacturing, engineering, construction, and other industries, the majority of their large projects are maintaining the US Coast Guard, US Navy, NOAA, and large fishing boats that dock at the busy port. They also report regularly to the various shipyards located within a mile of their Seattle shop.
It is no easy feat to win the trust of the armed forces, as well as seasoned fishing boat captains – who rely on their ships’ hydraulic hoses and other equipment to keep them afloat, both literally and figuratively. Some of the hoses and fittings aboard the military ships are part of their missile systems and require special security clearances to work on them. Technical Sales Manager of both Seattle area PIRTEK franchises, Bill Rose, says that it took a lot of leg work on the part of owner Gregory and himself to secure the initial projects on these boats.
Bill explains, “no one is going to drop a great opportunity to do a huge job in your lap.” He says it is their philosophy to always “be hungry,” and not shy away from asking for someone’s business.
Past the initial introduction, Bill and Gregory are vigilant in following up on leads. If the men hear that a particular boat is going to be due for hose replacements or other work at a certain time of year, they make sure to reach out and make themselves available. Bill explains, “even if our PIRTEK employees have never been on the boat, or never spoken to anyone on it, there are ways to do research, find a phone number or a way to get in front of the right person.”
PIRTEK Kent and PIRTEK Seattle have earned quite a reputation for themselves throughout the port. Word travels quickly of a job well done, and they receive plenty of referrals to sister ships and affiliated vessels. In the case of one company, Bill and Gregory put in a bid for a large job which required hundreds of hoses but were ultimately underbid by a competitor. The customer chose to go with the other hose service. However, when it came time to complete the project, the competitor was unable to produce the hoses that were needed and ended up having to purchase the hoses from PIRTEK Seattle to complete the work. Word spread, and the customer made the switch to PIRTEK for their hydraulic hose needs after that.
According to Bill, the success of PIRTEK Kent and PIRTEK Seattle is a direct result of the teamwork and integrity that they have instilled in their employees. He says that every team member is encouraged to practice these core values:
- Safety first – No job is worth doing if it can’t be done safely.
- Strive for perfection – Do the job by the book and double check your work every time.
- Be a team player – have each other’s back, & support your coworkers.
- Make a promise and keep it – exceed expectations for every customer.
- Remember that every job builds the reputation of the business
Bill adds, “whether our MSSTs are working on-site to complete a major project, or picking up an extra on-call week for their coworkers, they give 100%.” PIRTEK isn’t a 9 to 5 job for us – we take pride in going the extra mile.”
Bill isn’t shy about singing the praises of his employees. He is proud of the reputation that they have built as a team, through consistent quality work. He raves about Frank Vierra – who runs the Kent franchise – and his precise measuring skills. He recounts an instance where Frank was sent to a small town in Alaska to measure 231 hoses for a barge. Using his notes, they were able to fabricate over 100 hoses for the client from their center back in Washington, and all of them fit perfectly.
Lead technician, Abel Dressel is referred to by Bill as his #1 hose smith. He brags that Abel knows all the fittings by heart, and impresses everyone he works with. He has equally kind words in regards to MSST’s Eric Hanson, Nathan Wolfe and shop technician, Christian Thomas. Bill adds that the two PIRTEKs rely on the superb organizational and administrative expertise of dispatcher Melanie Terrian, and accountant Tami Snider.
Bill includes that the training provided by PIRTEK USA is very helpful, allowing his team to do better work than competitors. The extensive research & sales support provided by the management team sets their franchises apart from other hose suppliers in the field.
The only franchise brand of its kind in the United States, PIRTEK USA specializes in hydraulic and industrial hose services from its locations throughout the country. PIRTEK USA team members are available 24/7 to provide onsite repairs to hydraulic and industrial hoses, thanks to the company’s specially equipped Mobile Service Vehicles. PIRTEK boasts more than 400 franchise locations in 23 countries around the world, including 97 in the United States.
Gregory and Bill are striving to make the Greater Seattle Area PIRTEK franchises the best in the US. Bill is confident that they will achieve this goal, citing the importance of marine & large projects for the future of their business. In his words, “these big jobs have carried their team through the COVID-19 pandemic, and have kept every single one of their employees working – so that they haven’t had to lay anyone off.” He adds, “Where other industries have slowed down as quarantines and shutdowns have taken place around the country, we’ve stayed busy.” So, while PIRTEK has done its part to keep the Port of Seattle and surrounding businesses operating, those customers have done the same in return.