PIRTEK makes sizable investment in headquarters; project team delivers
By Ken Datzman
Reprinted courtesy of Brevard Business News
ROCKLEDGE — When people think of franchising, they typically don’t think of hydraulic hoses. The hose-fitting business is not glamorous. But it is a repeat business venture.
A business founded by Peter Duncan in Australia more than 30 years ago, PIRTEK has changed the way entrepreneurs now think about this type of venture, especially in the United States where the company is seeing strong franchise growth.
In 1996, PIRTEK crossed the ocean and came to America. Today, it is the leading on-site provider of hydraulic hose replacement and associated services.
PIRTEK USA is the only franchise of its kind in the United States. It serves local markets, like Brevard County. Glenn Duncan is the chief executive officer of PIRTEK and son of the founder. He’s been in his current role with the company for the last three years and has PIRTEK reaching new heights as franchise growth has spiraled sharply upward in America.
The demand continues to grow for on-site hydraulic and industrial hose-replacement services that PIRTEK franchise operators provide in a quick and convenient way.
“When I came in as CEO, the plan was to develop the franchise network,” said Glenn Duncan, whose company recently moved into its new cutting-edge national headquarters facility on Gus Hipp Boulevard, a $10 million investment. “Then, we had 46 franchises and within three years that number has grown to 78. So, we have experienced some pretty good growth.”
He added, “The key to the growth has been the enthusiasm we have seen from everyone working within PIRTEK. We’ve got a great product. We’ve got a great business model that is very conducive to operating in the United States, and it’s about putting money back into the business. As we make money, we just keep rolling it back into the business.”
The new headquarters building is an example of PIRTEK investing in itself and in the community. “Just over the last three years alone, I have seen money be invested in Brevard in facilities and all types of things. And you can really see a difference in this county. We wanted to be part of that growth. It’s encouraging. And I have noticed the difference in the quality of applicants who have been applying for work at our company.”
Glenn Duncan was with PIRTEK in Australia as the international director. About three years ago, the Duncan family successfully acquired PIRTEK USA LLC. “We bought back the master license for PIRTEK USA.”
The acquisition creates further synergies across the Pacific, while strengthening PIRTEK’s existing partnerships in Africa, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and other regions.
In Florida, PIRTEK has 13 franchises, including one operator in Brevard County. PIRTEK is a business-to-business franchise.
“We’re not the type of franchise that has a store on every corner. We want our businesses to be well-established, in good territories where the operators can experience growth. We want profitable, happy franchise owners. If you have a franchise growing and serving a certain market, there is no need to split the territory in half,” said Glenn Duncan.
Clearly, PIRTEK has an innovative approach to service that sets the brand apart. It’s one of the most unique franchises in America, attracting all types of entrepreneurial-minded individuals.
Under the company’s model, knowledgeable service technicians meet customers on their job site, repairing a wide variety of hydraulic hose problems on the spot. That helps companies in industries from homebuilding and road repair to truck driving, minimize downtime and maximize profits.
The company boasts more than 400 Service & Supply Centers in more than 20 countries around the world.
As part of its strategy to grow in the United States, PIRTEK constructed a new headquarters and primary national warehouse, which is five times the size of its former facilities in Rockledge.
Sitting on 10 acres on Gus Hipp Boulevard in an industrial area, the two-story, state-of-the-art facility contains 20,000 square feet of office space and 120,000 square feet of warehouse space.
“We needed to establish a PIRTEK headquarters for North America and it had to be of a certain standard,” said Glenn Duncan, “because when people come here and are interested in buying a PIRTEK franchise, which is a big investment, they want to see something substantial backing them. That’s very important. We’re proud of our new facility. And we’re proud to have it in Brevard County.”
The local project team for the complex included: Rahal Development Corp., whose president is Nick Rahal Jr., who is also the broker for Rahal Real Estate; architect Dave Nagrodsky, principal at DNA Architects Inc.; and Diana Gonzalez-Villamil, vice president of interior design at American Business Interiors. Other team partners included the Construction Engineering Group and MEC Contractors-Engineers, the structural engineer.
“We think this is a showcase facility for the community,” said Rahal. “The building is employee-friendly in every way (contains a kitchen and an employee gym). Glenn (Duncan) loved the property and its location, which is in an industrial area close to Interstate 95 and U.S. 1. The property was large enough to accommodate all of his desires for the project.”
Nick Rahal Sr., his father, founded Rahal Real Estate about 40 years ago. “My father taught real estate at Brevard Community College in the 1960s and 1970s, and into the 1980s before opening his real-estate office. When I graduated from college in 1988, I opened the construction company. We do a wide range of commercial building, including very complex medical structures such as radiation therapy facilities.”
“The one thing we are really proud about is the fact that we were able to keep the business for this project on a local level,” added Glenn Duncan. “And Nick’s construction company was able to do that.”
“I was brought into the project when Glenn and Nick selected me to be part of the team, which I greatly appreciated,” said Nagrodsky. “I take my architecture very seriously and designing this building was something I really embraced. The $10 million budget really enhanced the creative aspects for the project.”
He continued, “Our firm essentially did the space planning of the interior and Diana and ABI came in and made it look impressive. Diana and ABI were very successful and I believe they achieved the look Glenn had envisioned. Nick’s company did a fantastic job putting the building together in an expeditious manner. We all worked well together as a team. This is an example of great teamwork. We certainly put our hearts into this project.”
The facility features aluminum panels and a lot of glass “creating the office-building look.”
“I’ve worked with Dave on many projects and we meld as a team,” said Gonzalez-Villamil. “So, we met with Glenn and he conveyed to us that he wanted the building to have an elegant industrial look. He might not have used those exact words. But we were pretty much given a free reign. He trusted us and was confident in our ability to deliver his vision for the building. And the materials and furnishings we used not only look pretty, but they perform. If you are not comfortable, pretty doesn’t take you anywhere.”
The facility currently houses 48 employees, with plenty of room for expansion. PIRTEK has about 3,000 employees worldwide, including 500 in the United States.
In a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house, PIRTEK hosted more than 150 guests from around the country, including franchise owners and local dignitaries. Peter Duncan traveled from Australia and had the honor of snipping the ceremonial ribbon.
“It was great to have so many of our people from around the United States join us to celebrate our relocation to this beautiful facility,” said Glenn Duncan.
“We needed a place to accommodate all the anticipated growth of the company in the coming years. The new headquarters will certainly fulfill that purpose.”
He added that the new headquarters “will provide us a much larger distribution center to support our increasing number of franchises across the country.”
The extra warehouse space will also enable PIRTEK to stock a wider array of products. “This will be more of a one-stop shop. We’ll be able to keep a much greater variety of inventory to serve our franchises, as well as more volume.”
When a piece of hydraulic or pneumatic equipment blows a hose, a PIRTEK technician is available 24 hours a day to perform the replacement from a Mobile Service Vehicle.
“Our Tier 2, ‘mobile-only’ option is one of the primary factors in our recent success,” Glenn Duncan recently told “Entrepreneur” magazine. “It’s opened up PIRTEK franchising to more people than ever before.”
Tier 1 ownership requires a brick-and-mortar location, he said, “but under the Tier 2 program, owners can keep inventory in a storage facility and lease two Mobile Service Vehicles.”
PIRTEK requires an upgrade to Tier 1 status within three years with a complete Service & Supply Center. PIRTEK continues to climb in “Entrepreneur” magazine’s “Franchise 500” list, having broken into the prestigious top 100. For 2017, PIRTEK was ranked No.78, a jump of 95 places over the previous year’s numbers.
PIRTEK has also cracked the top 50 in “Entrepreneur” magazine’s “Global 200” list at No. 42. The company expanded its product line in 2017, adding more than 100 offerings. The products include pressure-wash equipment and major additions to current hose lines. All of PIRTEK’s products now appear in a 445-page catalog, the company’s first.
PIRTEK has earned the ISO 9001:2015 certification. This is a quality management standard set by the International Organization for Standardization. The certification means PIRTEK has demonstrated the ability to provide its customers with quality products and services while meeting all regulatory requirements in accordance with the ISO 9001 standard.
The ISO, which sets standards for companies in more than 160 countries, first published the ISO 9000 in 1987. The ISO released the latest version of the standard in2015.
“ISO 9001 demonstrates our ongoing commitment to quality and regulatory compliance,” said Glenn Duncan. “It’s an objective standard that shows our customers that we value excellence and consistency. We take great care to be the best we can be.”
PIRTEK is also a company that is a good corporate citizen in the communities it serves.
Locally, PIRTEK increased its support of the Children’s Hunger Project by selecting the organization as its “primary charitable focus” during 2018.
The Children’s Hunger Project sends school children home with food in their backpacks, lightweight packages of easy-to-prepare meals, so there’s enough to eat on Saturday and Sunday.
Many of these children are recipients of free lunch programs at school, but often have too little to eat on the weekends.
“We chose this particular organization because it’s addressing an ongoing need, one that ought to concern everyone,” he said.
“In a nation of such abundance, no child should leave school on Friday and return Monday without having had enough nourishment over the weekend. Unfortunately, it’s more common than people realize, but this is an area where we can make a significant impact.”
Glenn Duncan added, “I am a firm believer in giving back to the community you live in. It’s very important as a good corporate citizen to give back to the community. It was the staff that picked the Children’s Hunger Project to be our recognized charity.”
With the new headquarters fully operational and PIRTEK seeing its brand visibility rise in America, Glenn Duncan said he’s looking for 2019 to be another year of franchise growth.
“We’re doing some sponsorships with the Team Penske organization. So, we are starting to get more into high-profile sports because our customer base is very male-oriented.”
PIRTEK was an associate partner of the 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series. The partnership with Team Penske through its XFINITY Series program provided some high–profile marketing and promotional opportunities for PIRTEK, working with the team and its drivers.
“With all the momentum we have behind us — the new headquarters, strong franchise growth, and a new marketing partnership — I think the company is well positioned to make gains in 2019. We have strong brand recognition in Australia and Europe, where we have been operating for three decades. We’ve only been in the U.S. for about 20 years. There is a big effort underway to ramp up our growth in America. We’re excited about 2019,” said Glenn Duncan.
Posted with permission from Brevard Business News
About PIRTEK USA
PIRTEK USA provides the fastest hydraulic hose replacement and industrial hose repair service with onsite mobile and service centers throughout the United States. Our ETA 1 hour on-site hose service, available 24/7, is a simple solution that minimizes equipment downtime and eliminates the need for our customers to leave their job site or facility to locate new hydraulic hoses and hydraulic fittings. Call PIRTEK – We’ll Keep You Operating! www.pirtekusa.com