As many of us can attest from college days - having a roommate can be challenging. Yet, sharing space can have its rewards too, such as being able to afford a nicer location, dividing utility costs and shared responsibilities on upkeep. Other benefits include learning new and sometimes better practices; and, in the case of companies with similar but different areas of expertise, a willingness to work together and grow a larger presence in the local market.
This is exactly what sister companies Mutual Sprinkler and APi Systems Group (ASG) in Dallas, Texas, has done. General Managers Tim Walsh and Roddy Bieber saw their companies growing rapidly and both had run out of space for new hires. The two joined to find space large enough for current staff and future growth.
"I am surprised at how quickly the two companies have started to merge and work together," said Fred Bald, Mutual Sprinkler operations manager.
After a year of searching and several false starts the companies finally found the perfect property at 10575 Vista Park Road in Dallas, a 37,500 square-foot facility that is roughly three times the space of the combined former spaces of both companies.
"I love being in the new building with so much space," said Nancy Price, ASG office manager. "The building is beautiful, professional and makes a great impression on visitors, as well as making us proud of our surroundings."
The process of merging two entities with vastly different personalities was a challenge. Brainstorming on offices and cubes began in January. Grumbling from both sides and a bit of us versus them in the beginning. As the process proceeded, however, and construction began in March, the two companies pulled together to make the space a workable, pleasant environment and a sincere relationship began to form.
"I have enjoyed sharing the space with Mutual," Price said. "It is a great asset to have other people in the building who have other opinions and ideas when you come across a challenge."
Since the cohabitation began in late May, ASG and Mutual have bid more work together. It is common to see employees from both companies share lunch in the breakroom, discuss invoice concerns or collaborate over plans, prints and proposals.
On June 30 the two sister companies held an Open House for customers, vendors and families. More than two hundred guests attended the Open House Barbeque with all the fixings.
American Fire Protection Group (AFPG), parent company to Mutual Sprinkler, held its Town Hall meeting at the new Vista Park building in late July. Normally, AFPG would have rented a venue but the new ASG/Mutual building was more than able to accommodate the needs of the meeting.
The building features a large training room for presentations, several training rooms for sprinkler valve setup and fire alarm panel demonstrations, fitness room, large breakroom and space outdoors for seating.
The sister companies have united as a team with the same goal in mind: grow our businesses by working together.
ASG and Mutual Sprinkler are making their differences work in the new space they share. Both companies highly recommend this experience to other APi Group sister companies.
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