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Fitz Schultze is going on his fourth year at the helm of Stanley Schultze & Co. Inc., a family-owned company founded in 1941 that manufactures and installs commercial doors and windows. The Louisville native took over the company after his father died in 2000.
What changes have you made since taking over?
“We put in place new policies for tracking financial flows in relation to material costs, and we’ve made sure to place a much stronger emphasis on measuring cash flow.”
How have you worked to improve customer service?
“We’ve tried to streamline our service department. Some calls were taking a little longer to service than they should have. So we divided up the responsibilities a little more and made specific roles for specific things. We’ve also tried to revamp the parts department to make things a little easier to find.
“Of course, I think you are always trying to nurture existing relationships while trying to build new ones. We’ve gotten a few more national contracts on a national level, so that’s been exciting.”
What was it like to take over the business shortly after the death of your father?
“Well, I worked here as a kid, when I was probably 13 or 12, just sweeping floors. And I drove company trucks in high school and college. I was familiar with that end of it, but I never had any experience with the sales end of it. So that was a learning experience.”
What is one thing that you learned since you took over that you wished you would
have known going in?
“During this whole experience, I have found that you should try not to shy away or be intimidated by things that you are not familiar with, but embrace the challenge, give it 110 percent and overcome that challenge with the help of a little luck.”
Where do you see growth potential for your company?
“Probably in the new construction end. Being competitive in that market is something we’ve been working on for several years now. We’re trying to be a little more efficient. The better numbers we can submit out on these larger projects, the more successful we can be. But we have a pretty full staff right now, and our plate is full. We stay busy.”
How much of your company’s business is outside of Louisville?
“We have several jobs in Elizabethtown. One of the jobs we just finished in E-town was the E-town police department building. That was a nice size job. We’ve got a contract for a hospital in Bardstown as well. About 40 percent of our business happens out of Jefferson County.”
Does that make for some different challenges for you?
“On big jobs, you can plan ahead. You can choose guys from your current staff who live in that area to do the work, so there’s very little interaction with the shop for maybe six months with the larger jobs. We’ll have all the materials delivered to the site and all their tools are there.
Does that mean that you look for employees who live outside Jefferson County?
“No, not necessarily. We’ve got guys who live in Indiana. We’ve got guys who live in Rough River and drive an hour into the city every day. They don’t seem to mind. So that makes it easier on some of these kind of jobs. We’ve had very little turnover over the past three years, which I’m proud of.”
What steps have you taken to increase efficiency at the work site?
“Having fabrication capabilities is something we haven’t done much in the past; those capabilities allow us to make the doors and fit the glass right on the job. So that has been a resource improvement for us since that can save us time in shipping supplies back and forth.”
What are your goals for the year ahead?
“Continue to stay profitable and keep the workers content while trying to put our names on as many doors as possible.”