Within a family culture, nurture and inspire employees to deliver the highest level of craftsmanship and service.
The Pref-Tech Story by Shaun Castillo
In 2005, after five great years in the United States Army, I decided to leave the service. My wife and I were ready to start a family and I knew that the demands of the Army, especially during that time period, would limit my ability to be the soldier I had to be and the family man I wanted to be. I did have one big problem, though. I had no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go after separating from the Army. My simple plan was to spend a year or two in graduate school. I would find my next career during that time. My simple plan changed when I called my parents to tell them that I was leaving the Army.
My parents, Charlie and Trisha, owned and operated a cabling business, Integrated Telecommunications, Inc., between 1988 and 1999. In 1999, they merged ITI with several other companies to form a technology company that spanned the United States, Netversant Solutions. Because Netversant was a merger and several acquisitions took place in the first few years, Charlie and Trisha were able to gain wonderful insight into how other successful companies operated. In addition, they learned new lines of business, such as physical security. After five years with Netversant, however, my parents were ready to get back into small business. This motivated them to pitch me the idea of starting a new company during the phone call I mentioned earlier.
I did not agree to join my parents in the new venture at first. Luckily, my commander at the time was a great mentor. He tabled his unhappiness with my choice to leave the Army and helped me make the right decisions about what to do when I left. He recommended that I give the new company with my parents a try. If it did not work out, I could always go back to school then. I decided that he was right, discussed the plan with my wife, and made a commitment to start a company with my parents. I had no idea what to expect, so made a simple agreement with myself. I was going to work as hard as possible to make the company great and do so with the same set of values that the Army instilled in me (Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage).
My mother established Preferred Technologies, Inc. as a Texas corporation on May 2, 2005. I joined the company in August and started with rebuilding an old, worn-out trailer to use as an office. During the day, I worked on that trailer. At night, my father taught me how to design cabling systems, estimate them, sell them, and install them. He also gave me direction and resources to develop my understanding of the physical security market. My father officially joined us as an employee on September 1, 2005. He was able to sell our first job quickly thereafter. Preferred Technologies, Inc., which we called Pref-Tech, generated income for the first time by installing a data and voice cabling system on two floors of an office building. The company has grown and evolved significantly since those early days!
From 2005 until now, Pref-Tech has successfully executed projects ranging from small data cabling jobs to large, complex, integrated security systems in environments ranging from portable classroom buildings to international airports. In all cases, we have differentiated ourselves and continue to differentiate ourselves from our competition by following these business principles:
- Private Ownership: My father and I are the only owners and we both participate in operating the company. We, therefore, are not influenced by outside investors and manage every aspect of the company’s operations. We focus on improving our employees’ lives and delivering high-quality work to our customers with excellent service. Most of our competition focuses on delivering revenue and profit for shareholders.
- Self-Performance: We believe in executing 100% of a project with our own employees. We do this for one simple reason. We can control quality better that way.
- Competence: Our customers expect us to be experts in what we do. We, therefore, invest heavily in developing and maintaining our competencies. We have a great team of employees that can execute tasks ranging from aerial cable installation to custom software development. Put simply, we know what we are doing!
- Project Management: Projects today are often complex. We believe that well-trained project managers are necessary to deliver the projects on time, to standard, and within budget constraints. Our project managers brilliantly negotiate project conditions, understand contractual obligations, and masterfully manage resources to achieve successful project completion.
- Trust Relationships: We feel that we must establish trust relationships with our customers and vendors if we are to achieve long-term success. We, therefore, operate with honesty, fairness, and transparency.
Our business principles have proven themselves to be valuable. Today, we have a long list of satisfied customers, happy employees, and financial stability. We expect the trends to continue.