Tell us a little about the history of your company.

Safehouse Signs was originally founded in 1977. In 1987, Doug Irvin came to work at Safehouse Signs from Norfolk Southern Railroad and purchased the company in 1991. The company has been located in Roanoke, Va., since its inception and is currently in its third and largest location. Safehouse Signs employs 25 full-time team members at its only manufacturing site.

What has been your company’s business strategy to gain market share?

Safehouse Signs’ strategy to gain market share is using manufacturers’ reps, utilizing a second to none, aggressive sales program, which offers our distributors the best of pricing, service and lead times. Finally, word of mouth has been a crucial factor in our growth.

Describe the core branded products of your company that you promote most heavily.

Core products for Safehouse Signs include our signs, tags, labels and lockout/tagout solutions.

How do distributors contribute to your success in the marketplace?

We maintain a quality working relationship with our distributors based on mutual commitment and loyalty. This is how distributors contribute most to our success.

Do you offer distributors training or other value-added services?

We offer one-on-one service to assist distributors in any way that they require assistance. We offer them access to our product knowledge as well as providing facility tours and a user-friendly website.

What business characteristics do you look for when selecting to work with a distributor?

What we look for in a potential new distributor is a commitment to excellence and great customer service and the willingness to help promote the product line.

Describe your current financial picture.

In the past five years, company sales are up 38 percent. We predict an average increase of 18 percent each year over the next five years, driven by our overall increased footprint across all areas of the nation, thanks to our online presence, increased representation, and our willingness to change to adapt to our distributors’ needs. Our commitment to the distributor is why the distributor stays with Safehouse and why new customers come on board with Safehouse.

What should distributors know about your company’s future, in terms of short- and long-range plans?

Our future solely depends on our distributors. We look to continue to grow in the future. Our short-term plan is the same as the long-term plan: Serve our distributors with the best priced product, with the best lead times and service that is second to none.