Safely Ahead of the Game
While the new structure still requires employees to report back to managers, Longo favors this management style because it allows employees to get things done quickly, without being hampered by an overseer.
"It was designed to be a quick strike force team, so we could prioritize work and execute it in the most efficient manner," Longo says.
The restructuring also led to additional jobs. Northern Safety's ranks swelled from 170 in June 2005 to 215 this past May.
Neil Sexton, president of Sexton's Market, the Trinidad, Colo.-based consultancy that Northern Safety has employed for several years, says the self-driven employee structure works well for the company. In particular, the management structure allows for rapid implementation of new ideas. "I've never met a company that can go from concept to strategy to execution like Northern Safety can," Sexton says.
Reach Out and Prospect
Part of what has allowed Northern Safety to grow so much in the past 10 years has been what Longo calls an "aggressive prospecting strategy." Indeed, Longo has increased circulation since the buyout of the company last year, and he plans to increase circulation of the company's 532-page big book by about 30 percent in the next 12 months.
Although the company won't identify the specific lists that have been producing positive results, Robin Fostini, executive vice president for strategic planning, says Northern Safety's best lists feature companies from the top 10 SIC codes, including agriculture, construction, manufacturing and mining.
MeritDirect's B-to-B cooperative database has been another significant source of names, Fostini says. Names modeled from this database regularly perform as well as, if not better than, some segments of the company's housefile.
Some the most unique sources of names for Northern Safety come from a name appending service offered by the sister company to Sexton's Market, TeleGreet.