by: Kelly, Patrick C.
Source: Fast Company, Issue 6
We've built a successful company around a well-defined business opportunity: delivering supplies and equipment to doctors with unrivaled speed and great service. We started Physician Sales & Service (PSS) in 1983 and had revenues of less than $2 million our first year. Since then we've grown at an average annual rate of nearly 50%. Today we have 2,400 employees, with annual revenues projected at $700 million. We went public in 1994 at $3.67 per share. Our stock has traded as high as $33 per share. We are, to be direct, the fastest-growing company in the history of our industry.
None of this would have happened without our commitment to sharing the wealth with our people. Nearly every PSS employee has stock in the company; as a group, employees control 30% of the equity. And meaningful ownership is not limited to the top. One of our truck drivers, a young fellow who's been with the company from the early days, owns stock worth $850,000. He's done well -- but others have done even better. Depending on our stock price, we have 150 to 200 millionaires working at PSS.
It's a pretty basic concept: if you're prepared to do whatever it takes to satisfy your customers, and you're willing to extend the benefits of success to your people, you can achieve extraordinary results. I get the concept. Our customers get the concept. More than a few Wall Street money managers get it -- and have earned fabulous profits as a result. But lots of bankers and money managers don't seem to get it -- no matter how hard we try to explain things.
Link: My Struggle with Wall Street
Publication Date: 1996-12-31