Dave Sharon, senior account manager; Leslie Lindeberg, office manager; and Doug Pitt, co-owner
2014 Economic Impact Awards 16-29 Years in Operation Winner: TSI Technology Solutions LLC
These days, local businessman and philanthropist Doug Pitt is splitting time between St. Louis and Springfield, following the 2013 merger of his 23-year-old company ServiceWorld Computer Center with St. Charles-based TSI Technology Solutions Inc., which specializes in audio and video, communications and security systems.
The union brings together the networking expertise of ServiceWorld with the large-scale multimedia capabilities of TSI, whose portfolio includes a diverse blend of corporate, educational, health care, hospitality and large-venue entertainment and stadium projects. Pitt says although the change is less than a year old, the two entities have good synergy and recognize the product they collectively offer gives a distinct advantage in the expanding markets it can reach.
“Our big advantage now is being able to sole-source every service under one roof,” Pitt says of the resulting company. “Clients love it, because we have design services and our (computer-aided drafting) team that can directly interface with their architects. But there’s only one face to look at. It’s all us.”
One of the first big post-merger projects for Pitt as a co-owner of TSI is St. Louis’ Edward Jones Dome renovation.
“It’s a real crown jewel,” Pitt says of the project, which is entering crunch-time as it prepares for the Rams preseason opener in August. “It’s a $4 million total renovation on our end – every speaker and amp, as well as some Cisco back end. We have 50 guys working two shifts. It’s all-hands-on-deck time.”
In addition to boosting the Springfield TSI staff to 24, Pitt says the merger provides an avenue to offer enhanced capabilities on both sides of the business. Despite a natural tendency toward top-flowing changes from the larger company in a merger, ServiceWorld’s prior experience allowed some upward impact.
“Traditionally TSI is project-based, where down here we’ve been more transaction-based, with regular companies that we’ve worked with for 20 years,” Pitt says, noting the combined company had 2013 revenue of $26 million. “They have had repeat customers, but more of their work has had a beginning and an end date. We’ve been able to show them that transactional side of the business.”
Citing new opportunities with builders such as Killian Construction Co., Pitt says he’s most excited about the local impact of the merger.
“This is where my heart is,” he says. “Ninety percent of our area businesses are 50 or fewer employees. It’s exciting to be able to bring these new capabilities to those types of local companies.”
Heart has always been a strong driver for both the local TSI staff and Pitt himself. Much of ServiceWorld’s collective community spirit was directed in support of Care to Learn, the charity Pitt founded in 2008 to meet the health, hunger and hygiene needs of Ozarks children.
Since its formation, Pitt estimates Care to Learn has funded services for more than 250,000 area children, amounting to more than $1 million in distributed aid across 12 school districts.
“We’re launching in St. Louis,” he says. “Warren County school district is already on board. That’s the biggest trickle-up effect [of the merger].”[[In-content Ad]]
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