Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - 114

Civil | COUGAR SALES & RENTAL

tions. In fall 2017, the Occupational Safety
and Health Administration (OSHA) began
enforcing most provisions of a new rule for
containing silica dust, which can put workers
at serious risk of lung disease, lung cancer,
kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Silica dust is often created
when common minerals such as stone are
cut, ground or crushed during construction.
Those new regulations have increased
interest in high-efficiency particulate air
(HEPA) vacuums, whose filters can trap
micron-sized particles such as silica dust. "A
lot of contractors are scrambling to meet the
OSHA requirements," Schmitt says.

its own fleet of seven delivery trucks, giving
contractors the option to have equipment
delivered directly to the construction site
or to pick it up themselves from Cougar's
warehouse. Customers can then use the
equipment for as long as they need, with
rental agreements covering daily, weekly or
monthly terms.
The company has a few international
customers, but its focus remains southeast
Michigan. It typically sells as far west as
Lansing, Mich., north up to Flint, Mich., and
south to Toledo, Ohio. "There's so much here
it's almost overwhelming to try to keep up,"
Schmitt says, adding that Cougar risks com-

Customer-Driven Growth
Cougar's ability to solve problems for its customers has created a few problems for itself
- the kind that every business wants. With
several record sales years since 2013, Cougar
has struggled to keep pace with its steady
growth pattern. Schmitt estimates that the
company is two or three employees short of
where it needs to be; however, finding and
recruiting talented workers has been difficult
in a low unemployment market.

"There's things
going on here
that aren't
going on in
other parts of
the country."
Cougar has coped with those hiring
challenges by working with local placement
agencies and junior colleges to find recruits.
Word of mouth from current workers and
referrals from customers have also helped
to fill some positions. Its employees have
helped out by putting in 12- to 14-hour days
to ensure the needs of every customer are
met. "Our people have just really embraced
that and taken up the slack," Schmitt says.
In addition to adding workers, Cougar
has invested in new equipment to meet
growing demand. The company maintains

114

CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM VOLUME 16, ISSUE 1

ability to solve
ยป Cougar's
problems for its customers has
helped it achieve record sales.

promising its customer service if it extends
itself outside of its territory. "We're just trying
to maintain the growth that we have and not
let our customer service drop off."
Keeping true to that promise is why
Cougar has reached record sales multiple
years since 2013. The company does not
take out ads in publications or promote
itself. Instead, its main source of advertising is word of mouth - tying its continued
success to satisfied customers. "You're going
to get good-quality equipment at a fair
price," Schmitt says. "The customers truly
believe that and they pass that along, and
it's spawned a lot of new business."


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1

Contents
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - Cover1
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - Cover2
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - 1
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - Contents
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - 3
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - 4
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