Stop 11: Pacific Western Sales
Brea, CA

Ask Lyndsey Tidwell what makes his company tick, and he has a ready answer – even for visitors who pop into his office on a Sunday morning. “The little things add up to a lot here,” says Tidwell, who is the co-owner of supplier firm Pacific Western Sales (asi/75731), along with his father-in-law Tom Clements. “We really value our employees and recognize that without them, we can’t go anywhere. That’s why we make sure to do the little things that they notice.”

Like the simple gesture of moving a time clock. Tidwell had heard complaints from his customer service employees that they had to punch into a time clock downstairs in the warehouse. A very simple thing had caused angst among his work force, so Tidwell bought an additional digital time clock last year and placed it in the customer service department where it was easily accessible. “It seems small, but it’s big to them,” Tidwell told us while touring around his company that includes an 80,000-square-foot warehouse in Brea, CA. “I want them to feel wanted, so you have to make sure they don’t have anything that makes them upset.”

Tidwell and Kaili Yang, the company’s West Coast sales manager, have opened the doors of Pacific Western Sales for us on a Sunday, and it’s clear that they have a great workplace – even if nobody’s around on this Sunday morning. The 100-person company throws birthday parties once a month and hosts quarterly luncheons where employees are acknowledged for great work and management can provide updates. “It’s vital for us to find time to talk about where we are as a company and where we’re headed,” Tidwell says. “I think you have to keep people informed if you want them to feel a part of something bigger than just their day-to-day jobs.”

And employees here definitely have that feeling. “We really focus on the little things to make sure we bring people together and create a community in the office,” says Yang. “There’s a good feeling of togetherness, and it’s exciting that we all know we’re a part of a growing company.”

Indeed, Pacific Western has so far in 2011 experienced a 40% growth rate over 2010, and Tidwell says the company is investing in new products and an office expansion that will allow it to accommodate new hires for the remainder of 2011. The reason for the success? Tidwell attributes it to his employees. “It’s the positive attitude of our people,” he says. “Our culture shows that people will do anything to get the job done. When you have a happy workplace, it all works well.”

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