Editor’s note: This is the first in a monthly series of profiles on minority or women-owned companies that do business with HISD. The district’s minimum M/WBE goal levels are 20 percent for all levels of purchasing and construction and 25 percent for professional services. In the 2007 bond program, that commitment reached nearly 34 percent. In the 2012 program, the contracts awarded to date reflect a nearly 51 percent M/WBE commitment.
Name of business: FAS Industries, LLC.
Number of employees: 8
Years in business: 6
Answering the questions: FAS Industries President Vincent Griggs
Q. What is the business background of the owners?
A. More than 16 years’ experience in appliances, furniture and electronics retail.
Q. Why did you start (or purchase) this particular business?
A. It has always been a dream to own my own business. When the opportunity presented itself, I didn’t hesitate.
Q. What makes your business unique?
A. Exceptional customer service. Since we are a small business we are able to do things that larger companies won’t do or are too slow to do. For example, Bush Elementary School ordered a commercial washer and dryer that were on backorder for quite some time. FAS Industries decided to offer the school a loaner washer (at no cost to HISD) that they could use until the specific items they ordered are available. We are able to offer solutions like these because we value, care and understand our customers’ needs. FAS Industries is committed to do our part to make sure HISD is able to meet its mission and vision.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your chosen profession?
A. It’s all about helping others.
Q. What has been the biggest or most interesting challenge to overcome as a business owner?
A. Keeping up with growth. When we were awarded a contract with HISD, we were pleasantly surprised with the amount of purchase orders that a school district of this size executes on a normal basis. As a small business, access to working capital is vital to fulfilling purchase orders. HISD has stood by us every step of the way to make sure that we are successful by doing things like allowing us to move from a net 30 invoice to a net 15 invoice so that we can keep up with the large volume of orders.
Q. What advice would you give M/WBE firms seeking to do business with HISD?
A. Be patient and determined at the same time. Growth and determination that is based upon sound business practices will guide you to success. Be patient and enjoy watching your business go to the next level.