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A Little Bit of Luck and A Lot of Hard Work

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NSG Life Safety caters to the multi-faceted needs of the construction industry pertaining to life safety systems, ranging from fire alarms to mass notification systems. The company offer a suite of services. Not only does it engineer the safety features, it also delivers, program systems and offers a detailed training program to assist the owners who use them. In addition to all this, the company offers aftermarket services for the lifespan of the product.

When NSG Life Safety was featured in Apeiron in August of 2021, it was noted that the company took no shortcuts. Unsurprisingly, since that feature the company has gone from strength to strength.

President at NSG Life Safety, Daniel Chauvin describes the company as a “one-stop-shop for large, complex systems in commercial buildings.” While it may seem like a grand claim, it is backed up by the figures. Every year since the company’s establishment five years ago, NSG has doubled in size. Incredibly, while we are only midway through the year, the company has performed this feat yet again. Chauvin calls this the “breakout year” for the company – something he depreciatingly puts down to “a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work.”

The company has grown exponentially since August of 2021, experiencing rapid growth, and doubling in sales as of June 2022. When asked about this, Chauvin said he would attribute the majority of the company’s incredible success to his skilled in-house team. “We have a really great group of players here that are extremely committed to the success of the organization and the satisfaction of our client base.” Furthermore, he believes that the team’s “commitment to [NSG’s] success is the key ingredient.”

NSG were fortunate to have foreseen the supply chain issues that are now taking the country by storm and were able to react quickly to counter them. The company stores materials to accommodate projects long before they are needed. Chauvin explains that many companies buy as needed, ensuring it is delivered just in time for the job, whereas NSG orders the materials up to a year in advance and will collect, inventory, store and insure the materials. This long-term approach allows the company to deliver on time, something that Chauvin describes as a “catalyst” to the company’s success.

This forward thinking is the result of a wealth of experience, gained over many years. Chauvin himself has been working in this industry for thirty-eight years and, understandably, can recognize what works and what doesn’t. As stated in last year’s article, the company does not take shortcuts. To emphasize this point, Chauvin explains that the work NSG does is very “detail-oriented.” He goes on to describe the importance of presenting drawings, engineering and every piece of information required for the contractor to install the product. Chauvin believes that this is what “keeps them coming back.”

NSG doesn’t “sell to everybody,” according to Chauvin. “We sell to a tight group of clients that respect us, pay their bills and give us business.” In turn, Chauvin states, the company’s many clients receive “extreme customer service” from the team who will go out of their way to answer questions and solve problem with a same day service. In addition to this, the company boasts a wide range of “top tier” products, with Chauvin explaining that “when you get into the larger complex of integrated solutions you need to have the best products.”

One of NSG’s key manufacturers, according to Daniel, is Johnson Controls (JCI), which offers a tier-one life safety system platform called Autocall which was launched in 2016. While there are now over one hundred dealers of the product, NSG was one of the first. This early adoption of the product has led to a keen understanding of how it works and why it is important for clients. To that end, NSG has consistently been the number one sales organization for the Autocall system and were recently awarded the Top Gun award in 2021. Chauvin explains that the detail used by the company combined with a deep well of knowledge has led to this success. “Because of our method to market, the way we do things, [and] the loyalty of our clients, we’ve been fortunate enough to be the number one sales organization for that product in North America, Canada [and the] United States of America since the inception of the award.” For the company, this recognition is very important, with Chauvin stating that it is “inspirational for our team to be recognized.” He goes on to explain that it “develops appreciation” while also sets the company “apart from our brothers who are selling it as well.”

Interestingly, Chauvin used the word competition, before replacing it with brothers – something which demonstrates the key facets of NSG’s success. While this is a company that is founded on success through hard work and merit, there is also a tangible sense of community and a drive for collaboration. As Chauvin speaks, the saying about rising tides lifting all boats springs to mind. He explains that the team regularly receives calls from dealers, looking for guidance and advice. With Autocall having at least three major dealers in every market, Chauvin explains how the team will happily help and give advice to those who are not in the same market as them. “At the end of the day its friendly competition, but competition nonetheless.”

As anyone that has followed the upward trajectory of NSG Life Safety can attest to, the growth the company is experiencing is expected to continue. Despite this, Chauvin acknowledges the importance of remaining cautious, saying that while he doesn’t foresee a problem with achieving the Top Gun award again, “if you get cocky you get taken out so we [have to] be humble and demonstrate some humility.”

NSG is trying to grow “intelligently” according to Daniel. The rationale for this approach stems from a desire to consistently offer top-quality service. Currently, the company has used this period of growth to invest in training the team. The result of this is the development of integrated security “at a higher level” – something which clients had been asking NSG to provide for a while. In order to ensure this development runs smoothly, the company has developed internal subsets that will handle integrated security. In a display of cyclical development, the team will emulate previous successes, operating in much the same way it did five years ago with the Autocall JCI systems. “That team started small and worked our way up. Only good things are going to happen from here on out.”

NSG has recently been awarded the Cleveland Rudman Federal Courthouse project in Concord New Hampshire, a design-build life safety solution to the GSA. The team was selected not based on price, but on performance, credentials and their approach to the complex retrofit of life safety systems in the facility. The company was also recently awarded the Massachusetts Department of Health Laboratories in Boston, a multi-building site which Daniel describes as a “difficult job” from an implementation standpoint. NSG was selected to provide the life safety systems while also doing the tier 2 engineering on it and the implementation plan.

NSG also recently completed a large-scale retrofit of their life safety mass notification system in the Biogen Building 8 – a two-story vivarium in Cambridge Massachusetts which “required some very unique signaling” to ensure the building could operate as normal. Despite the stress and intensity that comes from working on such complex and high-profile projects, Chauvin feels that they reflect how far the company has come. As he says, with a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, NSG Life Safety is continuing to scale new heights. “We are proud of these projects – to even be entertained is a big deal but to be selected speaks to how far we’ve come and the need to keep doing what we are doing.”

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