A conversation with Jeff Lange of RedGuard

Jeff Lange, founder of RedGuard (formerly A Box 4 U), believes the success of a company depends entirely on the people. A successful team will be engaged and will also be able to see the company’s future and tell the company’s story. BIC Magazine recently visited with Lange to learn more about working with great people in the right ways and the importance of keeping an open dialogue with your team.

Q: What led you to start RedGuard?

A: What led us there was the interest in working with a simple metal box. We first started as a portable storage company in 1998. We liked the idea that this was universally transportable on any ship, train or truck around the world. There are very few products that are so universal. The other thing was we were always looking for a value add opportunity — not just working with the simple metal box but also making modifications and value adds to that simple metal box that would make a difference.

Q: Why is RedGuard successful?

A: We have experienced success because of our people. We are driven to have the right people on our team and the wrong people not on our team. It’s just as important to them — and to us — to have the right people doing the right things. If someone isn’t really the right person, they’re going to flourish a lot better at a different organization.

Every one of our people is totally engaged. They see our future. They can tell our story. You can’t catch them not working. Everybody is driven to have great ideas. We have honest dialogues about improvements and things they’re maybe not doing exactly right and how things could be done better. There is open dialogue and discussion about those thoughts and ideas. Doing those things and working with great people in the right ways has made us successful.

Q: What is the biggest news at RedGuard right now?

A: No question the biggest news with our company is our new name. We made that decision because of our growth and our success, and the fact that we’ve built such a strong team of people. We have a fantastic critical mass of very talented people and, through all of that, it’s kind of like graduating from one level of school and growing up to the next level of life. Our company has made that same evolvement and we’re certainly quite advanced from where we started. As we looked forward to what our future goals were, we felt like it was time for us to create a new branding message and a name change to go along with that.

Q: Do you have any plans to grow/expand RedGuard through acquisitions and mergers?

A: Yes, we do. In 2013, we made the conscious decision that acquiring the right companies makes sense for us because of the critical mass we have in our company. We’ve reached a size where that starts making sense.

We recently acquired a portable storage company. Even though the majority of our revenues come from the blast-resistant building business (LeaseFleet, SafetySuite and Cover Six Shelters), we still have the portable side of our business. We see that as a vital part of our business, and the logistics and service to our clients. Each portable storage site serves as a staging facility to better serve our LeaseFleet customers no matter where they are located. We are actively looking for the next acquisition. For us, it’s not so much about mergers as it is about acquisitions.

Q: What are you reading right now?

A: We as a company drive a culture about reading Jim Collins’ books. We hand out Collins’ four books to each new employee. Our company culture and business philosophy totally align with the balance of all of those books — studying the downtimes of business, how to do things right, how to spin the flywheel and how to get the right people on the bus. All four of Collins’ books are very important not just to me but to all of us at the company.