Growing and improving Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2010

Twenty-seven years ago, Watco Companies Inc. got its start at the kitchen table in the home of Dick and Kaye Lynne Webb. Today, Rick Webb continues the family legacy as CEO of what has become a national railroad transportation provider that spans 26 states and employs nearly 2,000 people.

The company’s long-term strategy and corporate culture is centered around its customers, and Webb and his team strive to satisfy all of their requirements to make them completely happy. At the same time, he also strives to grow revenue and maximize profits.

In addition to growing the business and meeting customer needs, Webb has also strived to improve safety in the company. He and his team initiated an improved safety program in 2003 with a goal of reducing accidents by 50 percent each year. Since rolling out the program, Watco has achieved this goal, which not only comes with the obvious benefits of increased safety for the work force, but it also has meant a safety record better than the industry average and lowered costs and risks associated with operating the business. Additionally, they’ve improved the quality and reliability of their services by achieving this safety goal.

Looking toward the future, Webb is focused on internal growth by continuously improving efficiencies and investing in safety and maintenance of the tracks and equipment. He’s also interested in achieving growth through completing selective acquisitions. He has completed 37 acquisitions since the company’s inception.

Since taking over as the CEO in 1998, Watco’s revenue has grown significantly, resulting in a compound annual growth rate of 18 percent. This kind of growth is attributed directly to Webb and his team’s intense focus on effectively implementing their guiding principles of improving customer satisfaction, improving profitability and return on assets, and reaching their long-term vision.

How to reach: Watco Companies Inc., (620) 231-2230 or