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Standing Apart, Staying Strong

Mcn  Success Story  Dec14 3

A can-do spirit energizes this one-stop shop

In 2001, three friends got together with a dream and a goal to create a steel building company that does things better than other companies. Since that time their company, SteelCo Buildings Inc. has done just that, having grown into a brand known throughout the construction and steel building industry for superior steel buildings and service. It now bills itself as "Your One Stop Shop." Located in Covington, Ga., it designs, sells and constructs steel buildings for a wide variety of business and personal needs and purposes. As a local design-build general contractor, it specializes in commercial, agricultural and industrial buildings.

There are several things that make SteelCo stand out from the other metal building companies. "Apart from specializing in metal building structures that can be drop shipped anywhere in the continental United States, we are also a general contractor for the state of Georgia," says Jason Smith, vice president of construction at SteelCo. "Our crew will travel to any site within the state to complete a turnkey project whether it's a metal structure or not. Our general contracting division will build with any material and work to complete any design the customer has in mind."

Some of the components on every SteelCo steel building include:

• Solid I-beam columns and rafters

• Lifetime fasteners

• Vinyl-reinforced insulation

• Formed base trim, which offers moisture resistance

• 20-year paint warranties

• 26-gauge roofing and siding

"SteelCo is part of a highly competitive industry and we are a highly competitive company," Smith says. "Since we are relatively young, we have had to make our mark against older, more established competitors, and we have done so through a combination of superior quality and workmanship, aggressiveness, determination, innovativeness, personalized service and relationship-building. After only 10 years in business, our competitive, can-do spirit has marked us an instantly recognizable brand in steel buildings, and a force to be reckoned with."

 

Customer care

SteelCo works constantly to increase its knowledge of the ever-changing world of steel construction. Its salesmen stay up-to-date with new regulations and trends in the steel building world so it can offer customers the newest, most energy-efficient products at the best possible price. This is all part of its original plan to build the company's success with consistent repeat customers and referrals.

"Our customer service is hard for other companies to compete with," says Denny Hewell, vice president of sales at SteelCo. "We are always trying to go above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction. We can honestly say that SteelCo has succeeded in accomplishing that. Our customers that come back time and again to order or refer their friends to us are the proof. Our level of customer service from the beginning to the end of each project is what allows us to stay in business and grow. We don't just get a signature on our contracts and end service there. We work with our customers until the project's completion to ensure that their every need has been met and exceeded."

Over the years, SteelCo's design team has met several customer project challenges that required custom design and special attention. For instance, the Elizabethtown, Ky.-based Schmidt Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia building incorporated the owners' large amount of Coca-Cola memorabilia into its design. The owner specifically requested a Coke with a hand wrapped around it, an original piece that was commissioned by a local artist, to be coming out of the side of building. The SteelCo crew went to the drawing board to make the owner's dream come to life and delivered a successful project.

 

Economics and expansion

SteelCo is willing to take on almost any construction project-another reason SteelCo has sustained and thrived during tough economic times. As a company, it is not limited to specific project types. Its first love is metal buildings but it has several projects that require repair, remodels and updates of diverse building materials.

"The past few years have put a major strain on the economy and the construction industry has been one of the hardest hit," says Smith. "We managed to stay strong during that time because of responsible leadership and management of company investments. We're also very blessed to be in an amazing community that supports its local businesses by pushing local purchases first."

In response to increased client demand for a centralized Carolina location, SteelCo opened a satellite office in Mt. Airy, N.C., in July 2014. To manage this new office, SteelCo employs Eric Aparicio as its newest client solutions and steel building specialist. He has extensive experience in construction, specifically having a dedicated history in the metal building industry. "Aparicio gives us a great advantage to gain market share," says Hewell. "His knowledge in sales and steel buildings allows for customers to have an experienced rep closer that can walk them through the entire design to purchase process. We have had a great start and look forward to adding two more reps in that facility by the end of 2015."

The transition from one office to having a main office and a satellite office has gone more smoothly than anyone at SteelCo initially anticipated. Its salesmen are all trained at the main office and all communications are executed from the main office. "This has allowed the North Carolina office total freedom to focus on its clients and its sales rather than the day-to-day operational practices," says Hewell. "So far, the new addition has proven to be successful and permitted SteelCo to consider opening additional satellite offices in other parts of the country."

And after 14 years of exponential growth, its buildings can be seen all over the county. Many of its customers assume that it is a large operation based on the scale of its products. However, SteelCo is comprised of a small team of people with fewer than 15 employees. "Together, we work very hard and everyone is willing to pitch in to get the task done," Smith says. "It's very much like a family here at SteelCo."

Company Profile

Year Founded: 2001

Location: Covington, Ga.

Geographic Areas of Service: Georgia and North Carolina

Services Offered: pre-engineered metal building kits, custom-designed steel buildings, design-build services

Number of Employees: 15 employees

Metal Building Square Footage Installed:
2014: 648,000 square feet
2013: 632,000 square feet
2012: 360,000 square feet
2011: 360,000 square feet

Revenue:
2014: Revenue Projection: $6.5 Million
2013: $6.3 Million
2012: $4.1 Million
2011: $4 Million

Management team:
Jason Smith, Vice President of Construction
Denny Hewell, Vice President of Sales