This year has been a one that everyone will remember. Business as we knew it took a dramatic change as a global pandemic combined with government rules and regulations forced businesses to adapt and revamp their normal business operations. At Stainless Structurals America, 2020 brought on a transformation that will reshape our future.
Customer Service at the Forefront
When the Covid pandemic hit in early March, like many other companies across the globe, Stainless Structurals implemented a work-from-home policy for the sales force and restricted company travel. Our normal business development strategies such as exhibiting at trade shows, visiting customers and presenting in-person lunch and learns to engineers and architects were prohibited by these restrictions. We knew we had to quickly adapt and find alternative ways to provide exceptional customer service. With all of the sales team working from home, it was quickly determined that fresh tactics would be necessary. In late March, we implemented LiveChat on our website. This chat function gave the sales staff the ability to respond to customers in real-time with instant access to information about products and services. Now 8 months after implementation, LiveChat has become a routine tool of our sales staff and has contributed in many positive ways to the total customer experience.
In-person Lunch & Learns to engineers, architects, and distributors is a very important means for our team to educate those on our products, material specifications, and the laser welding process. Not only was the Stainless Structurals team working from home, but also so were the majority of our customers and potential clients thus eliminating these in-person presentations. We quickly adapted by verifying that our course credits would apply for virtual presentations and we implemented both Zoom and Microsoft Teams accounts to continue to educate our clients in a virtual setting.
Expanding our Footprint and Resources
The most exciting endeavor for Stainless Structurals this year was the expansion of our manufacturing facility in Conroe, Texas. The construction project, which was completed in June of this year, added 110,000 SQ FT of warehouse space bringing our total footprint to 230,000 SQ FT. In total, our campus consists of 44 acres with further room for future expansion. The additional space from our expansion gave us an opportunity to bring in new manufacturing and production equipment. This September, we added what we call “The Cathedral”, a brand new 16kW fiber optic laser welder. This new welder has drastically changed our capabilities and product parameters. We can now produce laser welded structural sections up to 36” x 20” (profile dependent) with a full penetration weld up to 1-1/4” for beams, channels, angles, and tees and a weld penetration of 5/8” for structural tubing. The added lasers have also allowed us to go to market with much shorter lead times for standard profiles.
Along with new equipment, Stainless Structurals rolled out a new product line this year. We can now produce sharp cornered carbon steel profiles at our Texas facility. Many AEC projects require a domestic product and we can now provide that in carbon steel. Our carbon profiles are produced with the same laser welding technology as our stainless products and adhere to the same A6 tolerances and guidelines. This product offering provides critical solutions where the designer prefers sharp corners but does not have the need or budget for stainless steel.
The Resources to help you Grow
While this year has been unlike any other, Stainless Structurals is committed to maintaining our high level of customer service and quality products. We have made the investments in people, products, equipment, and services to help all of our customers continue to grow and prosper. Our team is ready to assist you with your next project. Contact us today for more information.