As the old saying goes, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” That was certainly true for Brian Kengor, founder and president of Kengor Metals LLC. Kengor had been in the roofing and siding business serving industrial clients since 1995, but was disappointed in the lack of customer service focus at the companies he worked for. He says many of these suppliers didn’t devote as much attention to field support and technical assistance as he felt they should have.
“I thought that I could better serve my clients myself,” Kengor says, and in 2004 he set out to do just that by forming Kengor Metals. Today, the company has become one of the leading suppliers of industrial roofing and siding materials and conveyor covers, and the company’s customer service focus continues to be the foundation of its success.
Kengor says one of the primary reasons for the company’s success is its concentration on serving the specific needs of industrial customers, many of which are in the energy sector. “We’re more on the large-scale industrial side,” he says. “We deal with power plants and large engineering firms.”
Although other roofing and siding solutions providers try to cater to all customers by offering residential and commercial products, Kengor says this doesn’t necessarily mean they have what it takes in the industrial sector.
Much of the company’s work is done in the central and western United States. Kengor Metals already has worked for many of the companies involved in the Marcellus Shale region, and Kengor says the company is working to get involved in projects in the growing shale play.
Kengor Metals was founded on the principle that customer service should be a bigger focus of the industrial roofing and siding industry, and Kengor says the company continues to live up to that principle every day.
However, in the event that Kengor Metals is not able to help its customers, Kengor says it will not simply shrug its shoulders and walk away. Instead, the company will work to put a client in touch with another company within its network of partners and suppliers that can provide it with the service it needs.
A number of changes have affected the industry even in the short time since Kengor Metals was formed, Kengor says. Because of the recession, the company has had to become much more flexible in how it plans its work. “I would say trying to balance out our work schedule is a big challenge,” Kengor says. “In the past, the larger companies used to plan, and you had a backlog of work.”
Kengor says the company works to counteract this by staying in constant contact with its customer base. By being proactive rather than waiting for them to come to it with projects, Kengor Metals has a better idea of how much work may be coming its way in the near future and a better opportunity to plan ahead.
The other significant challenge facing Kengor Metals today is that many power plant projects have been put on hold by the federal government.
Despite these challenges, however, Kengor says the company is confident that it will continue to cast a long shadow in the marketplace because it is committed to going further than the competition. “We try to serve our clients and customers before the competition does, and it’s proved to work for us,” Kengor says. EMI