Many businesses spend endless years and countless dollars working toward a self-defined goal of success. This may be defined by profit, number of customers, the reach of the company, or perhaps even holding onto the core values that underpinned the company in the first place.
However anyone chooses to define success, there are some constants to be considered if we are to look at success objectively. For Building Envelope Systems – which started out in 2012 with four people and 3000 square feet of manufacturing space and now, seven short years later, touts 50,000 square feet and sixty-five team members – it’s impossible to argue that it hasn’t been hugely successful.
Located in the great state of Massachusetts and serving the greater New England area over the past decade, Building Envelope Systems (BES) specializes in automated structural steel fabrication, miscellaneous metals fabrication, exterior architectural panels, and design/build projects. With its quick success, it’s no surprise that BES is always training its in-house labor force to be better and provide a greater range of technical expertise to the diverse projects at hand. With expertise in a range of areas from the apartment and condominium markets to medical and office buildings, warehouses, corporate headquarters, and even private schools, Building Envelope Systems has brought its expertise and modern design approach to a wide number of markets.
“We do projects from twenty thousand dollars to three million dollars,” said Brett Miller, President of Building Envelope Systems. “We design buildings, engineer them, fabricate them and erect them.”
A streamlined process
Within this breadth of expertise, BES tackles approximately a hundred projects each year, adding up to a staggering one hundred thousand hours of combined work annually. The typical structural steel project goes through a number of important steps to ensure the client’s wishes are met, right down to every specific requirement of the building. Starting out working with the client, BES will draw up the initial shop drawings in 3D and 2D modeling, which will then be used in the engineering and calculations phase before then moving on to fabrication drawings. On the structural and miscellaneous metals side the material is then received at the shop from BES’ vendors and sorted into zones; this is done to increase efficiency on each project by organizing materials where they will be most needed before construction begins. On the metal panel side the shipments are sent to the field in zones for installation by their teams.
The majority of structural steel processed by BES is handled with automated processes, which leads to a very high standard of accuracy in the finished pieces and improves the speed of the work. During fabrication, portion parts are laid out on the beams and tack welded so as to be held in place until final welding can take place. Once final welding is completed, i pieces are moved to the painting station as needed; if not, or when completed, the structural steel is ready for transport and ready for erection. Finally, in the erection phase, BES’ vendors for metal panels equally utilize highly sophisticated metal panel automation for processing which aids in the accuracy and quality of the product they install in the field.
BES prides itself on its unique setup that sees the company provide all of the structural steel, miscellaneous metals, and metal panels products services under one roof. Having a single source from which the entire project is derived allows for very specific job coordination, bringing the construction process along faster and more efficiently than the competition. This goes hand in hand with BES’ customer-focused business structure that treats the client like family and ensures that every relationship is long-lasting and not just a one-time meeting. Maintaining this approach has been a major staple of Building Envelope Systems’ success and it shows when taking into account the steady stream of clients who seek out BES’ expertise. “It’s all word of mouth,” said Miller. “People find us or hear about us and invite us to look at their projects.”
Evolving with the industry
It’s been said that if something isn’t broken then don’t try to fix it, but that doesn’t exactly ring true for a company like BES that stays on top of new ways to be innovative and bring even more value to itself and the customer. Operating as an almost entirely paperless company is a major feat, even in this digital age, but BES has been making it work for some time. This is coupled with updating its automation processes with the newest technology engineering has to offer; even the shop fabrication work is performed on iPads. From material tracking to completion, Building Envelope Systems knows exactly what part of the project is done, when it was done and how long it took in real time, and uses technology to closely monitor costs as part of a larger initiative to reduce waste.
“We try to never be satisfied with what we can do today as being the end-all. We have always pushed ourselves to strive to improve and change our processes to be better for the future,” Miller explained.
Going forward, Building Envelope Systems will remain true to what it believes is the healthy approach to improving the way it does business. BES is always looking for new ways to increase revenue to expand not only its operations but the way in which those operations are performed, further increasing its reputation for quality and efficiency. Being known as the reliable and forward-thinking choice for handling client projects isn’t a far-off goal but a distinct reality for the near future.
A specialist in its field
Building Envelope Systems has been well established in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, and will continue to further establish its hold on those markets. By providing not only the steel structure of a building to a client but also exterior metal panel systems and miscellaneous metals, the company has perfectly encapsulated three major sectors under one roof and expertly delivers them with quality and efficiency.
From the design and build phase, to the engineering and drafting, to the fabrication and erection, Building Envelope Systems intends to be known for all of its diverse specialties, right down to its robust use of automation and paperless tracking. BES was even nominated for the small business of the year award by the Northeast division of the Small Business Association. So not only is Building Envelope Systems being recognized for its efforts by its clients who spread the good word but also by the authorities on who and what makes a business successful in the eyes of society.
As Miller said, it is key to “run the company like a family and treat everyone like they belong here – and give the same impression to your clients.”