Over Half a Century of Success

Fabral
Written by Claire Suttles

Since its founding in 1967, Fabral has grown to become a major supplier of metal cladding and has taken part in some of the largest building projects in the United States. Construction in Focus sat down with Marketing Manager Michael Vaughn to learn the details behind the enduring success of this multi-site business’s lasting success.

It starts with experience. “We’ve done it for over fifty-plus years,” Vaughn says. “We have been the benchmark leader for a very long time and continue to drive that success with the experience that we have. Our extensive industry experience and expertise in manufacturing metal roofing and wall panels distinguish us from smaller competitors and new entrants in the market. We have the products, the manufacturing, and the know-how,” he says.

“Many of our manufacturing employees and management teams have dedicated their entire careers to this business, becoming true experts in their field. For many of these individuals, this has been their sole job throughout their lives,” he explains. “Our team carries a wealth of experience and industry expertise.”

Of course, there is the product itself. “What sets us apart is the exceptional performance and quality of our products,” Vaughn emphasizes. Fabral’s dedicated team diligently upholds high standards. “We take pride in our operational excellence.”

In another point of difference, sustainably has long been at the forefront. The company’s metal panels are made from partially recycled materials and are fully recyclable at the end of their lifespans. “The product itself is sustainable,” Vaughn notes. “Many of our products have reflective properties, helping to reduce heat absorption and enhance energy efficiency.”

Durability is another important advantage when it comes to sustainability. “Many of our products have a thirty-plus year warranty. So, for most people that put a metal roof on their house, that roof is going to last throughout their lifetime.”

This applies even in tough weather conditions. “The metal, obviously, withstands a lot of natural weathering,” says Vaughn. “You look at some of the coastal regions where there are hurricanes, or some of the areas prone to tornadoes, hail, and fire damage, that metal roofing will withstand some of those harsher elements. The durability of it makes it a sustainable product, unlike shingles or asphalt. Those products, they’re damaged, they fly off the house, they have to be replaced. Well, metal is going to withstand a lot of those harsher climates or elements.”

Fabral supports green building practices and contributes to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. “A lot of our products qualify for LEED,” says Vaughn, and the company goes the extra mile to educate potential customers about how to best utilize these products. “We engage with the design and build community through educational programs, partnerships, and initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable building practices. We work with architects, builders, and other stakeholders to encourage the adoption of green building technologies and methods.”

The company’s commitment to the customer is another key to success. “We pride ourselves on customer service and have an internal customer service department. Each of our manufacturing facilities has dedicated customer service representatives that work inside those facilities, and they’re on the phones, talking with customers daily; they know the customer. They have relationships with those customers.” This builds long-lasting trust between the two parties. “It’s not some automated computer or something like that. There are real people there to talk and support and answer questions and take orders.”

Fabral’s in-house engineering department also gets involved in customer service. “That does play into customer support from a technical standpoint. Many of our competitors lack in-house engineers and typically outsource this work.”

In a recent example, an architect was able to speak directly to an engineer to ask questions in order to obtain a full understanding of the products. “We were able to provide solutions for a particular design and give that architect confidence that this is how to move forward with the design of this project.” These in-house engineers also ensure the products’ quality and durability. “A lot of what they do is product testing and onsite inspections to ensure our products are meeting industry standards for environmentally responsible manufacturing,” says Vaughn.

The company values new technology, ensuring that its products and processes remain relevant. “We have made significant investments in new equipment to make sure that we’re keeping up with technology and are able to innovate and come up with new efficiencies and new ways to better produce products,” he says.

Flack Global Metals acquired Fabral in February 2023, a move that has strengthened the business substantially. The company retained much of its independence but gained valuable support. The fact that Flack is an industry insider is significant. “Having someone who understands the metal business has been very advantageous throughout our organization,” Vaughn explains. “They’ve made huge investments in the organization. We’ve seen that already internally with newly created positions, internal promotions, and upgrades to our facilities.”

The acquisition has also led to increased efficiency. “We’ve cut a lot of waste. That’s attributed to Flack coming in and really understanding the metal supply chain and [having] that knowledge. Flack provides critical support, and insights into all things metal-industry-related.”

The new ownership has also been a good fit when it comes to company culture. “From a cultural standpoint, it’s been a huge injection of positivity,” Vaughn says. “There are a lot of synergies with that acquisition.”

Bringing two teams together has provided new opportunities to troubleshoot and improve the business. “We are able to discuss and brainstorm ideas [with an] industry partner,” and pursue those ideas with an aligned focus for success,” he affirms.

For example, the team has put forth new incentives that have boosted employee retention and engagement, while rewarding performance. “This has led to employees having a stake in the success of the business, and drives us all to be top performers.”

The influence of Jeremy Flack, Flack’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, is being felt throughout the company. “His enthusiasm and his energy have really trickled down throughout the Fabral side of the business, and everybody’s excited,” Vaughn says. “We are optimistic about where we’re going.”

Fabral has several new initiatives in the works.” Says Vaughn, “we are super excited about new opportunities to grow and expand as our future is looking very bright!”

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