Our company’s growth didn’t happen overnight. In the year Alutech United was founded, I was a Maytag repairman. The gentleman in charge of sales at the time didn’t know what he was selling. I personally went to the beach and saw that was where the market was. I sold a few jobs in Ocean City, Maryland, and got the Alutech name out there. That was year one. In years two and three we realized roll shutters in the United States served three major purposes: first was hurricane protection; a second market was kiosks, closets, and counters; and third, we found roll shutters were in almost every US international airport. By diversifying, and broadening our focus, we’ve slowly penetrated these markets.
I attribute Alutech’s continued sustainability to our superior customer service. A long time ago I was told [that] in any business transaction you have three things: price, quality, and service. But, you’ll never have all three. Something is going to be sacrificed. What you don’t necessarily get from us is price. What you will get from us is our people—“the Alutechies”—our service, and our quality.
Our versatility has often been our foot in the door. People come to us when they have a need for an unusual type of shutter. They shop around, and others say it can’t be done. When they try Alutech, they find our roller shutters go in all different directions. We also have access to technology that allows us to produce a hurricane-rated shutter that can cover just about any geometric window shape. We recently entered the growing market of roll-down solar, bug-screen, and shading solutions.
We’ve made subtle changes to improve the operation and the quality of our products. The care and attention put into our components improves the products’ longevity. Concern over the lifespan of our products inspired Alutech to perfect our painting process. We want to be a 15-year-plus product. Also, rather than using an off-brand motor, we use an industry-leading motor manufacturer, Somfy Systems, Inc. Our hurricane-rated shutter systems are made from aluminum or stainless steel—no galvanized components. Our dealers know their customers will have many years of reliable service due to these added measures.
One of our claims to fame is our basic roll-shutter box. Alutech is one of the only companies that installs a roll shutter in the smallest-possible-size box above the doorway. Our hurricane shutters roll up into a seven-inch box—whereas many of our competitors, because of the size of their curtain profile, end up with a bulkier 10- or 12-inch box.
With anything you buy and sell, there are going to be mistakes from time to time. An order could have been wrong, or a freight company may destroy a shipment. Our policy has always been “Let’s fix the problem now, and let’s worry about whose fault it is later.” The retailers don’t need the hassle of sending it back and then having to wait for a replacement. We get the parts to the customer so they can satisfy the end consumer and move on. This ease of service is one of the reasons people continue buying from us.
Our employees and their ability to retain customers have kept us going. Customer retention and customer satisfaction have helped us grow. In our 18-year-old company we have a lot of 10-year-plus employees. These employees have been responsible for our success, one baby step at a time. And they care. Two days before Hurricane Irene came to shore in 2011, our shop was empty. Every factory worker was in a truck with a field worker to help service our clients. That is the kind of employees we have. ABQ