At a Glance
Metal buildings and roofing
How did you decide to start your own business?
Joe Inda: I had experience in this industry before but had been out of it for a while. The idea of starting my own company piqued my interest because this business was something I really enjoyed. So, in 1995, we decided to give it a whirl. We took quite a bit of risk getting involved, but the banks worked with us, and it was more of a “handshake is better than a contract” type of thing. I had made some good friends, so as it went along, they helped me out with products and vendors. I was 54 years old when we started. Some of my friends told me I was crazy, and I said, “Tell me something I don’t know!” When I started this as a mom-and-pop metal-building supplier, there weren’t any. Now we have a lot of competitors. We just want to maintain our integrity and honesty.
Sell us on a metal building. What are some of the benefits?
Josh Inda: Well, there’s not a lot of construction on-site. Everything is designed and engineered in-house, made to order. All the contractor has to do is basically bolt it up. From that standpoint, it’s more cost-effective because you’re doing that in a controlled environment.
Joe: Another thing is that you can save around 20 percent on your insurance because it lowers your liability. It typically costs a little more up front, but you save it every day. Plus, it’s made to last. If a metal roof is put on right, it’s there till the fat lady sings. They’re engineered to handle heavy snow and wind loads. Our engineering software takes the client’s zip code and calculates those requirements.
What’s selling right now?
Josh: There are basically two different flavors. There’s commercial, with an I-beam structure, which you might expect an oil company to put up. And there’s retail: modular truss-style buildings that can grow and shrink as needed. As hot as it’s been getting in the Midwest, we’re selling a lot of commercial, rigid-frame buildings right now.
Are there any recent projects you’re particularly excited about?
Josh: There are two main ones we just wrapped up. One we supplied not too long ago was a 60-foot-wide, 160-foot-long maintenance facility for the Gallardia Country Club and gated residential community in Oklahoma City. This is a development of $1 million-plus homes surrounding a championship golf course, so the building had to look like it belonged in a really exclusive area.
We also just built a huge shop for Elite Motorsports, a drag-racing facility in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. It’s big enough to house race cars while technicians are working on them. It’s got conference space, a kitchen, a workshop, and quite a lot of diagnostic equipment.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face?
Chuck Shillings: When he founded this company, Joe started small and bought what he could afford. But over the past 15 or 16 years, everything that goes out the door [has been] top-of-the-line. And that’s important because buildings like ours are ubiquitous in the American landscape, whether it’s a warehouse, a strip mall, the Dollar General, or someone’s backyard shop.
We’re in a competitive environment that doesn’t always have the same set of ethics we do. Some of our competitors will buy coils from a metal supplier with paint guaranteed for 10 years, but they’ll advertise it with a 40-year guarantee like ours.
Josh: We sell you everything you need and nothing you don’t. We’ve made the process as customizable as possible. Everyone works hard for their money, so how can we make it cost-effective and still meet their needs? ABQ