This pair is moving to out-think and outperform the competition
Integrity is more than a buzzword for Jerry Myer and Al Williams, co-founders and owners of Integrity Post Structures in Okotoks, Alta. Every decision the duo makes is based on their commitment to listening to clients and providing excellent service. The result is amazing growth in a short period and the introduction of a new product to the western Canadian market.
Introduced by a mutual friend, Myer and Williams believed that their complementary skills - Myer in construction management and Williams in sales - would give them a fighting chance in an extremely competitive market.
"You can't set your own prices in this market," says Myer, who is responsible for planning, crew management, business development and daily management of operations. "We are competing against large companies that have been in the industry for a long time. The only way we have a chance is to try to out-think and outperform them."
That means taking what they refer to as an old-fashioned approach to customer service and quality, while striving to stay on the cutting edge of post-frame construction. "Our goal is not to maximize share price, but rather to give the best building and service," says Williams, who manages the sales team and daily operations. "We are not driven by how quickly we move from one project to the next, but by doing the best job and paying detailed attention to each aspect of the building."
They're also embracing innovation in order to continually offer customers a better product. To that end, Integrity Post Structures is now the exclusive Canadian provider of a new, engineered concrete post base called Perma-Column. The 5 ft tall precast concrete columns keep wood out of the ground, ensuring the building's foundation will last.
"This product enhances the integrity of our buildings and puts us first in position in terms of quality," Williams says.
Going viral is also helping the pair lead the post-frame pack. The company website includes a well-developed social marketing component with Facebook, blogging, e-newsletters and videos, and it is delivering results. Facebook has increased traffic to the site by 38 per cent.
"With the new technology, we're reaching people we never thought we'd reach," Williams says.
They're connecting with their primary target market, agricultural producers, in a bigger way than ever before, something they say would have been impossible 10 years ago and that their competitors have to play catch up on.
While staying ahead of the competition has been important to company's growth since it was established in early 2008 - they've constructed over 300 buildings in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, and are moving into Manitoba - it's not the key to their success.
"I think the key to success in business is the product and service," Myer says. "You have to be able to look a customer in the eye at the beginning of a job and at the end of the job. Our main goal is to give the customers what they want and that's something that the market needed."
Williams agrees, adding that the whole team has to be committed to the vision. "We're honest and hard-working and the whole team pulls together, from the guy in the yard loading the trucks to our awesome girl in the office. Integrity flows right through everybody."