Metal-Era, Inc.

    Address: 1600 Airport Road, Waukesha, WI 53188


    Year founded: 1980

    Product or service offered: “We are a manufacturer of performance tested, engineered perimeter roof edge systems for the commercial roofing industry. We manufacture products such as fascia, coping, downspout, and gutter. We are also the only manufacturer in the country that manufactures warranted commercial ventilation systems.”

    Projected 2012 revenue: “We are projecting a 15 percent growth.”

    Leadership: Gene Mallinger, chief executive officer; Tony Mallinger, president; Joe Mallinger, IT director; Nick Mallinger, vice president of customer relations

    Target clientele: Contractors, architects, designers, engineers, facility managers, retail outlets and chains, specifiers, roof consultants, code officials, general contractors, building owners.

    Business organization memberships: Single Ply Roofing Industry, National Minority Supplier Development Council, Construction Specifications Institute, Roof Consultants Institute, Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues.

    What has fueled your company’s growth? “We are fortunate to have outstanding employees who have created and embraced a culture that is focused on continuous improvement to satisfy our clients. We measure how often a client receives voicemail, how quickly we provide them a quote, and how quickly we produce their order without defect. We have a phenomenal and diverse workforce that understands what our established corporate-wide goals are and how they are an integral part of achieving those goals.”

    What is the biggest obstacle to your company’s growth? “Construction has been a difficult industry to succeed in, given the severe downturn in the industry’s economic environment; our clients have not had it easy over the last several years, either. We have to be creative with the solutions we provide to our customers and investigate new ways to increase our value to our clients.”

    Do you plan any changes in your company in the upcoming months? “Continuous improvement is critical to our short and long-term success. We have to constantly adapt to the ever-changing needs of customers and the market. In September, we are deploying a new robotic manufacturing cell that will increase our capacity and will help to reduce lead times. It is clear that we also need to continually invest in our plant and our people; without either we can’t survive.”

    Who are the business people, locally or nationally, whom you admire? And what traits do those people exhibit that make you admire them? Tony Mallinger: “Gene Mallinger, my father. We have been fortunate to keep this company privately held and family owned. Without his guidance and leadership, this company wouldn’t have grown into what it is today. I admire his focus, his dedication and how he has led this company. He has been a great mentor for me and for many employees at this company, and has laid a great foundation for this talented group of employees to build from.”

    What is the outlook for the business conditions of your industry over the next several months? “Projections look positive for the most part. Construction has been steady; however, growth is slow – very slow. It is not decreasing, which is promising considering the industry was on a consistent decline for quite some time even at the beginning of the economic recovery.”

    What is your company’s key strategy for rising out of the recession? “Servicing our clients will always be our number one priority; without them, we won’t have a company to grow! We must continue to listen to their needs and concerns and make whatever changes are necessary to provide the best buying experience we can.”

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