In a tough market, we are putting the pedal to the metal

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, the economy in general, and the construction market in particular, appear to be softening. New home sales are exhibiting a "post-tax credit hangover", and the Architectural Billings Index for non-residential construction took an unexpected dip in May (the most recently reported month). It is not likely that either of these reports is indicative of the dreaded "double dip", but they do give cause for caution.

Despite the economic headwinds, Aegis Metal Framing continues to invest heavily in all aspects of our business in support of the building team in general, and our valued fabricator partners in particular. Here are just a few of the projects, activities, and investments we have made (or will be making) in 2010:

Marketing

In challenging times, many companies look to marketing first for cut backs. Our view at Aegis is that the current market presents an excellent opportunity to "spread the gospel" of the benefits Ultra-Span® steel trusses can provide. In just the last two months we have made hundreds of new building designer contacts at the NASCC Structure Congress, American Institute of Architects national convention, and the Pacific Coast Builders Conference. At each of these important industry gatherings, Aegis was the only cold-formed steel truss (or framing) supplier exhibiting in support of our industry. Other important marketing initiatives completed or underway this year include:

  • Release of our new A/E Technical Resource Binder
  • Release of our updated, improved catalog
  • Developing a new, Customer Portal on www.aegismetalframing.com
  • New marketing videos posted to YouTube and available for fabricator distribution
  • New electronic catalog
  • Multiple new project case studies
  • Further expansion of all Social Media and In-Bound Marketing
  • Cross marketing and lead sharing among other MiTek non-residential business units
  • And many more programs and initiatives under development

Education

Another area where we at Aegis believe investment today will yield rewards in the future is education. That is why we launched our Aegis University series of on-line webinars.

To date we have held three highly topical and informative sessions on Progressive Collapse, LEED/Greenbuilding, and Truss Optimization. Each session was attended by an increasing number and breadth of Aegis fabricator partners, and the feedback we have received has been extremely positive and complimentary of the effort. We encourage all of you (fabricators and non-fabricators alike) to attend the next Aegis University, Using Social Media and Inbound Marketing to Drive Business, hosted by Jayna Altman on July 19th, 2010 at 1:30 pm CDT.

Software Development

Programming literally (almost) never sleeps for Aegis. Presently, developers on three continents and in four different time zones are furiously writing code for our Steel Engine next-generation software platform. Additionally, we continue to invest programming resources in creating better, faster, more efficient tools for optimizing Ultra-Span trusses in Aegis Design. In this hyper-competitive market, we want to make sure our fabricator partners have the best tools at their disposal to deliver the most competitive cold-formed truss proposals.

Manufacturing

Our production team and facilities are a true asset and competitive advantage for Aegis and our customers. Since beginning operations in Edenton last April, Ryan Cook and his team have sought continuous improvement and efficiency to deliver the best value and service for our fabricator partners. When we wrap up 2010, we will have made the following additional investments in our manufacturing operations:

  • Brand new, state of the art ink jetters for all lines
  • New tooling for 25USC chord and 15USW web
  • Brand new dies for USJ connectors (bringing this part "in-house")
  • Tooling for the new 25USW web
  • New 18,000 ft2 covered coil storage facility
  • Significant investment in geographic expansion of roll form operations

Aegis is truly fortunate to have a supportive parent organization in MiTek. It is comforting to know we have the flexibility to run our operations in a lean and responsive manner, while maintaining the financial backing to invest heavily for future growth. We will continue this investment in all areas of our business to ensure we bring our fabricator partners the best overall value in the cold formed steel truss industry.

Thank you as always for your business!

Tom Valvo
President