Competitive Landscape - Interstate Gratings

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Competitive Landscape - Interstate Gratings

Interstate Gratings, McNichols, Grating Pacific, and Nucor are all competitors in the steel gratings' marketplace. All companies are highly successful and have developed a reputation for both their products and services. Nucor stands out as not only the largest but because of its excellent record concerning sustainability. Interstate Gratings and Gratings Pacific are related to each other, with Grating Pacific an affiliate of Interstate Gratings. McNichols employs the most innovative marketing with the "hole" strategy built around the fact the company is making holes. Little information is available regarding pricing for any of the companies, probably due to the competitive nature of the industry and the strong leanings toward B2B customers. Surprisingly, Nucor was the only company that invested substantially in marketing. The other three companies' marketing is orientated around websites and catalogs.

INTERSTATE GRATINGS

Overview

  • With headquarters in Lindon, Utah, Interstate Gratings employs 8 staff and has an annual revenue of $24 million. Interstate Gratings' primary business is the manufacture and fabrication of metal bar gratings. The products are made with steel, aluminum, and stainless steel.

Products and Services

  • The diverse product range they have on offer includes steel grating, aluminum grating, aluminum plank grating, stainless steel grating, stair treads, riveted grating, heavy-duty grating, bridge decking, architectural products, safety grating, and fiberglass grating.
  • Interstate Gratings' light duty gratings are ideally suited for industrial applications, while their heavy-duty gratings can be used for vehicular or aircraft loads. Specialty bar grating products are designed for architectural and commercial applications.
  • Type 19-W-4 steel grating is Interstate Gratings most popular product. It is recommended for almost all industrial flooring.
  • In addition to their comprehensive product range, Interstate Gratings also offers engineering consultation, estimating, CAD detailing, finishing, and logistics services. As well as having a complete 65,000 square foot production facility, Interstate Grating has invested in a dedicated fabrication unit with sawing, punching/drilling, rolling/bending, flame/plasma cutting, and welding capabilities.

Customers and Partners

  • Interstate Gratings' major customers are those in mining, construction, and energy in the West. Customers from these industries often require custom fabrications, which make up a reasonable proportion of Interstate Gratings' core business. They have invested in customized CAD, which integrates with the shop floor, and when used in tandem with CRM enables them to track every job from start to finish.
  • Currently, they have a focus on the US domestic market, but also export products to Canada and Mexico.
  • Interstate Gratings has two affiliate companies, Grating Pacific and Ohio Gratings.

Pricing

  • The pricing information for Interstate Gratings' products is not available on its website. Interested parties are directed to contact the sales team directly via email, phone, or fax.

Marketing

  • Integrated Gratings' uses the tagline "Manufacturing and Fabricating Excellence" in all its material. They use comprehensive product sheets detailing the specifications, spacings, finish, and a range of other technical information to showcase their product range.
  • The company is not overly active on social media and does not appear to use these channels in their marketing.
  • Consumer Sentiment towards the company is difficult to gauge. There is very little marketing information available with the company tending to focus its attention on the B2B market. Only two customer reviews were available. Both are favorable and emphasize speed and "getting the job done."

McNICHOLS

Overview

  • With headquarters in Tampa, Florida, McNichols is a family-run company that has been in the business of manufacturing and supplying industrial steel plates with holes for 67 years. The company describes itself as an "industry-leading supplier of hole products."
  • The "Hole Network" incorporates an additional 19 metal service centers, which are strategically located across the US. McNichols has an estimated annual revenue of $193.87 million.

Products and Services

  • The product range offered by McNichols includes perforated metal, expanded metal, wire mesh, bar grating, fiberglass grating, plank grating, designer metals, ladder rungs, stair treads, decking and flooring, handrail components, structural shapes, and trench drains.
  • McNichols' complete product range is available in a series of catalogs. The catalogs provide detailed descriptions of the products and extensive technical guidance, as well as ordering information. The catalogs can be downloaded on the website or an online form can be completed and McNichols will mail a hard copy free of charge. Spanish and English versions are available.
  • Their most popular products include perforated and expanded metals, wire mesh, and designer metals.
  • McNichols offers a range of services including blueprint takeoffs, approval drawings, and confidential shipping. They add value through fabrication services like cut to size, and welding. To give the product the final touches McNichols offers hot dipped galvanizing and powder coating.

Customers and Partners

  • A series of case studies showcase the innovative uses of McNichols' products. Among their previous customers are the Harley Davison Museum, Tampa Museum of Art, Kauffman Stadium, The Summit, Margarido House, and Roosevelt High School in Seattle.
  • McNichols does not make its customer list available publicly.

Pricing

  • The pricing options are not readily available on McNichols website. They have recently introduced online ordering, and upon registering, the pricing of a number of their more popular products becomes available. Not all products are available through online ordering. The available products are marked accordingly for customer ease.
  • McNichols directs customers to contact them directly for further information. As well as the standard email, phone, and fax options, McNichols offers a live chat option for convenience on its website.

Marketing

  • There are several key phrases that McNichols uses to create brand identity and recognition. These include "Inspired to serve," "Superior Service, Quality and Performance … That's The Hole Story." The marketing is all cleverly built around "the holes," and they use different word plays to emphasize their brand.
  • McNichols showcases the versatility of its products on its website, illustrating the full range of uses they can accommodate. A set of case studies are presented in an innovative marketing strategy that compels the consumer to continue learning about the company.
  • In 2019, they were named one of the best places to work, and have used this throughout their marketing. They are active on social media, using the hashtag #inspiredtoserve. Facebook is their choice of social media, where they have over 30,000 followers.
  • No reviews were available to gauge consumer sentiment; however, the comments on various social media posts were overwhelmingly positive. Employee reviews were a mixed bag, either extremely positive or extremely negative, seemingly without a middle ground.

GRATING PACIFIC

Overview

  • With nearly fifty years in the business, Grating Pacific has grown to become the premier fabricating distributor of steel flooring in the western US. Their strategic network services customers from Mexico to Alaska.
  • Headquartered in Los Alamitos, California, they employ more than 60 staff, and have an estimated annual revenue of $28.8 million.

Products and Services

  • Grating Pacific has a comprehensive product range which includes many familiar brand names like Grating Pacific Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminum bar gratings, Grip Strut, Perf-O Grip, Traction Tread and Grate-Lock Safety Gratings, Fibergrate, Chemgrate and Safe-T-Span Pultruded Fiberglass Gratings, ACO Polymer Concrete Trench Drainage Systems, SuperTread Cast and Extruded Stair Nosings, Inline Aluminum Architectural Grilles, R & B Wagner and Kee Klamp Handrail Components, and Neenah Foundry Construction Castings.
  • Services offered by Grating Pacific are designed to support design professionals, contractors, builders, and end-users. A range of engineering services are available, including design consultation, technical manuals, field technical representatives, estimating, and CAD detailing.
  • Fabrication services include sawing, shearing, forming, welding, punching, drilling, plasma cutting, burning, rolling, and additional custom fabrication for specialized applications. To finish the products, Grating Pacific offers galvanizing painting, anodizing, powder coating, and plating.

Customers and Partners

  • Recently, Grating Pacific acquired the operating assets of Flynn & Enslow, which will allow them to extend their business into the woven wire products market.
  • Coda Architectural is a subsidiary of Grating Pacific that was set up and developed, with the product offerings reflecting the evolution of architectural design. This aspect of the business is designed to support all aspects of design, from concept to completion.
  • They are an affiliate company of Interstate Gratings.
  • Grating Pacific does not make its client list public.

Pricing

  • Pricing information is not readily available on the Grating Pacific website. Potential customers are directed to contact them by email, phone, or fax to obtain this information. They do not offer online ordering.
  • A comprehensive range of catalogs are available, with detailed technical specifications and other relevant information. No pricing information is available in the catalogs.

Marketing

  • Grating Pacific markets itself around service, quality, and reliability. These themes are consistent over their website. The product catalogs, available for download, seem to be the primary marketing mechanism they have adopted. These cater to those seeking comprehensive and technical information.
  • They are not active on social media. The pages that are associated with the name Grating Pacific are not official sites, and the company seems to have no input into them. They also have very little information of significance.
  • A lot of the marketing that they do is focused on the local markets that they operate in. Recently, they became a program partner of the Los Alamitos Recreation Department. This partnership will see them sponsor a range of local events in the local community.
  • Customer sentiment toward the company is unable to be determined as there are no reviews or other information of this nature available publicly.

NUCOR

Overview

  • Nucor has its headquarters in North Carolina. They have annual revenue of $2.36 billion and employ 26,300 staff over 300 locations with offices in North America, the Caribbean, and Europe. In 2018, they shipped 27.9 million tons of steel to customers. 2019 saw a $1.2 billion capital investment in six new projects, which created more than 800 new jobs.
  • The company considers itself "North America's most diversified steel and steel products' company." Sustainability is at the forefront of Nucor's model of business. As the largest steel producer in the US. They are also the largest recycler, and 100% of Nucor steel is produced domestically in the US.

Products and Services

  • The steel range offered by Nucor includes merchant bar and rebar, engineered bar, beam, plate, and sheet. The steel products include cold finish, highway and agriculture, metal building systems, rebar fabrication, rebar distribution, joists, decking, fasteners, grating, piling, pipe and tube, abrasion-resistant solutions, and wire products.
  • A range of different brands have been developed by Nucor, offering specific product ranges. Most of these brands are marketed under subsidiary companies. Vulcraft and Nucor were the two brands that began it all. As Nucor expanded its product range, it has incorporated more companies into its portfolio, including American Buildings, CBC Steel Buildings, Astralloy, DJJ, Kirby Building Systems, Laurel Steel, Harris Rebar, Nucor Skyline, and Pok.
  • Nucor's 2018 Annual Report provides a comprehensive overview of each of the brands and the markets they serve.

Customers and Partners

  • As an innovative player in the steel gratings market, Nucor serves a wide range of industries. These industries include agriculture, automotive, construction, power generation, oil and gas, heavy equipment, infrastructure, and transportation.
  • The David J Joseph Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nucor. They are considered an industry leader in scrap metal brokerage, ferrous and nonferrous metal recycling and transportation services.
  • Nucor owns a 50% share in NuMit, who owns Steel Technologies. They also own a 50% share in Duferdofin Nucor, an Italian melt shop and bloom caster.
  • They are also part of a joint venture with JFE Steel Corporation of Japan to build a galvanized steel sheet plant in Central Mexico.

Pricing

  • As the majority of the products produced by Nucor are sold through subsidiary companies, there was little information available regarding the pricing.

Marketing

  • Nucor presents itself as having grown "from a single joist manufacturer into North America's largest recycler and the world's most sustainable steel manufacturer" throughout its website and other documentation.
  • Another consistent theme is centered around the idea, "together, we're better." This emphasizes the team approach that Nucor has with its client base. It underlines that Nucor values its customers and the contribution they make to the company.
  • Nucor is active across most social media channels.
  • A review of their social media accounts and reviews suggests consumer sentiment toward Nucor is positive. Comments like "Safety was top-notch," "People extremely friendly and helpful. I will be back," are representative of consumer sentiment toward the company.
  • YouTube is one of the main channels that Nucor focuses on. Their YouTube channel has over 100,000 subscribers and represents a range of different types of information, including product, subsidiary, career, employee stories, and customer testimonials.
  • Nucor also markets its products through television advertising and print media. The strong sustainability and recycling record are key themes in this advertising.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To build a comprehensive picture of the competitive landscape for each of these companies, we reviewed their respective websites, annual reports (when available), product catalogs, social media accounts, media articles, and press releases. None of the companies disclosed pricing information, directing the potential customer to contact them directly. There was little information around the customers each company serves, although, in some instances, there was information around the industry. We have tried to include other information that may be of use in developing a competitive landscape where it was available. None of the companies invested heavily in marketing, perhaps due to the strong B2B component of their businesses. None of the companies provide a breakdown of the volume of each product sold.
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