One of our busy Metworkers here is Rigid Building Systems. We offer this
look into how they came about and what they have to offer.
Rigid Building Systems started out as Two Guys Buildings in Houston,
Texas back in 1990. OK, maybe it wasn't called Two Guys Buildings... but
it could have been. I took a look at Inc. Magazine's lists of fastest
growing companies. In 1997, Rigid placed an impressive 27th, exhibiting
a five year growth spurt from 2 employees to 85. In 1998, they dropped
to 137th (we should all suffer so...) then claiming 116 employees and
over $18 Million in revenue. Current annual sales are closer to $50
Million with about 150 employees. But back to those two guys. They're
Fred Campana and Alex Ghodsi, both licensed engineers. Fred says he
loaned Alex $5 to get things started. Since Alex still hasn't paid him
back, I sent $5 to Fred to cover it and now own half the company. OK,
that last sentence isn't true either...
The truth is that two guys have transformed Rigid from a start-up
offering engineering services only into a full service manufacturer that
can match the best in the industry, with an emphasis on CAD and
automated equipment. In the beginning, they offered consulting
engineering to small regional manufacturers without engineers on staff
(Rigid Structures still does). Now, they currently roll form five panel
profiles, including two standing seam panels that exceed the performance
test results of other panels on the market. They can roll form purlins
and girts, cee or zee, from 4" all the way up to 14".
"While taking on complex building systems, Rigid remains extremely
competitive on the small simple buildings that most larger companies shy
away from. They believe in delivering a quality product at a competitive
price and offering professional, individualized service to each and
every customer"... It says so right on the front page of their website.
Here's another one of those 'bricks and mortar' philosophies that works
when actually put into practice, but to truly offer individualized
service to customers over the last several years while maintaining such
a rapid growth profile would take remarkable energy, ability and even
luck to obtain, train and retain a qualified workforce to keep pace.
I've seen some evidence of that energy myself. In the last six months,
no less than five different Rigid personnel have responded to requests
from the Metworker. They don't sit around waiting for something to
happen - these guys are working to make it happen.
A state-of-the art dealer program is under development. They intend to
offer support technology through the internet to dealers at a level
currently unheard of in this industry… [their statement, but it's
encouraging - this industry has a long way to go in its utilization of
the internet. Many at Rigid seem to know their way around the web - I've
heard from Leonard Anderson, Steve Olson, Steve Murray, Tom Kramer and
Chris Hebert]. Meanwhile, some buyers and selected customers can
purchase their buildings directly (you can find them in our Classifieds
under metal buildings).
Plans call for new fabricating facilities either in the Southeast or
possibly the West, though no timetable has been set.
While their service is centered in the South Central portion of the U.S.
over into Colorado, Rigid buildings can be shipped all over the world. I
especially like the one you see pictured below. It boasts a 98' eave
height and 70" deep columns. Remember those walking AT-AT's from The
Empire Strikes Back? The huge mechanical things that trudged through the
snow trying to knock out the force field generators while Luke & company
used cables to trip them up? This structure looks like a drive-through
AT-AT washer. Guess I went a long way for that one... but you can find
Rigid nearby in our Classifieds. Or by using the Metworker.
I own a very small but growing distributorship and ran across your web site while looking for metal buildings. It is good to hear that hard work pays off, and Rigid seems to have hit on a lost, or at least misunderstood, concept -- "SERVICE"
We have recently purchased land and looking for someone that will work with us in helping develop our idea of a new building. After reading this article, I will be in contact and offer feedback on my findings. Thank you, Stanley D. Cromer, President.
By Stanley Cromer