The largest Durma press brake in North Carolina, the Turkish-made piece of equipment is well worth its price tag, said Jay Tate, BENCO Steel Inc.'s executive vice president.
"Our intention is to be a one-stop shop for all our customers, including one-man welding shops, residential home builders, commercial builders and manufacturers of steel-based products," Tate
estimates the total investment in new equipment at $1.5 million.
It's part of a five-year plan initiated in 2000 to modernize the company's plant, sales, purchasing and billing/accounting operations.
said all goals outlined in the five-year plan - including meeting ISO 9001-2000 certification - were accomplished early.
"Customers can now receive price quotes through the company's revamped Web site, and will eventually be able to buy products and services online as part of our evolution to electronic commerce," Tate
said the company viewed the economic downturn of 2001-03 as an opportunity to modernize in anticipation of better times to come.
"And it's paying off," he
Jay Tate became Benco's first executive vice president in February and, in October, her new husband.
A Hickory native and retired Army officer, Tate was working as a management analyst for the Defense Department in Washington when he ran into her at his uncle's funeral in May 2000.
hired him to study Benco
, then made him her
comes off as a management wonk.
loves to talk about organizational charts, strategic plans and mission statements.
Leaning forward, he
gestures energetically to punctuate his
points or scurries to another room to retrieve a chart to bolster one.
"It puts us one step closer to our goal of being a one-stop shop for our customers," said Jay Tate, executive vice president of Benco, North Carolina's only steel service center west of Charlotte.
said that while many companies have retrenched during the last 18 months, Benco
has looked at the economic downturn as an opportunity to ascertain its customers' needs, and to prepare for better times that are sure to come.
"During this downturn, we've had to make a major effort to really listen to our customers, to look at their needs and at the services we offer and could offer," Tate