Have you ever had trouble reading one of our quotes? I hope the answer to that questions is “No”, but if for any reason it is not, we have put together a brief video to show you “How to Read Our Quotes.” If quotes are not being read accurately, it is possible you are not comparing apples to apples when analyzing our quote against our competitor’s quote. You could actually end of paying more if you do not understand what the quote consists of. The biggest thing is material. More often than not, we quote material on our bid, so our TOTAL number is more because material is included. You may look at the TOTAL number and think we are too high. BUT, instead of being “high” we were actually the LOW PRICE, once you compare apples to apples. Our quotes will consist of one or all of the following 3 elements: Material, Labor and/or Freight. Both the email you receive and the attached quote will clearly identify which of those 3 elements are included in the quote. Please take the time to watch this brief video so that you can understand what our quotes consist of and avoid the mistake of paying too much for a project.
Our new “Picture Vault” has been live for almost two weeks and our customers are loving it! We have sent picture links to dozens of customers and have gotten extremely positive feedback. Customers think the vault is “cool”, “informative” and “a great way to learn about the steel bending process.”
If you haven’t heard about the vault yet, here is a recap! We recently added a new bar coding system to our shop orders which allow our operators to take pictures during various stages of a bending project. Customers can now login to a secure portion of the Albina Co., Inc. website to see their jobs in four various phases of the steel bending process: raw material, in-process, in quality control and ready to ship.The objective is to offer yet another value-added service for our customers and to keep them well informed throughout their project. Once pictures are taken and uploaded to Albina’s internal picture vault, the project manager at the customer site will receive an email with a secure login username and password, as well as a link letting them know that they have new pictures ready to view. Pictures will be categorized based on Purchase Order Number and Project Name and will remain available for viewing indefinitely. If customers like the pictures posted in the vault, they are welcome to contact us and we will provide a JPEG image for both internal or external use.
The secure site is also useful for ordering Standard Duct & Component Parts online! So quick and easy! If you haven’t ordered online yet, call us today and we will get you set-up immediately to start ordering online.
This is just the first phase of the secure site. Our plan is to provide a resource for customers to view and track other items including invoices, packing slips, order confirmations, etc.
Our industry is faced with a labor shortage right now and we know that many shops are struggling to keep up with the flow of work. In this case, don’t ask “Siri” for help, ask us! Albina Co., Inc. is fortunate to have a strong union labor force behind us with workers that are available to meet your IMMEDIATE NEEDS. If you have a rush project that you need to get done-WE CAN HELP! If you have spillover work you need assistance getting to your customer- WE CAN HELP! Why hire temporary workers that you need to train? Why not team up with Albina Co., Inc.? We can be an extension of your shop. Let us partner with you on such projects as:
(cutting, trimming, coping, end finishing, drilling, small part welding, etc.)
WE CAN WORK TO YOUR BUDGET NEEDS….you tell us where our price needs to be to meet your budget requirements and we will figure out a way to get it done at that price.
IF LEAD-TIME IS A CONCERN, HAVE NO FEAR….you tell us when you need it and we will allocate the crew required to meet your needs.
We are basketball junkies in our family and we love watching March Madness! We love it because all scenarios are represented: big history-rich dominating schools vs. small underdog first timers, big boisterous coaches vs. the silent tactical types, and big 7-footers vs. small point guards. This last scenario is true in our family as I stand at 6’6″ and Jaime almost a foot shorter. You can see below why Jaime, who actually played D1 college basketball, implemented a “no shot blocking rule” when we first started dating!!
We think that this big vs. small comparison carries over so well into our business because we have the capability to bend steel for many different scenarios as well: big high-profile structural steel projects vs. small precision parts for manufacturing and industrial applications, large projects with mass quantities of bends vs. small one-piece bends for a one-time job and we are also a small, family owned business, yet we are the premier bending expert in the entire nation. No matter the job, big or small, we would love the opportunity to be Your Bending Expert.
Click thru to the brochures section of our website or on the image below to be directed to our website and download your FREE White Paper titled “EXPER(imen)T: Why You Should Use a Bending Expert vs. Buying Your Own Equipment. If you are a manufacturer or even a structural fabricator looking to purchase your own bending equipment, this is an offer you don’t want to miss!
As 2017 winds down, we would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you. We hope to have the pleasure of doing business with you for many years to come. As we reflect on the many relationships we built upon this past year, the very interesting and high-profile projects we have been a part of, as well as the challenges and obstacles we faced along the way, we are thankful that we had such a great customer base to share those experiences with. We are looking forward to a new year that will certainly bring its own set of adventures, but we are ready!
WE GET IT…YOU ARE BUSY! THAT IS WHY WE VALUE YOUR TIME. It seems anymore that there isn’t just a “busy time of year”, every day, throughout the entire year is busy! We get that you are being pulled in many different directions with work, family, fun activities, etc. That is why we want you to know that WE VALUE YOUR TIME and boy do we have a gift for you this holiday season!
The visionary concept of “videotelephony” was first popularized in the late 1870’s in both the United States and Europe. The first systems were developed by AT&T Corporation, first researched in the 1950’s, and failed mostly due to the poor picture quality and the lack of efficient video compression techniques.
Today’s video conferencing systems are no longer just for webinars. Albina has invested in a system that makes video conferencing as simple as one click in an email. Even if you do not have a camera on your end, our video call allows you to see our smiling face, while we both can talk like a telephone call. But it can go much further than that!
We can share our screen with you to review drawings
We can link you to our shop cameras so that you can see your job in progress
We can teach you how to use the calculations application inside our website
We are still learning how this can bring even more value AND respect your time.
Click on this YouTube Video to see a brief example of what we are now able to accomplish (and at the same time, receive my holiday well wishes via video!)
Never tried a video call? Drop us a line and we would be happy to show you.
We live in a very uncertain world right now, but we try to remind ourselves every day that “There is Always Something for Which to Be Thankful.” We can only control what goes on in our own little circles of life and it is more important now, more than ever before, to take the time to say “Thank You” to the people who have made an impact or impression on either our personal or professional lives. We are thankful….
For our Loyal Customers: We truly appreciate your business, and we’re grateful for the trust you’ve placed in us. We are looking forward to another strong year and continuing our joint efforts to add the functionality, beauty, and drama of curved steel to the building and manufacturing worlds!
For our Outstanding Vendors: We are thankful that we have such a strong vendor base to meet, and often times exceed, all of our daily business needs. We value the relationships we have spent years building and hope that 2018 brings continued new projects and growth.
For our New Customers: “Thank You” for giving us a shot to be your steel bender of choice! We hope that your experience was a positive one and that we can continue to service your steel bending needs at the highest level. We are thankful for you giving us the opportunity to show you what we can do for you.
For our Employees: Our employees are part of the Albina family and so many of us have been around for decades battling through the many ups and downs of our economy. We have a very strong team in place right now and we are ready to meet the challenges ahead whatever they may be. We are thankful and grateful for their dedication to the Albina family and the time and efforts they spend servicing our many wonderful customers.
We hope to have the pleasure of doing business with you for many years to come. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you.
Picture this…the first night of our family trip to New York City. We were sitting in a packed Carmine’s Italian Restaurant in the heart of Manhattan, enjoying the house red wine, the roar of the subway below us shaking our table every 2 minutes. All the great Italian meals you could think of and Jaime can’t have any of them as she tries to avoid gluten! She thinks about it for a minute and says “I am going to have some spaghetti and meatballs! I WANT TO BE PART OF THE EXPERIENCE!” And it was worth it for her to take that chance and do something out of her normal comfort zone, because it was an experience that we will never forget.
During dinner, we talked about this saying “I WANT TO BE PART OF THE EXPERIENCE” and realized that at Albina Co., Inc., WE PROVIDE AN EXPERIENCE FOR OUR CUSTOMERS. We are a full-service steel bending establishment and have every detail covered from the time we take your initial call to the time your bent material arrives on your door step. This is the EXPERIENCE you get when you work with us:
We reply to every RFQ (request for quote) received letting the customer know that we have the RFQ. If not already defined, we will ask when the bid is required. This will allow us to schedule our work flow to meet our customers needs.
Formal quotes are always prepared with great detail describing what the customer can expect from Albina if we are given an order. We never want the customer left to guess what they are going to receive from us.
Confirmations are always sent to the customer for their final review and records. Once a purchase order is issued to Albina your order is promptly entered so we can schedule your job and procure material timely.
Every order is reviewed by 3 levels of management (Scheduling, processing and QC). During review the details on a PO are confirmed to what has been entered on an Albina work order.
We ensure a promised due date is met by employing a full time scheduling manager. This scheduling manager assigns your project to a machine and to Albina workers. This is done very early in the flow of a project.
A project manager is assigned to every job that we process. The project manager will act as the point of contact for the customer regarding a project in process.
Proactive Communications. Project managers review the schedule daily and identify if a project is going to be completed after the promised due date. In the unlikely event a project is delayed for whatever reason, the customer is promptly notified.
All jobs are checked by QC upon completion and before they are turned in for shipping.
Savings via optimized shipping. The shipping manager schedules all of the daily trucks and ensures that projects are scheduled for trucks on or before the promised due date. Albina is frequently shipping all over the United States and Canada. The high volume of trucks allows our shipping manager to combine smaller orders onto a single truck saving our customers money.
Electronic tracking. After shipment, our shipping manager will email tracking information to our customer and emails MTR’s (if required) to our customer.
A follow up. Our job is not complete until you have your product and are completely satisfied. We view our customers as partners, and want open communications long after this order is concluded.
Next month in Part 2, we will share some of the ways we are investing to give you the ultimate ALBINA EXPERIENCE.
I would like to share a recent email that I received from a customer in response to my recent blog post titled “If You Are Persistent, You May Get It. If You Are Consistent, You Will Keep It.”
“Good morning. First I’d like to thank you for your recent support. I know a company’s attitude comes from the top. You have a great group of “how can we make it work” people.
It’s unfortunate that there is so much road between our office and yours. I’d be glad to share a glass of wine with you. The point of your news letter is well taken.
The only things I’d add is that your steel bending estimators are always available to help and frankly guide fabricators as to the best wall thickness, etc, to meet the challenges and provide the best curved steel finished product. This gives us the opportunity to include the cost of forming and shipping in the bid at the start. The other thing is pretty simple. It’s not a question of can I afford Albina Co., it’s can I afford not to?”
STEADY & STABLE
I can’t tell you how many times I have had a customer tell me that they are going to have to pull business from us because they found a lower price supplier, that they are new to the steel industry and want to give someone else a try, that another supplier promised them a better delivery schedule or better quality. Whatever the reason, I always justify my price and schedule to the customer and then I tell them “We appreciate your business and our relationship, and we will be here for you when you need us.” The key word here is “when”, not “if.” I never have to justify the quality of our products or service, as both speak for themselves, and I can say with certainty that is not why we ever loose an account. A few weeks will go by, and guess what? I get a phone call that the new supplier can’t meet the delivery schedule, or that the product fails in comparison to what we were providing them, or they are going to go over budget for having to repurchase material and incur additional labor costs. And my response again is “We are here for you. What do you need?” Anyone can be persistent and promise you a better price, product or schedule to get your business, but can they be consistent and keep your business? Albina Co., is consistent, steady and stable. We have an extremely loyal customer base, and in the rare occasion that someone leaves, we almost undoubtedly always see them return.