By Adam Cabrera.
The metal roofing industry is currently expanding, and it might be a good time for your own business to venture into the metal foray. Chandler Barden of CIDAN Machinery recently appeared on MetalTalk, hosted by Heidi J. Ellsworth, to provide his wisdom on starting and growing a sheet metal fabrication shop.
Chandler has over a decade of experience in the industry, moving up the ranks from individual sales to sales manager and eventually to president of CIDAN Machinery. He specializes in sheet metal cutting and forming machines for architectural and industrial precision markets.
If you’re just starting in the industry, Chandler emphasized the importance of understanding the target market and focusing on specific products, such as edge trim and specialty panels. This differentiation can set a shop apart from competitors.
He also advises on choosing the right equipment and financing options. "We can completely outfit your shop and almost all of the machinery and software that is needed for the architectural fabrication industry," he said.
Safety is another important consideration, Chandler stresses adhering to OSHA safety standards and providing ongoing training for employees. He also shared key insights on adopting a consultative approach, providing guidance to customers on installation techniques, and offering unique solutions that can enhance the business.
"Starting lean to me is key," Chandler stated, highlighting the need to balance expansion with efficiency. "The guys who do the best are the ones who are really nailing down the turnaround time on the trim to their customers," he added.
Whether it's safety practices, market focus, equipment selection or growth strategies, a little bit of expertise can open the door for anyone seeking success in this industry.
Adam Cabrera is a writer and podcast producer for the Coffee Shops and AskARoofer™. When he isn't writing about roofs he enjoys camping in the Rocky Mountains, going to concerts and playing music.
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