A Modular Solution
A.T. Emery, North Louisiana Sales Manager at Nelson Equipment Company, had been calling on Mid South Extrusion as a customer for nearly three years without any luck. When the plastics distributor needed a panel replaced on their 20-year-old modular building, Emery finally got his shot.
“Their existing modular building was not a Starrco building,” says Emery. “So I went in and I started telling him all of the benefits of the Starrco panel for his existing building. Once they got this brand new panel from Starrco, they saw how much the quality of the product had improved in the last 20 years.”
Once the client saw the incredible quality of the Starrco panel, they approached Emery and told him about a construction project they had planned for another part of their campus.
“He told me, ‘I’ve got this building in the back that I’m tearing down and I want to get a quote on doing modular construction versus conventional construction,” Emery says. “He gave me a floor plan and we laid out and did a rough quote and worked for several months on how modular construction was going to be a benefit to the company over conventional construction.”
Complicating matters was the fact that the general contractor presenting the conventional construction bid was a family member of the client.
“It was a pretty tough competitive situation,” says Emery. “We were able to sell the modular construction benefits in a way where price became a non-issue because the benefits outweighed any up-front cost savings of a conventional construction.”
Of particular importance to the client were the tax benefits of modular construction.
“The depreciation schedule on a modular construction is 1 year versus 39.5,” Emery says. “We were able to show them the cost savings there as well. They were happy with that because they’re going through a lot of upgrades with their plant and so being able to add the tax savings to the bottom line was pretty significant.”
Though the bid process took several months, it was just the beginning of a much longer process.
“We probably had a three month design phase and more than 20 revisions,” Emery says. “Then once the design was agreed on, there was another three week revision phase to the final design before the PO was sent out.”
Helping Emery every step of the way on design and layout were Mark Worth and Dave Cox from Starrco.
One thing that made the project particularly complicated the presence of existing plumbing that the building had to be built around.
“Incorporating plumbing and restrooms is a much more detailed process than the typical modular construction,” Emery says. “Everything has to be plumbed first and then built around that. You can’t build the building and then finish off the bathroom. So all of the engineering side of it to make sure that the bathroom works correctly is crucial and must be taken care of first. And then you can finish the building around the plumbing.”
Though the process was long and underwent several changes, the final result is a beautiful building that fulfills all of Mid South’s requirements.
“This was my second modular building to sell. And this was my first sale with this customer, besides the one panel that I had done,” says Emery. “I had been trying to get in with this customer for three years. The first sale that I made was almost $100,000, so I think that speaks to the quality and the benefits that modular construction can provide.”
Distributor: Nelson Equipment Company