Orange County Ironworks LLC

Six-year-old Orange County Ironworks is building a solid reputation. By combing technology with professional work ethic and integrity, Orange County Ironworks (OCI) LLC strives to provide clients with the best products and customer service in the industry. The company performs as a structural and miscellaneous steel fabricator and erector, with erecting done by its affiliate company, Gabriel Steel Erectors Inc.

OCI has been in business for six years, and Managing Partner Dan Teutul says the company’s biggest assets are its employees. Teutul runs the day-to-day operations at OCI with his cousin, Matt Messing, who is the operations manager. “Without him we would not be the competitive company we strive to be,” Teutul notes. Also, Teutul’s wife Tara is the owner of Gabriel Steel Erectors.

Teutul took some time to speak with Construction Today Quarterly about the quick six years of success at OCI and how it will continue to grow.

Construction Today Quarterly: What do customers get when they work with Orange County Ironworks?
Dan Teutul: OCI is a midsize company that is run like a large company, but our customers get the attention of a “mom and pop.” When a customer contracts with OCI, they get a well-run job from start to finish no matter the size of the job. We are a low-maintenance sub who will help the customer push their job by being proactive and not reactive with typical problems in our scope of work – i.e. missing dimensions, field conditions, crane logistics, connection/engineering design issues. We understand that the customers are not in the steel business, and instead of flooding them with paperwork, we try to guide them through any issues that arise.

CTQ: What separates OCI from its competitors?
DT: What separates OCI from its competition is that when the customer gives us a job it’s all done in house – one stop shopping. The four functions performed in house are structural and miscellaneous steel fabrication, trucking and erecting. The job is run by one PM (project manager) for all these functions. From the start of the job the detailing is coordinated between the steel drawings and the stair drawings so the stair can go up as the building does, thus enabling other trades to get to the floors immediately after decking is placed so the job can move faster. All connections in the structural steel are made to best suit the shop or field. This decision is based on factors of safety and cost effectiveness.

Most shops only perform one of the four major functions. These shops have to buy out from other subs to reach the complete package that we have in one building. This means less control and four times the chance of delay and or miscommunication, which can result in financial disputes, putting even more strain on the customer’s project such as liens. There are other companies that do this, but not in the size range of work that we can do.

One other thing that separates us from our competition is our Production Manager Steve Maythenyi. He was raised in a steel shop, and those skills accompanied with the technological savvy to work with detailing – SDS2 – and production management software – FabTrol – increase production and also eliminates a tremendous amount of overhead, since you generally need three or four people to do this type of work.

CTQ: What do you consider your position in the industry to be?
DT: Our position in the industry is in the midrange area as far as volume goes. As far as size of job, we can do a railing on someone’s front porch or we can do a midrise building in NYC.

CTQ: Why is it important to the company’s success to be able to offer a wide range of services?
DT: The range of work we can do is important to us for the fact that it gives us flexibility. It is not easy getting work right now, so the more you offer, the more work you have the potential to get. Just like we can do all the facets of the steel business, we can also do them on an individual basis. We can just erect a job for another steel contractor, we can supply just stairs or we can mix and match our capabilities to keep work coming in the door. We recently got our AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction) certification for buildings and bridges. Just getting this certification has brought us work which in the past we would not have these opportunities to perform. We look at the business as a diversified portfolio. The more we can offer in different areas, the more chances to succeed.

CTQ: Are there any recent developments?
DT: We have just recently completed the construction of a new shop. It’s 60,000 square feet under crane and 10,000 square feet of office on 24 acres. Up until the new shop was built, we were in two separate shops 20 minutes from each other. This made it very difficult to be efficient and to have effective communication. Along with the shop, we purchased a custom fabrication line system from Daito USA. This is made up of three major pieces of equipment: drill, saw, and a plasma coper, along with a large quantity of material handling equipment. The shop and equipment will make it more manageable to compete in the market today.

CTQ: What types of projects does the company typically deliver?
DT: OCI generally works on schools, health care, private developing, renovation, power plant, industrial and retail. Pretty much anywhere and any type of work that we feel confident we can do well, then we will try it.

CTQ: How do you develop good relationships?
DT: We create and sustain relationships by doing what we say we’re going to do and, most of all, making the schedule we agree to. We do not nickel and dime over every little thing on the job because we realize that the jobs are long, and that there needs to be a give and take during a project. We know if our customer needs us to do a favor it will come back to us sooner or later.

CTQ: How have you dealt with the market?
DT: We’ve adjusted first by building this new shop, which allows us to be more competitive when necessary. Also, getting our AISC shop certification allows us to be able to fabricate on the new infrastructure projects that are out and will continue to be put out. We have recently been preapproved to work for the New York City School Construction Authority. We also are open to bidding new types of work, which we feel we can be effective and competitive on.

CTQ: What is your vision for the future of OIC?
DT: Our vision for the future is to continue to maximize our potential with the efficiency of the new shop while developing internally to be able to support our customers’ needs. We are looking to stay in the midrange market, which allows us the flexibility to operate on the different levels we want and need to be on to succeed.

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