DBCI Doors & BuildingComponents Inc.

Elaine Foxwell Comments
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Atlanta-based door manufacturer DBCI has a simple but noble mission: provide the best customer service possible. How? Supply customers in the self-storage and commercial markets a quality product at a competitive price, with unequaled service and response. To do this, some dramatic and exciting changes have taken place in the company over the past 18 months, including the addition of new management as well as a new sales team, building and website. DBCI also built a fresh business philosophy around four core values: integrity, customer service, employee development and the creation of partnerships.

Founded in 1989, DBCI is a major manufacturer of roll-up curtain doors and self-storage components with plants in Arizona, Georgia and Texas. The company was purchased by Houston-based NCI Building Systems in 1995. Since then, it has expanded with a distribution center for commercial products in Los Angeles and the recent purchase of Able Garage Door, manufacturer of residential and commercial sectional doors. Able, based in Houston, has distribution centers in California, Georgia and Oklahoma, as well as an additional Texas center in Dallas.

Over the years, the company’s innovative products have made it a recognized market leader. DBCI was the first door manufacturer to make use of the siliconized-polyester paint finish that carries a 25-year warranty on film integrity and up to a 25-year warranty against chalking and fading. The company was also one of the first manufacturers to use a spring-tension adjuster in the self-storage door market.

Times Are Changing

In 2002, the company reaffirmed its commitment to customer satisfaction with the implementation of many changes. These began with the appointment of Jimmy Dee Anderson as president in January of that year. Anderson’s prior association with the company as an employee of NCI and, later, a DBCI customer, allowed him to assess the organization’s business position. The challenge? to concentrate on processes, eliminate wasted steps and streamline the overall system. Modifications had to benefit not only customers, but the company’s products and people.

One measure of success in this regard was the reduced number of customer complaints. A specific aim was to make internal processes more accountable, efficient and user-friendly for consumers. The company’s new vision was embraced by its 300 forward looking employees.

Founding and Reaching Goals

With a firm understanding of the company’s central values, the management team implemented short- and long-term goals. Many of the short-term goals are already in effect. They include implementing product changes, finalizing geographic growth plans and rebuilding the sales force. As part of its mission to provide premium service, DBCI adopted a CAD-based estimating program to produce more accurate quotes for new projects. The program also allows quicker turnaround from contract to delivery.

Long-term objectives for the company include helping employees maximize their potential, expanding the product line, geographic growth and network-building. To achieve the goal of creating partnerships with industry leaders, DBCI initiated the Presidents’ Advisory Council, designed to join suppliers, customers, owners, architects and others in discussing changes in the self-storage marketplace. The council, an idea NCI implemented several years ago, acts as a forum for discussion about industry needs and provides a place where relationships can be built and bolstered. New members will be invited annually, and quarterly meetings will be held at diverse venues.

Ahead in the Race

How does DBCI maintain its competitive advantage in the self-storage market?

  • Purchasing Power
—The company is one of the largest users of prepainted steel coil.
  • Diversity
  • —DBCI owns the coating facilities where products are painted and slit. The NCI family has more than 30 facilities and more than 5,000 employees nationwide.
  • Financial Strength
  • —NCI is a public company, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with annual exceeding $1 billion.
  • Quality
  • —All these benefits combined allow DBCI to bring more value to its customers. A research and development department was initiated in early 2002 with the sole purpose of making the company’s products better, safer and less expensive. Customers can expect to see some exciting products and product modifications by the end of the year.

    “DBCI has been the leading supplier of doors to the self-storage market for some time, and we believe we still are today,” Anderson says. “Our products are very good. We have improved customer service and response. We have tremendous buying power and, most of all, we really care about the industry, the customers and our people. As long as we maintain these qualities, we will always be a force in the industry.” While the self-storage industry is sound, it may not continue to see the same growth of prior years. According to Anderson, the companies willing to adapt are those that will be most successful.

    In its evolution, DBCI is committed to providing quality products and service. Customers can rely on full-time field technicians for outside support and installation as well as multiple manufacturing locations for convenient product support. “There is no greater compliment than to hear customers comment on how easy it has been to do business with DBCI,” Anderson says. “Those comments are definitely on the rise.”

    For more information, call 800.542.0501; e-mail dbci.sales@dbci.com; visit www.dbci.com.

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