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Supplier Spotlight: The Rabco Corp.

Amy Campbell Comments

Nearly a year ago, The Rabco Corp. celebrated its 20th anniversary. Not only was it a time for reflection, but also a chance to look forward to the next 20 years. With rising material costs and an increase in competition, Rabco stands above the crowd with years of experience, emerging technology and old-fashioned customer service.

Owners Ron Rabou and Larry Cox started Rabco in 1987, after working for a supplier of self-storage and greenhouse buildings, and realized the potential in the emerging self-storage industry. Today, Rabco is one of the industry’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of self-storage buildings.

The company offers a full range of metal buildings, primarily for self-storage, but also boat/RV, flex space and rigid-frame distribution. Rabco’s staff includes designers, detailers, engineers, a full-service sales and estimating team, project managers and associated staff to keep projects in budget and on time.

A key to the Rabco’s long-term success is simply being the best in the self-storage industry. “What we sell here at Rabco is knowledge,” says Buster Owens, president of the Winter Garden, Fla.-based company. “That’s one of the big attractors, especially to the new developer. We’re very familiar with the whole process, not just the building process.”

That includes completing all design work in-house. Plus, each salesperson has a project manager/inside sales coordinator, who serves as an in-house contact person following the project from beginning to end. From site planning to building layout to managing the property, the Rabco team helps owners build a business—not just a facility.

Going High-Tech

In addition to experience, the company has also embraced technology as a way to differentiate itself in the market. The Rabco website underwent a dramatic overhaul last summer to create a more user-friendly site and add new features, including a builders’ tracking log. Owners can now log onto the website and, using a customer ID, pin and job number, access owner-dedicated space.

“They can complete their job information sheets online, transmit directions to the jobsite and, most important, it will have a delivery schedule for the materials,” Owens says. “No matter where you are, if you have access to the Internet, you’ll be able to see what has been delivered to your site and when the balance of the materials is scheduled to be delivered.”

The added online features are a direct response to customers’ needs, Owens says. For example, the ability to access certain information online—such as color charts or contact information—will eliminate job delays. “If they can complete it and submit it online, it saves time,” says Owens, adding that it also streamlines work in the office.

The company also purchased new job-cost accounting software with plug-and-play modules. “It can generate a lot of financial information that makes the company run more efficiently,” Owens says.

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