Launched in 1993 by Mike Branon and Caesar Wright at a dining room table in North County, Calif., Mako Steel Inc. took root with a timely concept—self-storage—as well as a commitment to be good to customers and employees. Today the company designs, supplies and installs self-storage and boat/RV-storage buildings nationwide. It employs an in-house engineering staff and knowledgeable industry professionals in its quest to guide new and existing facility developers from the conception phase through completion.
In a recent interview with Inside Self-Storage, Wright, who also serves as company president, shared insight to the company's mission, evolution and future plans.
Tell us about Mako.
The original ownership group put great faith in the "human element" of running a business and built a team of incredibly talented and bright individuals that would carry and build the company over the subsequent years. In the late '90s, we were joined by James Bartnick and Robert Lesko, each bringing vast experience in construction management, and each with a set of skills that would continue to strengthen our position within the self-storage industry. By the year 2000, our trifecta management team was a well-oiled machine, and the next decade would see the addition of more than 1,500 self-storage facilities in more than 40 states added to our construction portfolio.
In 2010 the company was restructured and ownership divided equally between me, Bartnick and Lesko. Through the economic uncertainty of the following years, we have continued to rise above our competitors by providing top-notch customer service and quality building systems for a competitive price. More important, we've maintained our commitment to our employees, believing the team is the lifeblood of our organization and the reason our customers continue to do business with us.
What's the Mako mission?
We believe our success can be attributed to one key element: the relationships we build with our clients. If we can use the extensive knowledge and experience of our team to help potential clients navigate through some of the early planning hurdles, and then continue to assist by providing top-notch buildings and great customer service at the right price, we position ourselves to earn their business and trust for future projects.
What makes Mako unique?
Our biggest asset—our staff—is also our biggest differentiator. We do have the ability to help, and we want to help folks who have a “dream” to build self-storage or boat/RV storage and some ideas on where to build but don’t know where to start. We believe we can use our experience and commitment to customer service to help light the fire. With an in-house design and engineering staff, we can help nurture a project from concept to completion.
What are the company’s future plans?
We're celebrating a big anniversary this year—20 years! Our long-term goals are to continue to grow and evolve with our industries and to stay on the cutting edge of new design elements. Our immediate goals are to find some new and innovative ways to give back to the industries that have made us successful. We’ve invested a ton of time this year making our website and blog an informative resource, and have plans to take our development and construction knowledge to some new markets in the form of local seminars.