CEO Tony Randall, second from left, meets with key members of his executive team, from left: Adam Randall, executive vice president; Jason Randall, president; and Ted White, vice president of operations. Adam and Jason Randall are Tony Randall's sons. (Photo by Kimberly McKinzie)
Ramar Steel Erectors Inc. has made its way through a recession and now is ready to build again.
CEO Tony Randall notes that the company actually was well-positioned when the downturn began.
“I think we were lucky enough that at the worst point of the recession we had about a year’s backlog, so it didn’t really reach us until a year later,” he says. “That 2008 and 2009 period was a lousy time for everyone, but we backed it all to the end of 2010.”
Randall notes that 2010 “wasn’t a happy time” for Ramar Steel Erectors, but he says the firm has recovered nicely since then. Companies that had postponed building during the recession are back in the market, and Ramar Steel Erectors has plenty of projects, he says.
“In our industry and our region, the economy is really picking up now,” he adds.
The company, founded in 1971, offers services including steel fabrication, steel erection and design support. The segments work in tandem on many projects and are updated using in-house systems that can be accessed instantly by the fabrication shop and relayed to crews in the field.
This means any design changes can be implemented immediately, allowing projects to run smoothly, company officials note.
Diversification is key for Ramar Steel Erectors, Randall says. Within the last year the company has acquired another steel business, one that produces miscellaneous steel items such as stairs and railings.
The addition was important because Ramar Steel Erectors had worked primarily in structural steel, Randall notes.
“That acquisition was a huge benefit, because now we can fit the whole package for our customers,” he says.
The acquisition produced immediate growth, Randall notes. The company’s employment before the purchase had hovered between 45 and 50 people, depending on the time of year and the job schedule, but now is up to 57.
Randall says he saw the proof of the company’s growth in the seemingly endless winter the region just endured.
“There are so many different obstacles you can face in this industry, which includes not only downturns in the economy but also the weather,” he says. “This last winter was the worst we had in a long time, but we were fortunate to be busy straight through it.”
Ramar Steel Erectors is growing in other ways, Randall says, including an expansion of its fabrication facility.
The company also is getting work farther from its base in Rochester.
“That’s important as we look to diversify,” he says. “We need to spread our wings a bit.”
With the recession behind the company, Ramar Steel Erectors now has a bright future, Randall says.
“Between work in structural steel and miscellaneous, our backlog is extremely busy compared to the last five years,” he says.
Factors besides diversification and geographical expansion are pushing growth for the company. A commitment to customers has allowed the firm to gain a strong reputation in the region, Randall says.
He also credits the experienced group of employees at Ramar Steel Erectors for pushing the company forward—including Randall’s own sons.
“We’ve had some really great people who have been with us for a long time,” he says. “You’re always as good as your employees, and the ones we have are such an immense help.”
The Rochester Top 100 program is presented by the Rochester Business Alliance Inc. and KPMG LLP. Launched in 1987, it recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Greater Rochester. This year’s Rochester Top 100 event will be held Nov. 5. For more information, go to rochesterbusinessalliance.com.
Ramar Steel Erectors Inc.
Provider of steel fabrication, steel erection and design support services
Year founded: 1971
Top executive: Tony Randall, CEO
2013 ranking: 43
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