Allied Building Products

Allied Building Products Corp. is in the business of solving its customers’ problems, CEO Bob Feury Jr. says. “[We] help them out when they’re in a jam,” he explains. “We try to take an active interest in their business and solve their problems.”

That policy has earned the East Rutherford, N.J.-based building materials distributor a loyal customer base, Feury says. “We deal with some of the same customers day in and day out,” he says.

Establishing Allied

The Smilowitz family established the company in 1950 as a roofing and custom sheet metal fabrication business with only five employees, two trucks, 700 square feet of offices and 5,000 square feet of warehouse space. Despite the modest size, “Allied showed strong commitment to both customers and manufacturers and developed meaningful relationships with key commercial roofing accounts,” the company says.

“This ultimately led to expansion in its product lines and customer base to produce one of the largest and most successful distributors in the building materials industry,” the company continues. “Allied’s acquisitions in the East, Midwest, Northwest and Southwest firmly established it as a national distributor of building materials.”

Stronger than Before

Today, the company is a subsidiary of international firm CRH plc, employs a staff of approximately 3,300 and has 195 locations in 32 states. Allied says that it also maintains a modern fleet of more than 1,500 cars, trucks and tractor trailers, while its workforce includes outside and inside sales professionals, dispatch personnel, equipment operators, as well as product, marketing, credit and architectural managers. In addition, Feury says CRH’s ownership has given Allied several advantages, including the ability to grow “at a much more rapid rate than we would have privately.”

Feury’s father became involved in the company in 1960 and today, his family still is involved in its management. “I like to think we still have very much a family approach to running our business,” he says, noting that the company puts its employees first. “We very much walk that walk. “We are very sensitive to our employees’ needs,” Feury says, adding that the company likes to promote from within. “We [also] engage our employees in many of the decisions and the direction that we’ve taken over the years.”

Director of Marketing Tim Williams adds that the company also is focused on constantly bringing value to its customers. “[This is] whether it be through Allied’s commitment to safety or operational excellence, a quality product offering and available inventory, alignment with responsible manufacturing partners, educational and installation seminars, easy shopping and competitive pricing, or just [being] a place where one can trust in Allied personnel for satisfaction and success,” Williams says.

Rewarding Work

Feury, who has been with the company since 1985, says he has enjoyed forming relationships with Allied’s suppliers. “There’s a lot of wonderful people in our business,” he says.

“It seems like people get into our industry and don’t get out,” he says. “We’ve [also] been able to see our folks grow and our business grow over time, which can be rewarding.”

He notes that Allied recently made investments in green initiatives. For instance, “We made a big investment in solar,” he says, explaining that the company has a department that focuses on the photovoltaic market. In addition, the company has already supplied several projects in that field.

Feury adds that it is critical for a company like Allied to take part in green initiatives. “It’s important [in] the various communities we operate in to let customers know that we’re concerned about it,” he says, adding that the company needs to be able to meet the green needs of its customers.

Well Positioned

Like many, the company’s No. 1 challenge is the current economy. “2009 has been a difficult year,” Feury explains. “We can all read in the paper [about] what’s been going on with houses and construction.”

Despite the challenges, he asserts that the company has stayed focused on serving its customers well. “We believe strongly in our customers,” he says. “I think we’re going to be still dealing with [tough] economic times well into 2010.”

However, he says, the company’s future looks strong. “The growth in our industry over the next several years [is] going to be good,” he says. “We’re positioned right.

“I think when the construction business starts to turn around a little bit, we’re [going to be] very well positioned to capitalize on this growth and have [our own] very nice, sustainable growth for many years,” Feury says.

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