business-of-the-year-finalist1Describe how the company differentiates itself as a leader from others in its industry.

MKT Metal Manufacturing, (MKT) is an industry leader, established in June of 2004, MKT was created to be a valued-added manufacturer/supplier of sheet metal duct, spiral duct, roof curbs, coated duct and HVAC duct accessories that customers can consistently rely upon throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. Originally starting out as Mi-Kee-Tro (Mike, Ken, Troy, and Frank), MKT is still run by three of its original partnership and one new, with over 75 years of combined experience in estimating, manufacturing, installation and sales. MKT’s leading position in the industry is attributed to their skilled craftsmen and their ability to supply products while optimizing production. MKT is a true O.E.M. (original equipment manufacturer), allowing better economies through direct buying with suppliers. MKT passes the savings on to their customers, reducing additional cost.

MKT’s communication and custom work set them apart from their competition. They brand their own way becoming Leaders in this dynamic industry. With offering Field to Factory Direct Communication, MKT is able to meet the needs of the customers immediately. MKT does not limit its services to those often disregarded by others in the trade. They utilize their talent, experience, and craftsmanship to meet, often customized, needs of each project. As stated by Josh Krider of Howell Heating and A/C in Ashland, Virginia, “…we make our customers aware that MKT factory installs taps on double wall duct. This is a huge service that is not offered by other suppliers. Their service is worth every penny.’ MKT paves the way for customers to have a direct line of communication, quality sheet metal/HVAC products and premium service through MKT.

Describe major challenges the company has faced, may include loss of major client, rapid growth, employee turnover, product differentiation, unforeseen industry changes, natural disasters, etc.

MKT has faced challenges head-on – whether it’s customer attrition, rapid growth or industry changes, MKT forges ahead remaining a leader in the industry despite economic vicissitude or industry tendencies. MKT’s growth stems from a sales force that is diligent and relies on a marketing strategy that adapts with the industry and works hand-in-hand to compliment MKT’s brand, mission and forethought. In pairing their sales and marketing, MKT has grown each year, expanding their products, services and partnerships throughout the Atlantic Region.

MKT has controlled their rapid growth by adding processes and personnel to accommodate the demand for their services. They’ve promoted within, and expanded their team to house the increasing workload. By enhancing their sales and estimating department MKT has created a support system to help meet the demands in their industry. MKT has moved into their new facility that now encompasses all operations under one roof, increases their product and service capabilities, and continually demonstrates to be the Sheet Metal Hub of the Atlantic region.

In addition to supplying rectangular and spiral duct, MKT is a licensed manufacturer who sells raw materials; such as, antimicrobial sheet metal and represent products like rooftop mechanical support systems and dampers and louvres. MKT’s flexibility in the field makes them desirable by the consumer. They are instrumental in the industry for supplying and distributing duct due to their knowledge and experience with materials often unavailable by others. By taking on unique products and combining them with their own, MKT is able to better capitalize on the industry making them a leader with their peers.

MKT expanded their growth in other territories, such as several South Atlantic and New England states, to get ahead of the economic downturn. During a time that could potentially be the “end” of a corporation, MKT was able to penetrate different markets and still provide the same credible products and services they are known for. MKT cross-trained their personnel, adding another layer to the driven company during a volatile market. With increasing industry regulations and the new “green” era on its heels, MKT has had to adhere to tighter manufacturing processes and continue to be a thought leader with innovative practices. One of MKT’s Green Practices is to “cover” duct ends to control cleanliness when transporting and on job sites. Another method is “Nesting” duct with uncovered ends, helping the carbon footprint with less trips to the job site, less time and money spent.

Explain how the company has continued to grow revenues and be successful.

When MKT started their business, one basic activity identified their mission: Communication, without, it’s a naught relationship. Whether we are talking about the sheet metal industry or partnerships between the owners, communication keeps the business alive. In building MKT to be a thriving, growing business, Communication has always been the key factor to their success. Their philosophy from the beginning remains, Field to Factory Direct Communication.

MKT is very forward thinking; maneuvering their industry position to take advantage of new ideas, new manufacturing goods, and new processes that they personally seek out and find. MKT started promoting their services and products through social media—reaching out to their customer base with informative information about the sheet metal industry and new ideas stemming from MKT. Not only is MKT fluent with their industry concepts but they continue to educate and grow their internal team with continuing education courses in human resources, insurance, sales training, leadership training and sponsored apprenticeships.

Describe the commitment and focus of the company to its employees and management’s technique to ensure growth for its employees.

MKT was built on a foundation to help, serve and be independent: help the families that work for MKT, because we all know a job or a career is personal. If you have to be away from your family working to provide for your loved ones, you want a place where you are respected and appreciated. MKT satisfies their team members. They aren’t just employees – their families with challenges like the rest of the world. MKT supports over time, sponsors apprenticeship, provides health coverage and sets up a 401K plan for their future. Some team members also have the opportunity to have “flex time” or work from a remote location where they don’t have to be in the office from 8 to 5, but can have an adaptable schedule to fit their needs of a growing family with flexibility.

MKT remains to be a model of strength and permanence, characteristics of a real person – even though MKT Metal Manufacturing is just an intangible name, undoubtedly it’s leadership comes from the people owning and operating it.