Houston-based Maintenance Metals was founded in 1989 as a distributor of hot-dipped galvanized steel, fabricated components and mill supplies used in the Gulf Coast Petrochemical landscape. Today, under the direction of co-founder and Managing Partner Ronny Ravkind, Maintenance Metals has morphed into a 12-employee master distributorship that specializes in galvanized pipe and pipe fittings, stocking almost 1,000 different hot-dipped galvanized products.
Supply House Times recently talked to Ravkind about the company’s evolution, his employees, what customer service means to Maintenance Metals and how his religious faith has shaped the master distributor’s footprint over the years.
Supply House Times: What does customer service mean to Maintenance Metals?
RR: We feel by utilizing God-given wisdom we have been able to foster relationships with our partners that have stood the test of time. Continuity and consistency are things we stress. Over the years, customers have come to know that our people and our products are accessible for their galvanized product requirements, 24/7, 365 days a year. Twenty-five years ago, if we had an order for 5,000 pieces of a high-density galvanized item, the wait time was between two and three weeks. Now, most orders are in stock. We love our customers and we love inventory. In recent times, our customers have relied on us to be their warehouse as financial resources have become scarce in the energy sector.
We feel customer service starts with a friendly voice on the phone or with the concise way we find out what the customer wants. Our job is to make our customers look good. Any information tied to the purchase can be verified over the internet or phone 24/7. Each salesperson emails tracking information when orders are shipped. If customers need materials on New Year’s Eve or at 3 a.m., they have access to our warehouse. We want customers to feel like they have their own personal concierge every time they call or email us.
Supply House Times: What makes your employees so valuable in what you do?
RR: We have been very fortunate in our past working environments. Some of us have had exposure to talented former employers and employees as well as our meaningful faith that has shaped who we have become in our industry. I will never forget the opportunity a very special and talented family gave me fresh out of college with their steel service center business. We believe in treating people as you would want to be treated. We feel every one of our employees utilizes their talents, treasures and time to that end. We are an integrated company where everybody realizes that one can’t succeed without the other. The average tenure around here is 20 years, so continuity and consistency stands the test of time.
Supply House Times: How has your faith played a role in the success of Maintenance Metals?
RR: All our employees believe our loving God is with us all the time knowing every thought we have and knowing what is best for us. Relationships are everything in the world we live in. We view our business as a group of partners, whether it’s our employees, customers or vendors, with one goal in mind. We must be ready with inventory, have accessibility and a concierge-type service so when customers call we can execute and further our goals. That frees us to do what we were put on this earth to do and that’s spread the word of hope and salvation. Since 1989, regardless of unforeseen events, fluctuations in the price of oil, the housing bubble or environmental regulations, we have thrived. We can’t take much credit for this because, once again, our success has been due to a diligent work ethic and provision.
This article was originally titled “Having faith” in the February 2017 print edition of Supply House Times.