Local Ownership, National Strength
Hudson Valley Windustrial Co. Metal Supply, Poughkeepsie, New York: Part of the WinSupply family of companies
Mike Owens was working for a large New York City-based steel company in 1996, when a unique opportunity arose. The company he had been working for was about to be sold and things were going to change. He had been working with some of the best and brightest in the industry at Thypin Steel when he was approached by one of his customers who was part of the WinSupply family of companies. He had watched this particular customer and his incredible growth in a short period of time. His customer pitched him on the idea of joining the Win group as a metal supply company. He decided to take the leap, make the investment and take advantage of what WinSupply calls the “Spirit of Opportunity.” He became an entrepreneur!
Today, more than two decades later, Windustrial Metal Supply (WMS) has established itself as a diversified supplier of metals in the Hudson Valley serving the tri-state area from its hub in Poughkeepsie, New York. The beauty of WMS’s business model is that it is built around local ownership shared with a corporate partner. “We have the best of both worlds, we are flexible enough on a local basis to do what larger companies have difficulty doing, but we also have a $4 billion corporate partner that allows us to do what the larger companies do,” says Owens. “They provide the infrastructure; we do the rest.”
He adds, “Much of our business initially carried over from my experience in the steel business with Thypin; a lot of it was manufacturing based, serving companies that were making a specific product that required the same materials on an ongoing basis.” Windustrial Metal Supply simplified the process for its customers. They provide quality material at a competitive price along with quick delivery without reinventing the wheel. It proved to be a winning formula.
The company currently also services fabricators, machine shops and contractors with a wide variety of metals in carbon, stainless steel as well as aluminum and copper in various shapes and sizes. They deliver from their centrally located, climate-controlled warehouse on their own trucks. “One of the things that differentiates us from others is our ability and willingness to source what the customer actually needs whether its stock or not. That’s a lost art these days.” Most companies aren’t willing to do that. They aren’t going out of their way to provide or source material if it is not already on their shelf. WMS does that and much more, offering stocking programs for its customers.
A growing part of WMS’s market is the increased number of commercial and residential contractors. Contractors need material quickly and WMS is able to provide that level of service, whether it be delivery of a finished product to a job site, or raw materials to a fab shop. Windustrial has the ability to provide value-added services such as cutting, shearing, bending and polished materials, becoming a one-stop shop for contractors, saving them time and allowing them to meet their deadlines.
Over the years, Windustrial has worked with many manufacturers in the area of product development. They have worked with customers from concept to prototype to production and finished product. The company offers its expertise in design, materials and fabrication, partnering with their customers to bring their new products to market. The company is also constantly looking for new products to add to their existing inventory. “We like to think we can offer our customers more than one item. You can think of us as a metals supermarket,” Owens says.
Building for the Future
Six years ago, Mike was joined by his daughter, Kelly Owens, who is now the General Manager and oversees most of the daily activities within the company. Kelly, having a background in sales herself, was eager to learn not only the product but the industry as well. She has since acquired the expertise passed down from her father and continues to grow WMS, taking it into the future. “I’m excited to see what’s next for us,” says Kelly.
Mike and Kelly truly believe in the business model that consists of local ownership and corporate partnership. “It makes a difference when you’re talking to someone who’s an owner,” Kelly says. “Our customers have direct access to those who can make things happen for them. That’s what we do every day.”