Steve Harvey is the Vice President and General Manager of Boyd Metals in Fort Smith. He has a lot going on, but we convinced him to take a quick break and answer a few questions for us. Here's an inside scoop on how he starts the day, what he is looking at in the industry, and why he loves Boyd Metals. Enjoy!
How has this year been so far for Boyd Metals in Ft. Smith?
I have a very positive outlook on the market right now. This has been a good year for growth in our area. For us, that means that new steel buildings are going up and improvements are being made on existing ones. Projects like that translate to opportunities for Boyd Metals as a steel service center. Specifically, this year we saw a good increase in carbon structural purchases.
What we have seen is that construction guys are doing a bit better in our particular market than what we are seeing as a national trend. We also saw an increase in capital spending with the poultry processing industry.
When companies plan and excercise capital improvements, we see both the direct and the downstream benefit to businesses in the area. Additionally, we saw a slow but steady increase in energy infrastructure building. That stayed strong through the summer months. We're seeing activity with oil and gas well production and have customers fabricating equipment to serve this market. We're able to provide material for many companies along that supply chain.
The fabricators, sheet metal, and machine shops in our market are benefiting from the expenditures of the larger facilities. Our focus on helping them source what they need - when they need it - has had a positive impact on the local economy. They call us because they need the raw materials delivered on-time, but they become long term clients because of the customer service. The additional purchasing power we have as a larger business with 5 locations is an extra benefit as well.
How do you see the market prospects over the coming months?
With that very strong base coming into the third and fourth quarters, I see a possible continued uptick in the energy market. We will be keeping a focused attention towards opportunities to partner with our clients as these projects are approved and move forward.
What does the day to day look like for you as General Manager?
I'm pretty lucky at Boyd Metals to have so many great people to work with. When my day starts, I like to check in with as many of my co-workers as possible. I like having a direct relationship with the sales team and staying in tune with the challenges the inventory and warehouse teams are facing each day. I like to start my day making sure I have my finger on the pulse of our operation and look for opportunities to help out.
Honestly, the team here at Boyd Metals makes my job easy. They are efficient and forward thinking. It is a privilege to work with a great group of people as we serve our customers.
What makes Ft. Smith special?
Ft. Smith is the birthplace of Boyd Metals. Interestingly enough, it is also my birthplace. I started working here just one year after they opened, so I've seen a lot of the tremendous growth first hand. As far as what makes this place so special, I wouldn't limit it to Ft. Smith.
We do love this community and our employees do a great job of giving back to it. Some team members commute in from the surrounding communities and we see them giving back, not just here in Ft. Smith, but in those places as well. Really, our employees have been building our good reputation through their actions as individuals.
What do you think really makes Boyd Metals special?
The longevity and excellence of Boyd Metals comes back to the people. It starts at the top. I feel very lucky to work under Tom Kennon, our President. He is, and always has been, concerned about empowering us as employees to truly take care of the customer. Our collaborative culture and mindset are really quite ingrained at our company. I have to do very little to promote that at this point. Instead, I get to take that energy and continually put it back on the customer. That foundation has allowed us to grow.
Growth means more jobs and more opportunity for those of us here at Boyd Metals. We have a strong commitment to promoting from within. Many of our co-workers from Fort Smith have gone on to different Boyd locations and taken new leadership roles. That has given us the opportunity to continue to help groom new leadership. Having an opportunity to invest in the professional development of the next generation of Boyd Metals is really special to me.
How does that internal difference benefit the customer?
In the end, we're selling a commodity, so our people and service truly needs to make the difference in the market. When we create an environment where good people have a chance to grow and we empower them to make decisions, they take responsibility for the customers they serve.
The result is that our clients don't just get metal delivered. They get an industry partnership with people who have their backs, understand their deadlines, and are committed to mutual success. I think that is a tremendous benefit to our customer and I love to watch it happen every day.