Steve South met us at the booth for Elite Storage Solutions at Promat 2019 in Chicago! It was the president and CEO’s first interview with IndustrialSage. We were privileged to sit atop the trade show booth’s second level, with a stunning panoramic view of the entire trade show’s south floor.
Elite is the industry’s first full-service pallet rack manufacturer with full integration capabilities. The company initially started as a small family business, and they found the most success in being able to deal directly with their clients. Over time, that meant expanding into a bit of a one-stop-shop.
Whether you’re looking for storage racks, automation, mezzanines, or more…Elite is engaged in storage solutions all the way from start to finish. They’re involved from the get-go with engineering, design, and permitting. And after a project is approved, they use their own installation crews and project managers. Clients love having a single point of contact for all of those elements, rather than having to hop between service providers.
“It’s all about service. Without service, we are no different from anybody else. Service is what drives success.”
The word of a single customer always means far more than the word of a sales rep, and the company had plenty of customer stories to share. Some of their client testimonials were even displayed on a TV screen at the booth.
One of the most recent success stories shared by Elite Storage Solutions at Promat was the completion of a 800,000 square-foot facility for Five Belºw. “We were not the incumbent on that project,” Steve admitted to us. “But when we went in to meet with the management team…they were intrigued by our enthusiasm. They were intrigued by our extended service.”
Five Belºw needed the help of Elite to develop a solution for a handful of unique pick-module scenarios. So, instead of selling a single standard product line of frames and beams, Steve’s company sat down with them to develop something new. After determining a design and system that would work best for this particular solution, they then executed the plan. Elite’s ability to both design and construct their storage racks takes a lot of pressure off of their clients.
Of course, developing state-of-the art solutions really helps, too. Elite has adapted the industry’s standard racking structure. Even their own manufacturing process involves a significant amount of automation now. All their beams are mechanically welded together. They’ve also patented a new way to roll stronger, more cost-effective products with eliminated scrap metal leftovers. That’s a huge development for manufacturers.
Steve’s company also recently completed a new Big Lots® facility in Apple Valley, CA. Elite actually partnered with Honeywell Intelligrated® to produce the racking for the ASRS system there. There were still “miles and miles and miles of standard racks,” from Elite too, of course. The company’s devotion to customer service regularly leads to more and more new contracts.
“A good job is when a client’s pleased with you and they bring you back for the second opportunity.”
In fact, when it came time for Raw Seafoods Inc. to build more storage racks, they didn’t even bid anything. “They came straight to Elite Storage Systems,” Steve recalled with a laugh. “I became the incumbent. Good service will do that!”
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