John Bowman or Bowman Steel has been renting his lift equipment from ALL Crane Rental of Florida, a member of the ALL Family of Companies. Over the years, he’s formed a tight bond with sales representative Jim Painter, and used ALL Crane for jobs all across Florida.
Much of business is about cultivating strategic partnerships based on trust, like-mindedness and similar goals. When you find a supplier you click with, you don't want to give them up. But sometimes, these relationships are challenged when one entity grows and the other can't keep up.
Contractors, construction companies, steel erectors, plant owners, and, really, any entity that relies on rental lift equipment might wonder how they can find a crane rental company that grows with them. After all, just because a contractor or plant is located in one town or one state today doesn't mean they won't eventually expand into new territories. So, is it possible to grow, take your supplier with you, yet still maintain the personal touch that fostered the relationship in the first place?
A Florida-based steel erector has landed on a system with its local crane provider than can serve as a model for other construction firms seeking to stick with the same rental company as its own business expands.
Bowman Steel is located in Sebring, Fla., in the central part of the state, conveniently just a two-hour drive from Tampa or Orlando and just three hours from Miami. This central location allowed the company to serve diverse projects throughout the state.
Founded in 1997, since 2003 owner John Bowman has been renting his lift equipment from ALL Crane Rental of Florida, a member of the ALL Family of Companies. Over the years, he's formed a tight bond with sales representative Jim Painter, and used ALL Crane for jobs all across Florida.
In the past two decades, a lot has changed and Bowman Steel has grown much larger, getting involved in projects of great complexity and extending into other states. In fact, Bowman Steel now employs around 250 people and is licensed in 11 states, including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Louisiana.
"John's company has evolved from small steel erection jobs in its early days to building steel guitars that are six stories high," said Painter, referencing construction of the Seminole Hard Rock Resort and Casino in Hollywood, Fla. Bowman Steel used ALL Crane for the job, which indeed included construction of a hotel shaped like the body of a guitar.
With all of Bowman Steel's growth, however, one thing didn't change: John Bowman still wanted to work directly with his hometown crane rental team at ALL Crane Rental of Florida to procure lift equipment. Even if the job was located in Tennessee. Or Indiana. Or Pennsylvania.
The ALL Team made it happen, allowing the Florida branch to act as Bowman's single point of contact to the entirety of the ALL Family's national footprint.
Now, when Bowman's company has a job in a different state, he still makes a call to ALL Crane Rental of Florida and discusses the project with the same team he's always known. Then the ALL team in Florida reaches out to the general manager of the ALL branch nearest the Bowman project. That branch then acts as the hub for the project, with all equipment routed through it, but Bowman works directly with his familiar Florida team.
The arrangement speaks to the ideal balance the ALL Family achieves by being an assemblage of independent branches that are part of the same national footprint. It creates great flexibility that allows a branch to offer localized, personal service while tapping into the fleet and the reach of a national company.
There aren't any turf wars between GMs at various branches, either, because everyone operates under the model that a rising tide lifts all boats. Or that, working together, lift equipment from ALL helps all customers rise.
The relationship between Bowman and ALL continues, with homegrown Florida projects on the books, as well as an upcoming project near Columbus, Ohio. By giving Bowman Steel that single point of contact, the ALL Family has been able to provide support that grows in lock step with its customer. It demonstrates that, in a business where relationships matter, it is possible to have the best of both worlds: personal service and national reach.
For more information, call 800/232-4100 or visit www.allcrane.com.
This story also appears on Crane Equipment Guide.
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