METAL CONSTRUCTION NEWS; May 1995; By Shawn Zuver (Full Article)

Span Construction & Engineering has been named Metal Construc­tion News’ 1994 Top Metal Builder, based on steel purchases of 13,756 tons in 1994. This most recent award marks the fifth consecutive year – every year since the annual competi­tion was start­ed that SPAN has earned the top spot among the largest metal builders in the U.S.

While at first glance the results might seem the same as previous years, with SPAN outdis­tancing all other metal builders by a significant margin, the Madera, CA based firm implemented some noteworthy changes in operating practices during 1994. These improvements, specifically those related to quality roof systems and a new safety program, are part of an on-going effort to maintain the highest level of service to Span’s customers. Span’s rise to the top of the metal construction industry has been well chronicled in past edi­tions of Metal Construction News (August 1991, August 1992, May 1993 and May 1994). Firoz “King” Husein, P.E., started the company SPAN’s rise to the top of the metal construction industry has been well chronicled in past edi­tions of Metal Construction News (August 1991, August 1992, May 1993 and May 1994). Firoz “King” Husein, P.E., started the company in 1980, after having began his career in pre-engineered structures less than a decade earlier. He holds a Masters Degree from Brigham Young University and a Bachelors Degree from the University of Bombay. It was as a high school student in his native country of India that he dreamed of becoming an engineer and moving to the United States to practice his craft.

King noted in previous articles that SPAN strives to take care of the small details on every project, in addition to assuring that larger items are also covered. This, along with Span’s other philosophies, have enabled the company to secure numerous large corporate customers for whom it has con­structed several projects through­out the years, without regional boundaries. It is common for Span to build several buildings for these “repeat” customers, each measur­ing hundreds of thousand square feet.

King frequently explains that he is most concerned with fair pric­ing, service and the quality of the buildings that SPAN designs and constructs, rather than the amount and size of buildings that it com­pletes. Span also has a progressive attitude in working with architects and engineers to best utilize the advantages that are offered by pre­engineered systems. In 1994, Span received Hall of Fame awards from Varco-Pruden Buildings, its long-time supplier, for two notable projects: North West Metals, Puyallup, WA, and Fresno Plumbers Training Facility, Fresno, CA. Nonetheless, Span’s successful formula has enabled the company to compile some very impressive sales and tonnage figures.

In 1990, the first year that Metal Construction News sponsored its Top Metal Builders contest, SPAN reported that it purchased 5,495 tons of steel for metal buildings. In 1991 the figure increased to 6,279 tons and grew to 7,882 tons in 1992. An incredible jump was real­ized in 1993 when tonnage hit 14,189 tons and that level was almost duplicated by 13,756 tons in 1994. Sales for 1994 exceeded $34 million.

King Husein recently provided additional insight into SPAN’s accomplishments-including aggressive programs regarding quality roof systems and improved jobsite safety.

MCN: With Span’s incredible success and reputation in the industry, it’s somewhat surprising to learn that you’ve placed an added emphasis on quality, focus­ing on your roof systems. Why did you feel this was needed? 

King Husein P.E.: Our focus in 1994 was to raise the level of quality and performance to a new standard. Within the company this new standard of quality is referred to as “SPAN Quality”. It is a major part of our mission statement which is “Commitment to excel­lence through quality and perfor­mance.” This is what is differenti­ating us from our competition. The reason we are focusing on our roof systems is because a majority of maintenance problems on a steel building occur on the roof. The standing seam roof is the best roof on the market. Varco­Pruden does a good job in con­trolling the quality of the SSR in the manufacturing stage at the plant. However, quality control in the field during the erection phase is not always easy due to weather conditions, level of expertise of the ironworker and extent of supervision. If the roof is installed right, it is virtually maintenance free. If it is installed improperly, it is a costly maintenance problem. This roof is non-forgiving and has to be installed right the first time with careful attention to all the details.