METAL CONSTRUCTION NEWS;  May 1997; By Shawn Zuver (Full Article)

Employee teamwork and part­nership with its suppliers and cus­tomers are among the key ingredi­ents for Span Construction & Engineering’s phenomenal success. Since it was founded 17 years ago, the Madera, CA­ based company has experienced strong growth on the way to claiming its place as the top pre-engineered metal building contractor in the country.

During the past year, SPAN continued to strengthen its leadership position by claiming its seventh consecutive Top Metal Builder award from Metal Construction News. SPAN gained the most recent award by purchasing 17,792 tons of steel for pre-engineered buildings in 1996, an increase of 17% over the record level of 15,189 tons in 1995.

According to SPAN’s president, Firoz “King” Husein, P.E., the steel tonnage is gratifying, but not the most important issue. Rather, King and his staff prefer to emphasize quality and safety on each project, to ensure that SPAN delivers the best building possible to every client. As a result, the Span Quality Program and Span Safety Program are models for the entire industry.

King founded Span Construction & Engineering in 1980, shortly after having begun his career in the pre-engineered building industry. He earned a Bachelors Degree in his native country of India from the University of Bombay. King then moved to the United States for his Masters Degree at Brigham Young University in Utah, prior to starting his professional career.

By now, SPAN’s stunning achievements have taken on legendary proportions-culmi­nating in an astounding mile­stone that was marked in 1996 when Span reached $100 mil­lion in steel purchases for pre­engineered metal building sys­tems.

SPAN’s accomplishments, uti­lizing systems from Varco­Pruden Buildings, have been chronicled in numerous past editions of Metal Construction News (August 1991, August 1992, May 1993, May 1994, May 1995, May 1996 and September 1996).

“Varco-Pruden is proud of Span Construction’s boundary ­breaking success,” said David Gilchrist, president of Varco­Pruden Buildings. “Span’s con­tinued success is obviously a reflection of the high standards and integrity set by their presi­dent, King Husein, for his employees. Their ability to translate those values into fin­ished projects is represented by this achievement. We are also pleased to have, at least in part, contributed to that success.

“Varco-Pruden knows that just designing and fabricating superior building products is not enough. We must have outstanding builders, like Span Construction, not only erecting buildings and meeting end cus­tomer needs but challenging VP to get better and better by rais­ing the bar of continuous improvement.”

Gilchrist continued, “We are committed to helping Span Construction, as well as our other authorized builders, con­tinue their leadership roles within the metal building indus­try. Varco-Pruden believes that SPAN’s attention to quality, detail and innovation will assure its success far into the future. Varco-Pruden is honored to be associated with Span and this prestigious award.”

Understandably, SPAN’s story is already familiar to most read­ers of Metal Construction News. So, with that in mind, the fol­lowing interview with King Husein focuses on the top metal builder’s construction activity during the past year:

MCN: Because the Top Metal Builder award is based on ton­nage, we’d like to start by talk­ing about the 17,792 tons of steel SPAN purchased in 1996. This figure is over three times as much as SPAN’s 5,495 tons that won our first contest in 1990. Numbers like these are mind-boggling to many people in the metal building industry. Are you also surprised by the incredible volume that Span has been able to handle, particular­ly when you consider that your company was founded just 17 years ago?

King Husein, P.E.: At times, I am surprised. At times, I am amazed. However, we do not focus on numbers. Our philoso­phy is always to take one sure step at a time and grow the business.

MCN: In past years, you’ve credited your employees for SPAN’s outstanding success. Please tell us just how impor­tant those people are in the ability of Span to continue to set these incredible sales vol­ume records.

Husein: Since our company philosophy is based on team­work, each member of our team is very important to the success of the company. The employees know that they are important because of the responsibilities and authority they have and the feedback they receive from management.

MCN: Even though your basic operating philosophies remain the same-such as emphasizing quality rather than trying to achieve high sales vol­ume SPAN seems to be con­stantly changing things to improve service to its cus­tomers. A few of those changes might be “reactive”, but we’ve come to realize that most of the changes are part of your exten­sive planning. With this in mind, can you share some of Span’s future plans with us? 

Husein: It requires a lot of effort to manage the details of all the projects and keep them on track. Fortunately, we have built a strong foundation with a core group of people. This core continues to enlarge as we grow. This year we are offering additional products and ser­vices to our clients by utilizing the United Dominion Industries (UDI) mosaic of products. These products include Serco dock equipment, Windsor rolling and overhead doors, Ceco mandoors and frames, Ceco window frames and AEP­Span architectural roof and wall panels. This enlarged product offering is further adding value to our clients who are looking for a single source responsibili­ty for their building needs.