ABC Build Houston Magazine Feature – Mobil Steel is “Built to Last”

February 1, 2010 (Houston, Texas) – Mobil Steel is a Houston area Steel Fabricator that recently celebrated 40 years in business. When examining factors that contribute to the company’s longevity in the market, it is clear that the team’s core values are what set them apart.

Mobil Steel approaches their customers with the intent of gaining a comprehensive understanding of their needs and expectations, then developing a strong working relationship around those needs. “We continue to focus both internally and externally on our core values, which include reliable service, flexibility in capacity and high-quality products time and time again. Within the company, we remind each other constantly that we are here for the customer. Mobil Steel aims to establish ourselves as a ‘go-to’ resource for a successful project on behalf of both our clients and their owners,” says Leonard A. Bedell, President and CEO.

As a steel fabricator, Mobil Steel is one of a handful of Houston area suppliers certified by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). “Design engineers and owners are starting to emphasize this certification, and Mobil Steel earns some of our work as a result. We have worked hard to meet and maintain the stringent requirements of quality certification and are very proud of our AISC Certification. It sets us apart from the competition,” explains Bedell.

During the current period of economic stress, Mobil Steel maintained focus on taking advantage of opportunities to improve company methodologies and capabilities. ”We are seizing the opportunity to upgrade our equipment, facilities, policies, and procedures. We would love for the skies to clear and recovery to happen overnight, but this isn’t the first time that we’ve experienced a downturn in the economy. Our company is focusing on the things that are within our control in order to be prepared when the opportunities come.” Using the slower times to make improvements also involved ensuring that the company is aligned with vendors who share an appreciation for the work that Mobil Steel performs. “We are very loyal to our vendors, and we expect them to be loyal to us. It’s important that we share the same business values, that we jump through hoops together, and that we clearly understand our common goal: to meet our customer’s schedule and provide a quality job.”

During its 40 years in business, Mobil Steel has seen a fair share of industry challenges. Through economic stress and changes in ownership, Mobil Steel has persevered—rebuilding and strengthening their reputation along the way. Today, the company enjoys financial and management stability complemented by loyal customers. “We face challenging time periods by implementing strategic planning, investing in upgrades, and enhancing our workforce. No matter what, we stay focused on top-notch customer service day-in and day-out. Mobil Steel looks toward the long-term, and we strive to improve our service as opportunities present themselves when the time comes. The key is preparation,” says Bedell.

Recently, as the bidding process has become more competitive, Mobil Steel concentrated on developing relationships within the industry. “In this economy, owners will depend on companies that have the commitment level, the resources, and have proven themselves reliable.” Mobil Steel’s smaller size has also proven an advantage, as the company has not been forced to make major cutbacks despite global financial woes. “We firmly believe that companies will come back to those companies that stayed committed to our market and have the integrity and reliability to complete jobs on schedule and in a first-class manner,” says Bedell.

When asked how Mobil Steel plans to emerge from the current economic downturn, Bedell explains that it’s a matter of attitude. “Mobil Steel is in a strong financial position and has great relationships with our bankers. We have been able to invest in our people, processes and equipment, and we are prepared for opportunities. It’s a great time for the commercial and public works arenas to build projects at a lower cost than originally budgeted,” Bedell explains enthusiastically.

As Mobil Steel continues to plan for the future, the company is focusing on utilizing its core strengths, putting more effort into identifying those companies that are aligned with its value system. “We are trying to ensure that we keep in front of those relationships and continue to look at projects that we may not have considered before. We are increasing our skill sets so that we can offer more diversity and options to the customer. We are looking to the future, and we believe that we have made the right investments.”

Membership in the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is one of those meaningful investments, and it helps the company stay tuned in to the political process both locally and nationally. “ABC represents those who share our core values, and that gives us an industry advantage. Mobil Steel’s fabrication of the steel structure is the part of the project that no one sees once the job is completed, but we are proud to be an integral part of the process. Both Houston and Texas have a ‘can-do’ reputation, and we try and epitomize that. We want to be on the front lines.”