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2015: Year of Emerging Dominance

Armstrong Steel begins in-house fabrication in 2015 Armstrong Steel begins in-house fabrication in 2015


It doesn’t only happen once you’ve died, or when it’s too late to change your direction. You leave a trail of legacies on a daily basis.

As every CEO does, I’ve made a couple missteps along the way. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I don’t think I could ask my employees to focus on the human experience our customers face if I didn’t realize my own humanity. Mistakes are part of it. But my legacy isn’t defined by my mistakes, it’s defined by the spirit in which I made them.

But I made a promise, in writing, to my customers; I promised, basically, “If you’re willing to trust us – to trust me - with your dream, your factory, your hard earned building funds, we’ll give you more than you might expect, we’ll go the extra mile every time.” That’s the legacy I’m compelled to leave – mistakes and all. That’s the legacy I’ve got to convince Armstrong Steel’s employees to leave, as well. And we don’t do it by haphazardly stumbling into the future and hoping for decent memories, we do it by being mindful of it in every moment.

By insisting that everything we do in the present at Armstrong feeds into that growing legacy puts us on a trajectory to a future where we won’t have to resolve to ‘improve’ or ‘do something better’ because we’ll already be doing it. Armstrong is about more than selling, we're constantly improving. Not just improving our company or our service but the industry as a whole. Sometimes that means taking the lead; and that's exactly what we're doing here in Colorado, in our own backyard.

Armstrong Steel's Denver Manufacturing Facility

Very soon, January in fact, Armstrong’s manufacturing facility here in Colorado will be open for business. We’re grabbing control of the last bit of the process and we’re not apologizing about making the sacrifices we needed to make to get here.

Armstrong Steel In Action

What this means is, now when I ask a customer to trust us – to trust me – I can do it with absolute license because the promise of quality and going hard through that extra mile is something Armstrong can now control all the way to the delivery of the building on site.

Armstrong Steel Manufacturing Facility

The years ahead will be great ones for Armstrong Steel and for the positive progress of our manufacturing facility. We aren’t frightened by adversity, we flourish by it. We don’t continue to thrive despite jealous competitors who insist on dragging our name through the mud, we thrive because of them. This type of behavior in the marketplace is desperate and causes a company’s best assets to lose respect for the leader encouraging such nonsense, and seek out greener pastures.

We remain focused on the quality of our product and the excellence of our service, not on smearing our competitors. It’s a paramount component to the Armstrong legacy. We’ve also toughened up – because of our competitors - we grew up fast and had to play ball in the majors a season or two before we may have been ‘ready’ because our competitors thought they owned the field and controlled the clock. But our agility, our eagerness, and our adaptability has made it a different ball game - and there are new rules on the field. We’ve lightened up – because of our customers.

Ten years ago, the nature of the steel building industry wasn’t pretty. But, it’s different now. The once rampant deceptive business practices of industry thugs during the age of radio advertising is no longer a sustainable model. Businesses no longer have the luxury of a one-sided conversation. We now have a consumer who can speak back and, frankly, it scares a lot of them – because of their own legacies.

Evil businesses find themselves paralyzed by their own customers’ word of mouth which now travels at the speed of a 4G connection. Yet, some of these companies have elected to blame everyone but themselves for their actions – for the legacies they’ve created. The page has turned on that sad and bizarre chapter in the steel building industry and a new chapter is being written.

Fortunately for customers, we’ve never had such ample access to information as we do today and the marketplace is responding – in words online, in the way companies are now perceived, and in the way a more sophisticated and empowered buyer chooses a company to pay for a service or a product. It’s exciting, if you ask me, but maybe because I’m not worried sick about whether or not my legacy is going to come and haunt me – I know it’s something I’ve been building.

As the demand for Armstrong Steel Buildings continues to rise; as we continue to meet the demand with honesty, integrity, and transparency; as we continue with our strategy of promising to go the extra mile even when the game could easily be called, we’re excited to leap into the future, we don’t fret about it. So while some may wish they could hide their past, we’ve got nothing to be shy about – we’re giving a nod to it, working the present, and excited for the future.

Thank you for being a part of it,

Ethan Chumley

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