World Fence News

February 2015

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Page 23 of 89

22 • FEBRUARY 2015 • WORLD FENCE NEWS We had the opportunity to speak briefly with Scott Eistorholl of West Georgia Fence in Carrollton, Geor- gia. Scott told us that this past season was a good one. The company's business mix is 80% residential and 20% commercial. The company services a radius that, for the most part, takes in all of Geor- gia including Atlanta. The firm has been in business some 50 years. West Georgia Fence offers orna- mental, chain link, wood and PVC fencing. On the residential side, wood is their biggest mover, more specifically pressure treated pine. They also sell and install aluminum and PVC. On the commercial side, the com- pany basically does commercial chain link for schools and other clients. They also do fence repairs. We asked Scott what this past season's biggest challenge was, and he told us that getting good qualified help was always a concern. We then asked what the biggest surprise was for this past season. He responded it was the demand from larger projects. His example was the use of orna- mental fence for beautification proj- ects. We then asked about the economy in the area, and were told that it was "pretty rough." Residential building is picking up of late, but is still below pre-recession levels. On the commer- cial side building is up a little but very competitive, although renovations are occurring, for example, at strip malls. As far as infrastructure is con- cerned, there is some construction but nothing noteworthy. We then asked Scott what the company strategy for 2015 would be. He told us that he is trying to get more organized with respect to his advertis- ing program. Further he told us that while word of mouth is good, he still needs to re- organize other efforts. He continued that he wants to take advantage of special types of promo- tions from companies and then turn them around to have them in a timely manner for his customers. Finally we asked Scott what he thought the outlook was for 2015. He closed by telling us that he felt the sea- son will probably be a mirror of 2014; in other words, picking up a little. We then had an opportunity to speak with Ken Mills of Mills Fence in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ken told us that this past season ended up very good. In fact, it was a better season than the previous one. And, at the time we spoke, he was still two to three weeks out. The company business mix is 55% commercial and 45% residential. On the commercial side, they do all kinds of work, including schools, ball fields, sports complexes, guard rail, etc. On the residential side, the biggest movers are ornamental aluminum and PVC, which has come on very strong, especially regarding privacy fencing. We were told that the company was established in 1970 and serves the greater Cincinnati area. The company carries one of the biggest inventories of fence materials in the nation, dis- played in two showrooms in two lo- cations. The company offers special types of wood fence, including three rail, split rail, three board with a roll top, four board without a liner, roll top ce- dar privacy, shadow box privacy with lattice, and western red cedar shadow box. On the aluminum side, they offer black color coated, estate gates, and roller gates. They are also offering landscape lighting. On the commercial side they offer security fence, dumpster enclosures, fencing for baseball fields, enclosures with panic hardware, and guard rail. As far as PVC is concerned, he offers gray, white or tan in all styles, as well as patio enlosures and railing. We then asked Ken what the biggest challenge was this past sea- son. He replied it was finding people who want to be developed into good leaders and assume leadership roles, which has been very difficult. Ken also pointed out that "bad guys" in your operation will create many problems later on. He also noted that he could have used 10 additional crews if they could have gotten quali- fied people. We asked Ken what the biggest surprise was this past season and he responded that it was how busy they were all season. We then asked Ken about the economy in the area. He replied that, overall, it is not bad. While there are a lot of people out of work, the real FENCER'S FIELD REPORT A monthly column of industry bits & pieces Compiled by contributing editor Jim Lucci and the staff of World Fence News

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