Team Interview: Patrick Nine of Mid-Land Building Division
As the Building Sales Manager at Mid-Land Enterprises, Patrick Nine keeps busy. We caught up with him for a few minutes to ask him some questions about the role he plays at Mid-Land and to see what industry insights he might have for our readers. Enjoy!
What does a typical day look like for the Sales Manager of Mid-Land’s Building Division?
I’m sure most managers have to juggle a lot of interruptions. I certainly do. Because I can be quickly pulled in many directions, it is important for me to start my day with a consistent focus. Business relationships are critical to success, so I spend a few minutes each morning connecting with people in the industry. I will usually check LinkedIn and follow up with questions I receive there about upcoming projects. If I don’t carve out time to connect meaningfully first thing, it is nearly impossible to get back there.
Then, I head to the “bid board” and review anything that needs my attention. I’ve been working in purchasing, costing and facilities management for more than 25 years now. Having the experience makes it much easier for me to quickly assess projects that need special attention.
What is so great about Mid-Land Enterprises?
The leadership. I love working at a smaller, more specialized company. The standards we uphold at Mid-Land Enterprises really motivate me each day. I know that the team is focused on delivering value to our clients no matter how big or small the project is.
How big and how small do the projects get?
A small project might be something like adding an interior set of offices near a factory line or storage facility. A big project would be a complete erection of a new metal building. Either way, our building department handles the whole process. Safety is always first. From bidding, to execution, to quality review, safety is the highest priority.
What type of projects are you working on right now?
Today I’ll be out in Springfield, MO to check in on a structural steel project we are working on. Our crew will be called out for a project and, once the work starts on-site, new opportunities present themselves fairly often. When the facilities managers realize how skilled and conscientious our group is, the decision to bring us on for other projects is easy.
The reality is that our ideal customer is pretty overwhelmed with their facility’s needs. Most of the managers I speak to are trying to keep their payroll lean and don’t need a lot of millwright, construction or welding experts full-time. But, the maintenance on a metal building and all of the components running in their facilities still needs to be done.
I’ll check in at that project and make sure others are bid properly so the team can handle them in the right order for maximum efficiency. I’ll also head out to a cold storage warehouse and look for some retrofitting and remodeling solutions. Mid-Land does a lot of preventative maintenance agreements for facilities. Those services are a tremendous value and keep facilities running in peak shape.
Mid-Land Building gets called in to assess things when the facilities manager is looking at doing more than just maintenance. We might build some walls, expand a warehouse, or extend a metal roof to expand the footprint of the facility. Maybe they need a new build all-together. I take care of the bidding on those projects.
How are you feeling about the economy in relation to building projects?
The overall economy is better in this region than it is in the nation as a whole. In some ways, though I don’t focus on it too much. For us at Mid-Land Enterprises, we’re called in when clients are looking to extend the life of an aging facility. That happens just as often as we’re called in for expansions or new builds.
The economy I focus on is our customers’ bottom lines. I truly believe that the best form of success comes from that kind of respect to our clients. We are always delivering our highest standard of excellence for a fair price and that is a value that keeps business running.
What opportunities are ideal for your division and services?
Two days a week I get out to talk to clients and the opportunities I’m looking for come from a lot of industries. The commonality is that anyone with a pre-engineered building should have our number handy. I visit the managers of warehouses, manufacturing facilities, food service lines and line production facilities.
Our millwright division can keep everything running smoothly with preventive care and even emergency repair. Our building division is looking for ways we can help clients use their existing footprint more efficiently. If they need more space, I help them assess when the right time is for them to expand or build something new.
What has changed since you started erecting metal buildings?
The list of who was using metal buildings has changed. Pre-engineered metal buildings and steel structures are more versatile and more economic than most other structures. They make for a great long-term investment. More and more organizations are realizing that now. We are beginning to do more work with schools and churches. Even some small businesses are now able to partner with great architects and build great looking facilities with a steel base.
We love seeing the beautiful facades on these buildings. As the options grow, we expect to get calls for steel structures and new pre-engineered buildings from a wider spectrum of businesses.
We know it takes extra effort to stay on top of metal building maintenance. To help you out, we put our heads together and came up with this list of what not to forget and why.