Posted on August 9, 2012 2:21 pm under General
I’ve always loved success stories, but in tough economic times, they hold even more appeal. Not those “Make A Million Overnight” ones, that offer to sell you their success formula. I’m talking about real people from humble beginnings, working hard to succeed. People like the Shermans.
Their story begins in the forties, shortly after the end of World War II, when Norman and Sally Sherman began a small scrap and surplus business. There are not a lot of details. That’s not surprising; since people like the Shermans don’t sell success stories. It is apparent that their budget was modest, however, since their family station wagon doubled as the only delivery vehicle for their business. It is not a story of rapid growth, but a story of solid progress. Over forty years passed before the company expanded to its second location under the direction of their son, Neil. Subsequent years saw the addition of several South California locations and an expansion into Arizona with the acquisition of a Phoenix-based company, Capitol Metals. A second Arizona facility will be opening in Tucson next month.
Today, Norman and Sally Sherman’s family grown business is known as Industrial Metal Supply Co. and it provides a wide range of metal products and services, including laser cutting, production shearing and cutting & band sawing. Why has their company succeeded, when so many are failing in economically difficult times? I think their focus on customer service plays a huge part. They succeed by helping their customers to do the same. Serving clients that range from machine shops to artists, IMS takes pride in handling orders as small as one dollar. Local customers can visit one of their facilities for advice and immediate quotes. Online customers can use a tool allowing them to specify the metal, shape and profile that they require and receive same-business-day quotes, as well as use the online site to have their questions answered by an expert. They not only provide in-store pickup and fast shipping, they work to provide shipping solutions to meet their customers’ needs. When superior customer service combines with quality products and services, you have a recipe for success.
Today’s entrepreneurs can learn a lot from Norman and Sally Sherman. And they don’t need to buy a book or pay for a seminar!