08 Oct Tristar Glass Products
« We started Tristar Glass Products from scratch in 2005. In 2015, we’ll open our third fabrication facility and reach 200 employees. »
We’re an architectural and decorative glass fabricator certified by PPG and Guardian. Most of our business comes through commercial glazing companies. Caring for customers is a big part of what we preach from the top down. We take pride in it.
Service and loyalty sets us apart. We have a higher level of commitment to the extra things. We rush orders, we do favors. We get the right products to our customers on a timely basis and try to never say no. »
Gaining market share and quality people
« I had worked in the industry for many years and owned a glass fabrication company with my brother, which we sold in 1995. When my non-compete expired in 2005, I immediately opened Tristar for business. I saw the need and felt we could do a better job than the competition.
Fortunately, we never saw a bad downturn in 2008. The regional economy certainly slowed but it was not like the coasts. We’ve been able to pick up market share and buy equipment and expand our capabilities at reasonable prices.
We’ve also been able to find quality people at each step, which is why we were able to open a facility in Dallas in 2012—the same year we moved and expanded our Oklahoma plant—and will open in Houston this year. »
People drive our business
« People drive the business, and the people who work here and that we hire wholeheartedly share our belief that our primary concern is taking care of our customers. »
The Houston facility is 66,000 square feet featuring a state-of the-art convection furnace with a bed load size of 130 inches by 240 inches, the largest of its kind in the United States.
We can go big because we have good systems, great customers and a lot of people dedicated to providing exceptional service and quality.
We also have a second website, tristarvisions.com, for our decorative glass division, which offers a full range of services for interior and exterior applications. »
Getting ready to grow
« There’s lots of interaction and coordination in this business and we strive to never make it difficult or unpleasant to deal with us, especially during tough situations.
We invested in FeneVision in 2010. Our software up to that point was strictly an order entry program someone locally had written. It was doing the job but we were seeing our potential to grow. We knew we needed to have robust systems.
We looked for software that could do what we wanted and came from a company that could give us the support we need when we need it. We wanted one package that could do everything for us.
We actually began implementing another program and were quickly aware that it couldn’t do what was promised.
That’s when we selected FeneVision. You could see that the people at FeneTech saw the need for strong systems for fabricators. »
Seeing the entire process
« FeneVision takes us through the entire process.
My wife Karen is the company controller. She likes the ability to go in and take an order and track it all the way through to where we ship it and invoice the customer. We can see what happened all along the process. We can find it right down to a customer’s location.
We’re trying to automate our processes more and more and even move toward touchless production. Currently we are ready to move into laser marking from barcoding. »
« All fabricators have similar equipment and ways to take care of customers. We try not to get complacent or think we are better than we are.
We operate with a high level of commitment because this is our livelihood. We take it personally when something goes wrong, whether it’s our fault or not. It’s how we respond that matters, that helps drive our growth.
When we saw opportunities for expansion, FeneTech and FeneVision looked to be in the best place to help us manage it. Today, FeneVision is supporting our growth.
It was an investment but no one would give it up and go back. We all really appreciate what it does for us. »
Tim Kelley, president