Allstate Tower Inc.

 Allstate Tower (AST) Inc. recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in November 2013, but the company still considers itself one of “the little fish in a big sea,” according to Director Ben Johnston. 

He explains, “AST sees this position as exciting, because the full-service contractor has a lot of room to grow. We are confident our Maintenance, Turnkey and Fabricated Steel Divisions, combined with our solid vision and focus on quality, will pave the way forward.

“Our company is a family business and our employees completely understand the team concept emphasized here,” Johnston says. “We have very open-dialogue communication and every employee interacts together to drive the company’s success. We pride ourselves with hands-on customer service, on-time delivery and the quality of our products and services.”

AST is a full-service operation offering design and engineering, foundation installation, fabrication, tower erection and installation of antennas and lines. AST also designs and fabricates standard and custom products for the agricultural, commercial and industrial material handling industries. AST is based in Henderson, Ky., and was founded in 2003 as an offshoot of Pittsburgh Tank & Tower, also headquartered in Henderson, Ky. In operation since 1919, Pittsburg Tank & Tower provides engineered structures for municipal water storage and industrial storage facilities. Ben Johnston is part of the third generation of the family to work in the business. 

“Our relationships with general contractors, millwrights and dealers are a huge part of our success,” Johnston stresses. “We pride ourselves on repeat business by developing strong core relationships, starting with the customer contact and continuing after project completion. It is challenging to cultivate new customers; once we find them, we work to keep them. We have a dedicated sales team and our after-sale team continues to focus on the needs of our customers; their proactive approach complements the front-end sales team extremely well. 

“We open our doors to any issue or problem a customer may bring, and when that occasion arises, it is our first priority to resolve. We also take effective corrective action to prevent recurrences or similar issues from occurring in the future. We value each customer and his/her overall satisfaction is the driving force of our mission and our continued growth and success at AST.”

Stringent Quality Control

AST has an ongoing relationship with the communications industry, such as working with broadband and electronics companies, but it also supports the grain industry with material handling and industrial support structures. One of the company’s largest projects to date has been for the renewable energy industry – the Pinnacle Renewables Westview Terminal project in British Columbia. 

“We got this project by reaching out to CMC Engineering, who we’ve worked with before, and who is the engineer-of-record on the project,” explains Mary Toerne, sales and marketing manager. “We received the specs, and the project involves 300 tons of steel in the transfer tower and support structure. We’re also building six bents, an additional 185 tons of steel. Phase 1 of the project required design, detailing, fabrication and delivery within an aggressive 120-day timetable.”

AST is working with Timber West Mill Construction of British Columbia to complete the Pinnacle project, Johnston notes. He explains the project has gone exceptionally well because of the “great relationship” between AST and Timber West, resulting in minimal field or production problems. 

“This project has been unique because they wanted to eliminate field welding,” he explains. “Everything has been designed to very close tolerances and there are over 1,000 pieces.” 

AST implemented a specific quality control measure to meet the strict requirements of the Pinnacle project. Johnston says the company has an internal test-build shop process to ensure hole-to-hole accuracy prior to leaving the plant, which eliminates any problems that might be encountered during the site erection process. 

Johnston explains it is essential to have exact fabrication, because shipping costs from the site back to the facility would be cost prohibitive. Additionally, all material is being galvanized to protect it from the harsh British Columbia weather conditions. “We have a very stringent quality control process in place,” he adds. Based on individual or non-standard requirement, Allstate will crosscheck material fit before anything leaves the plant.

Working Together

AST prides itself on having developed checks and balances to ensure every project maintains the highest level of quality. Toerne explains the company uses “peer checks” to constantly monitor quality; these allow for teamwork and for each member to remain focused on his or her specific task at hand. 

“Each department has a process to follow to ensure its quality,” she says. “Our process is modeled on ISO 9000 and the American Institute of Steel Construction’s standards, but our internal process exceeds those.”

She notes that the project with Pinnacle Renewables reinforced AST’s dedication to quality and providing service to its customers. “When this project came about, it took us to another level of challenges,” she explains. “We were familiar and comfortable with the type of project, but it was a new level of magnitude. Everyone had to kick it up a notch, and it’s been mind-boggling how the company has grown effectively to meet the challenges.”

Johnston agrees, and notes that the dedication employees have to quality and customer satisfaction is a key aspect in AST’s ongoing success, not just on the Pinnacle Renewables project, but throughout its operations. 

“Once a customer has bought from us, they know we will do what we say and deliver what they request,” Johnston explains. “We are really driven by a team of people who want to do things the right way, and who remain focused on customer satisfaction as well as quality craftsmanship. 

“We know how these structures are used, and we understand the consequences if poor quality is delivered, or not delivered on time. Everyone works together to help this company succeed and achieve new heights!” 

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