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Mar Apr 2015 Marina World

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COMPANY NEWS Following Follansbee – three years as American Muscle When Diserio family members, owners of Valley Manufacturing of West Virginia, USA, bought Follansbee Dock Systems in 2012, they were jolted into an exciting new business arena. The first move was to merge the companies under a new name, American Muscle Docks & Fabrication (AMD), and from then on to build, perfect and expand a multi-faceted business. Valley Manufacturing was no stranger to Follansbee Dock – it had been supplying the company with metal components for 13 years – but it was ‘just’ a fabricator. And a fabricator that potentially owed its survival to a long term contract that represented 70% of its business. When the Louis Berkman Company announced its decision to sell Follansbee in January 2012, Paul Diserio, his wife Kathy and their two sons Luke and Kurt pooled their wide ranging abilities and took a calculated leap of faith. Luke abandoned his career as a Class A Golf Pro, Kurt set several business interests aside and in just a two-month period the family finalised a take-over. The first challenge AMD began operation at Valley’s 20,000ft 2 facility. But Valley was a steel components manufacturer. It had no sales department, no shipping department and no dock building equipment. It lacked essential tools, machinery, forklifts, phone systems, internet and had insufficient staff. For years it had manufactured steel truss frames, steel truss hardware, wood dock hardware, ladders, dock frames and other parts for Follansbee to re-sell. Now it had to sell these direct – and build complete dock systems. During year one, staff levels rose from six to 22, with four people retained from Follansbee. All essential services were established, equipment purchased and, instead of Valley’s average annual sales of US0,000, AMD racked up over US million. Its first contract was for over two miles of dock for the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy The Mr Lifter Jet Ski Lift has been redesigned for use with larger, heavier PWCs. A 500ft (152.4m) steel truss dock system with Dock Flash and matching custom Flash piling caps was installed at Haddad Riverfront Park. The dock is ADA accessible and is used for many events in spring and summer. District in Ohio. It then built docks for Haddad Riverfront Park in Charleston, West Virginia, and was able to immediately innovate by including its newly designed Dock Flash metal siding and matching pile caps in the installation. Strengthening sales New product design to augment the established Follansbee product line was one focus; export was another. In 2012, as well as supplying dock parts across the USA, AMD shipped to Puerto Rico, Japan, Mexico, Canada and the Virgin Islands. It is now fully set up to ship parts and complete dock systems worldwide in the most costconscious manner available. It sells to retail customers, contractors and state entities, supplying dock kits or buildto-order systems. Customers used to ordering via the Follansbee website have the same options at AMD and all products can also be viewed, ordered and collected from the company showrooms in Wellsburg. Over the past two years, AMD has produced and sold a variety of completed dock systems and invested in an additional building specifically for dock construction. It supplies new products, such as Nylodeck decking, and has most recently re-designed the classic Mr Lifter Jet Ski Lift to enable its use with larger and heavier PWC. CEO Luke Diserio is at pains to point out that AMD is not a new business but an ever-evolving company. It will continue to adapt to new demands and new markets, and grow in terms of employees, space and machinery. Contact AMD in WV, USA on email: - March/April 2015 47

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