Member News – March 2021
Baltimore Fabrication prepares to grow as division of SteelFab
Baltimore Fabrication is poised to tackle business at “a whole new level” after being acquired by SteelFab Inc.
Company officials finalized the deal early this year, making Baltimore Fabrication a division of the largest, privately held structural steel fabricator in America.
“We have found Baltimore Fab to be a tremendous partner and asset over our last four years of working with one another, particularly in the arena of design-assist and design-build projects,” said Chris Gregory, Executive Vice President of SteelFab.
In addition to delivering high-quality work on numerous projects with SteelFab, Baltimore Fabrication exhibited a commitment to customer service and adapting to project needs that closely matched SteelFab’s culture, Gregory said. Consequently, the acquisition seemed like a logical step and an opportunity to provide turnkey structural and miscellaneous metals packages to clients.
It also created an opportunity to stoke Baltimore Fabrication’s growth.
“It’s really hard to scale a business over $10 million,” said Mark Rich, President of Baltimore Fabrication.
Rich and his business partner, Scott Foreman, founded the company in 2014 and averaged annual growth rates of 106 percent ever since. In 2020, Baltimore Fabrication completed $11 million in work.
“There’s no shortage of work for us to do,” said Rich, adding that the company has become very active in building data centers and other high-tech facilities.
But as a young company, Baltimore Fabrication didn’t have ready access to capital. Each growth stage also presented the owners with new challenges, such as how to handle legal issues, staff development and production increases.
“I learned a lot growing the company from zero to $10 million, but I have been humbled as of late by what I don’t know,” Rich said.
Joining SteelFab, he said, presents “an amazing learning opportunity. I have access to all of their companies and all of their presidents… We have access to an HR department and a legal department. If we want a new piece of equipment, they have data on how long it’s going to last and how much profit it can turn. This is business on a whole new level.”
Baltimore Fabrication has already sent some of its project managers and estimators to SteelFab’s Northern Virginia office to receive training.
“We can send our people down to Charlotte or any of SteelFab’s eight plants to train,” Rich said.
And Baltimore Fabrication is preparing to join one of SteelFab’s workforce development practices. Each SteelFab division partners with a local college to create internships for estimators, project engineers and project managers. The company-wide program helps divisions access and foster in-demand talent. It also provides graduates of the internship program with opportunities to work throughout SteelFab.
The acquisition, Rich said, will generate one other benefit for employees.
“SteelFab is very big on giving profits back to the employees,” he said. “Now that SteelFab is an owner, a percentage of our profits will go to all of our employees, so that’s exciting.”