Excellence in steel
Metro Lintels is a steel fabricating company with a wealth of experience in supplying to the construction and resource sector. The business was formed 21 years ago in Western Australia by Peter Johnson and Gary Foster. In the years since, it has steadily grown and evolved, and has earned a reputation for being knowledgeable, skilled, and client-focused.
“We basically started from modest beginnings to become one of Western Australia’s leading steel fabricators,” says Peter Heyden, Senior Construction Manager at the company.
Today, Metro Lintels employs more than 150 staff members and operates from a site of over 23,000 square metres. Their property features extensive yard space, five main custom designed factories, and the company’s own transport and mechanical repair facility. The company has also invested heavily in CNC machinery to ensure they can deliver an industry-leading service while still being cost competitive.
According to Peter, it was that depth of ability that attracted him to Metro Lintels six years ago. He says that diversity is what continues to attract people to the company, especially clients.
“We’ve got a lot more to offer than most standard fabricators,” he says.
Metro Lintels not only distributes structural steel, but can detail it, erect it, and fabricate it to spec. This limits the amount of suppliers on any given project, and also ensures quality every step of the way.
“We are open to all aspects of the construction,” Peter reiterates. “We want to be a one stop shop for our clients. And we want to go out of our way to make sure they have a good experience.”
Over the years, Metro Lintels has built many long lasting relationships with builders. Peter says that some of their major clients have been using Metro Lintels as a supplier since day one.
Working as one
Metro Lintels creates positive relationships internally as well as externally. Peter describes the company’s culture as being close-knit and family oriented, and he says that’s reflected in their corporate structure. Even though on paper they are a group of companies, they all work as one.
“It started off with Metro Lintels that dealt with the fabrication side of things, but as time has gone on the directors have acquired businesses that act as a value-add to the fabrication business.” Metro Lintels is theoretically divided into four operational groups; these are: Metro Fabrication, Metro Steel, Metwest and Perth Metalwork.
Metro Fabrication is their flagship operation, and the one that ties them all together under one brand. Over the years Metro Fabrication has become one of the leading trainers of heavy steel fabrication apprentices in Western Australia. It has also been consistently recognised by the Master Builders Association in their awards – most recently, they received the 2013 award for Excellence in Structural Steel. That accolade was given specifically for their Wanangkura Stadium project.
Metro Steel serves as both a fabricator and an important link to the steel supply chain in Australia. It was acquired to assure that their supply of required materials would never be interrupted on important jobs.
Metwest, meanwhile, is the residential arm of the company. It supplies lintels and provides design services and construction for the Western Australian market.
Perth Metalwork has been supplying prefabricated portable homes for 14 years. It also supplies parts to the shipping industry and has become a key piece of the puzzle for breaking into the mining industry.
Peter explains that the interaction between the various divisions is seamless, and that this is one of the things that makes Metro Lintels unique from a company and client perspective. “You aren’t a number. Everyone knows you, who you are and what your job is.”
Value all the way
“Everyone values you here at Metro,” says Germana Ritchie, an administrator at Metro Lintels. “We all work together, and we enjoy who we work with. We want to be successful together. We get great job satisfaction.”
“It’s not corporate here,” Peter points out. “We’re a very personal company, and a close-knit family. We all have common goals and values.”
“And we all want to succeed,” Germana Ritchie adds. “If we do well, the company does well. Everyone here understands that if Metro is winning, it translates into more work and more job security for everyone.”
The majority of Metro Lintel’s employees are long-term, and bring a wealth of knowledge to their roles. As a company, Metro values that knowledge immensely, and is always working on ways to better share it and build on it.
“The people and the skills and experience that we have here at Metro is simply untouchable,” Peter says. “We try and bring a lot of knowledge into the business and try to pass it on – to new trainees, to the administration, and to project managers. The more knowledgeable we are, the better we can service our customer – and that’s our main goal.”
Metro Lintels also places a lot of value on forming close relationships with their suppliers and subcontractors. They choose those companies based on their ability to help supply clients with timely delivering and quality products. Metro’s depth of experience also helps make those relationships strong.
“When we are dealing with suppliers someone on our staff almost certainly knows someone on their staff,” Germana says. “We consider those relationships as partnerships more than anything else.”
Metro Lintel’s dedication to quality has earned them more than the loyalty of their clients – it has also earned them recognition from the industry at large. Their recent award for ‘Excellence in Structural Steel,’ for example, is actually there third win in that category. Many more of their projects have been MBA-award winning as well.
Peter says that kind of recognition is a great morale booster for staff. It proves their work is not just appreciated by the company, but by the industry as a whole.
“We pride ourselves on taking on unique projects that most companies would have been hesitant to get involved in,” says Peter. “And the reason we can do that is because we have the utmost confidence in our team. From our fabricators, to our administration and project management team – we have the knowledge and abilities to make anything possible. The awards come from them.”
Metro Lintel’s team is backed by cutting edge technology, which also contributes to the company’s success.
Kathy Cross serves as the Manager of Metro’s Steel Division, and has been with the company for “many moons.” According to her, one of the most satisfying aspects of her job is seeing the leaps and bounds they have made when it comes to technology.
“We use the latest software, and we have the latest machinery,” she says. “As the company grows, we engage advancements head on. We never want to be left behind. We want to lead the pack.”
“We have a sit down meeting once every two months with the Directors to discuss technology,” Peter adds. “We do this so we can look at the new machines in the industry and figure out how we can put these new machines to work.”
“We’re always looking for way to improve our production and put us above our competitors,” he says.
Moving forward, Peter says Metro will always strive to stay on the cutting edge. He also says they will be looking at new industries – an ambition which has precedence throughout the history of the company.
“We started off doing residential, and then we got into large industrial and commercial,” he recalls. “Now we are in the mining industry as well. We find ourselves more focused on mining and heavy commercial than ever before. We are always looking for that extra thing that we can add to our arsenal to put us in a place that no one else can go.”
For more information, please visit their website at: Metro Lintels
Preferred Vendors of Choice: