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Employee Highlight: Get to Know our Coatings Engineer


Have you ever wondered who is behind the production of your tubular products? Over the next few months, I will be highlighting team members of Wheatland Tube who happen to be some of the best in our industry.   I recently interviewed Kim Westfall who is our Coatings Engineer at the Wheatland Tube facility in Chicago.


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An Interview with Wheatland Tube’s Customer Service Managers

In a world where choices are endless, a buying decision often comes down to how a customer is treated. One wrong response/action can completely erase months or even years worth of relationship building. And that can be detrimental to a business.

At Wheatland Tube, we count on our customer service representatives to manage the day-to-day communication with our customers. These individuals are the ones helping our customers get what they need, when they need it. And they do it day in and day out with smiles on their faces – something we know our customers can hear through the phone!

I recently sat down with Carol Pylypiw, the manager for customer service and pricing for our standard pipe division, and Toni Thacker, the customer service manager for our electrical and mechanical divisions, to talk about customer service and its importance to an organization, specifically Wheatland Tube. Here’s what they had to say:

Q: Why do you think customer service is so important to an organization? How do you and your teams go above and beyond to continuously exceed our customer’s expectations?

Carol: “Customer service is an extension of our sales force; we can make or break a sale. We know our customers don’t forget when we do something outside of our guidelines (i.e. break a bundle of pipe when they only need a few pieces to satisfy their customers’ requirements). As a rule, we don’t say no unless we have exhausted all possibilities.

In speaking with our regional sales managers, they feel the customer service representative (CSR) has more direct interaction with the customer than the outside sales rep. The CSRs are able to establish great relationships because of the constant contact and variance they deal with. On any given day, a CSR could deal with the same customer on quotes, expediting, MTR’s, quality issues, etc. The point is: there are a lot of opportunities to make us or breaks us with a customer. And while the outside sales rep can make the call, it’s the CSR who really has the ability to influence where the relationship goes from there.”

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Wheatland Tube Helps in the Fight Against Cancer

The American Cancer Society has been saving lives for more than 100 years. Today, the Chicago Electrical Industry (CEI) is helping to save more than 400 lives a day that would have otherwise been lost to cancer. We won't stop until we finish the fight. Our goal across the electrical industry is to raise $1million dollars. 

To date, the Chicago Electrical Industry (CEI) has collectively raised $200,000. Team Wheatland has raised and donated more than $6,000 towards the cause and we participated in the Walk & Roll Event on Saturday, April 25, 2015. We battled the cold and rain, but we made it to the finish line!

Thank you to all that donated and participated in this event, including the Wheatland sales and customer service teams!

For more information about The American Cancer Society visit cancer.org or contact them at 1-800-227-2345. If you would like to donate against the fight against cancer there is still time, please donate here.

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Wheatland Tube Donates to Chicago’s 12th Ward 12th Annual Toys for Kids

Not only have our elves, we mean employees, been busy keeping our workshops facilities running this holiday season, they’ve also managed to take the time to reflect on what the holiday season really means: giving to those in need.

Giving to children and families in need, the employees in our Wheatland plant - on Western Blvd. in Chicago - donated toys to Chicago’s 12th Ward 12th Annual Toys for Kids, led by Alderman George Cardenas.

The first toy drive our plant has participated in, the majority of donations came in monetary form the plant employees. After donations were collected, Jennifer Bogs, Wheatland’s Environmental Manager, purchased 50 toys for the deserving children of the 12th Ward, who might not have gotten any gifts this year.

Chicago’s 12th Ward 12th Annual Toys for Kids

Today, Monday, December 22, 2014, from 10:00am to 1:00pm, residents of the 12th Ward (Brighton Park, McKinley Park and Little Village) can join Alderman George Cardenas and his staff at McKinley Park to have their picture taken with Santa Clause and receive a gift (while supplies last).

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One Day. One Goal. American Cancer Society’s Walk & Roll

Celebrating its 43rd year, the American Cancer Society Walk & Roll event has a proud tradition of raising funds to fight cancer in a family-friendly atmosphere. Walk & Roll is a 5K walk, 10K skate and 15K bike ride that is followed by great entertainment and a picnic! It's a celebration of the fundraising efforts of teams and individuals who have contributed their time and fundraising expertise to support this cause throughout the year. On Saturday, April 26th, Team Wheatland partnered with Continental Electrical Construction Company, Inc. and other companies within the Chicago Electrical Industry to help support the American Cancer Society in their fight against cancer. Wheatland was well represented and we are proud to say that were able to raise over $6,000 dollars for the American Cancer Society.

Although Team Wheatland made it to the finish line, collectively our work is never finished until there is a cure for this disease. There is still time to donate to this cause, fundraising is open until the end of July just click on the following link to make a gift to support Team Wheatland. http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?company_id=210579&fr_id=56228&pg=company

The American Cancer Society fights for every birthday threatened by cancer in every community. Money raised helps to support the following services:

$50 helps provide 5-rides to or from treatment $100 helps guide 4-women facing breast cancer through every step of their journey $250 helps a cancer patient and their caregivers 1-week of free lodging $1,000 helps identify a cancer-causing gene in DNA, so that we may stop cancer in patients or prevent the cancer from occurring

A huge Thank You goes out to all of you that supported and participated in this event. We look forward to participating next year!

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Chicago Bid Incentive Program

Chicago Bid Incentive Program

Through the Chicago First procurement ordinance, Municipal Code 2-92-410, the City of Chicago provides a bid incentive of up to 2% for contractors using Chicago-made products. This means that if you agree to install any Atlas Tube HSS, Atlas Tube pipe piles, or Wheatland electrical products – all made in Chicago – you’ll win more project bids!

Here’s how to win more bids with JMC Steel Group:

Print an affidavit for your respective division of choiceComplete the affidavit and submit it with your Chicago project bidWin the bid!

Visit the Atlas Tube, Atlas Pipe Piles, and Wheatland Electrical bid incentive pages for more details, as well as to download the affidavit.

If you have any questions about this bid incentive program, please contact the respective customer service representatives on the division-specific pages, or leave a comment below.

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Sharon Tube is Back and Stronger than Ever

On April 1, JMC Steel Group brought back the Sharon Tube name due to its reputation for high-quality tubes and delivery on promises. Read the announcement here.

Last week, JMC Steel Group CEO Barry Zekelman and Sharon Tube President Bill Perrine cut the ribbon to commemorate the expansion of Sharon Tube’s 250,000-square-foot plant and the new state-of-the-art manufacturing process.

Brenda J. Linert, a Tribune Chronicle journalist who attended the event wrote, 

“Other than the clang of steel tubes being spit from new processing equipment or from bundles of product being dropped into bins from overhead cranes, the new Sharon Tube plant is exceptionally quiet, as far as steel manufacturers go.

That's not to say it isn't humming.”

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Wheatland Welcomes Dennis Fowler, Southeast Regional Sales Manager

We want to welcome the newest addition to the Wheatland team, Dennis Fowler. Dennis has accepted the position of Southeast Regional Sales Manager, Electrical Division.

Dennis has more than 25 years of industry experience and most recently worked for Cooper Wiring Devices (a division of Eaton). He has excellent relationships with electrical distributors and contractors throughout the southeast. At Wheatland, he will be managing a network of sales agents and working closely with key accounts throughout the southeast to ensure all actions are aligned with long-term strategic growth initiatives.

Wheatland is committed to driving stronger local distributor partnerships throughout North America. Dennis Fowler's comprehensive understanding of the electrical distribution sales channel will greatly benefit Wheatland Tube, our sales network and our distributor partners.

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The 5 Must-read Electrical Blogs of 2012

At Wheatland Tube, we’re all for shining the spotlight on the electrical industry’s adoption of social media.

If social media isn’t on your 2013 marketing bucket list, you might want to think again. Take a look at the National Electrical Contractors Association’s (@NECAnet) Social Media Guide, where they dedicate a whole section of their site with information on how to get started with various tools to keep up with the industry and connect with business contacts online.

Our team came together and pulled our favorite blogs from 2012. If you know a distributor or a contractor that should be included on this list, please let us know.

1. 3M - Made in USA by AD HQ

We won’t deny that Made in America is a feel-good issue, but the bottom line is many project owners, contractors, inspectors and users want products that are made in America, because of quality and risk.

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It's True: Electrical Distributors Are Using Twitter

Providing high-quality products is only part of the equation- at Wheatland Tube, we pride ourselves on bringing you, our customers and partners, the expertise and support that fosters your success.

Our industry is undergoing rapid changes — not only in the way we search for product specifications and code requirements, but in the way we conduct business overall. There’s no denying that information is available to help guide you through what social media is and how it can benefit the electrical industry. And there are tools to make it easier for your sales reps get up to speed.

Just take a look at the National Electrical Contractors Association’s (@necanet) Guide to Social Media, an entire section of their website dedicated to providing useful tips on how to begin, how to connect with business contacts online and how to keep up with the industry.

We’re proud to say many of our partners are already using social media to build trust and interact with your customers. If you’re looking to get started in social media, these are the companies you should be looking at. Here is our list of electrical distributors on Twitter:


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5 Key Take-Aways from Our Social Media Webinar

Electrical distributors provide the essential connection between manufacturers and contractors. Contractors, especially small and mid-sized contracting firms, rely on their distributors as key sources of industry information. At Wheatland Tube, we know that finding ways to share information and connect across every channel is critical to filling this need.

Social media is often underutilized as a means to finding and connecting with customers and prospects (the same way you do at networking events, regional conferences and tradeshows). LinkedIn and Twitter are two free powerful solutions to help you more easily share industry and product information with your customers.

Today, I challenge distributors to get on board with social media — because now is the time.

If you’re not sure where to get started, Wheatland Tube can help. We recently hosted a webinar with TED Magazine that covered how to inform and engage customers, gather and provide customer data to sales teams and simultaneously enhance web presence and company reputation.

Here are five key take-aways from our webinar with TED Magazine, Social Media and Customer Relationships: Don’t Get Left Behind.

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Wheatland Tube and tED Magazine to Co-Host Social Media Webinar

Webinar Focuses on How Electrical Industry, Distributors Can Utilize Social Media

Wheatland Tube, a division of JMC Steel Group, has announced it will cohost a webinar with tEd Magazine on Tuesday, October 16, 2012, at 2 p.m. CT. The webinar, “Social Media and Customer Relationships: Don’t Get Left Behind,” will provide an overview of how the electrical industry can best use social media to its advantage.

According to the latest data, nearly one-third of industrial buyers are already using social media to source and buy products and services. Electrical conduit distributors are invited to attend the Wheatland Tube and tEd Magazine webinar to learn how to connect with buyers who are already present on social media platforms. The webinar will cover how to inform and engage customers, gather and provide customer data to sales teams, and simultaneously enhance web presence and company reputation — all through social media. Distributors will learn how to put social media to work for them in just 15 minutes a day.

Jelani Rucker, director of marketing and business development for JMC Steel Group, will be presenting during the webinar, speaking directly to the electrical industry on the benefits of embracing social media and the top advantages Wheatland Tube has seen through its own robust social media platforms.

“Our social media and blog programs make it easier to grow our reach, strengthen our engagement, participate in deeper conversations and establish ourselves as a thought leader in the industry,” said Rucker. “We hope this webinar will encourage distributors to get on board with social media — because now is the time. Frankly, if you’re not connecting with your customers through these platforms, someone else is.”

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The Changing (and Challenging) Role of Engineers

When publications and research groups join together, companies like Wheatland Tube are able to analyze a wide range of data and harvest their customer reflections to become a more effective part of their success. Reed Business Information’s Boston Research Division group, in conjunction with Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine recently completed a study among engineering professionals. The National Engineering Survey* investigates the plight of the engineer and highlights their profession and the challenges they face. Of approximately 1,200* engineers surveyed, 55 percent design/specify/select electrical power; 43 percent design/specify/select lighting & lighting controls; 43 percent design/specify/select HVAC; 39 percent design/specify/select fire protection/life safety.  Here’s a breakdown of their challenges:  Here’s why some engineers voted the way they did: “Over the next three years, consulting engineers anticipate some changes in their role. Many cite the emergence of green technologies and a greater focus on LEED as reasons for the change. Others cite the role of the engineer will be viewed as more important due to issues of the environment, the knowledge that they retain and the growing importance of becoming energy efficient,” according to the survey. The move toward alternative energy is a key factor driving the green industry.  Commercial and industrial building projects are increasingly emphasizing efficient construction, driven by the need to reduced costs, as well as LEED and other green incentives. For consulting engineers, this means opportunities in areas such as lighting systems upgrades, installation of solar electric windows, upgrading utilities and appliances that utilize renewable energy and parking lot electrical outlets. Commitment to QualityAnother data point that hit close to home for us was supplier selection, “Consulting engineers were asked about the three most important factors leading to select one supplier over another. Ranking first with nearly 50 percent of the engineers is product quality.”   We’re happy to hear product quality ranks first among factors leading you to select one supplier over another. When you spec Wheatland Tube, you know you’re getting the highest-quality products you can buy, that meet your project’s specifications. Our products undergo rigorous testing at our quality labs, which are among the industry’s most advanced quality assurance facilities. This testing assures Wheatland’s products are produced to the proper requirements and that the appropriate quality systems are in place. Dissecting the Engineer’s Reflection Evident in the survey results, engineers anticipate facing many challenges, some traditional and some uncharted. The industry must support its engineers by providing information on emerging technologies, engineering and construction best practices as well as current events and legislation. I encourage you to take a closer look at the survey results and see where you fall among the respondents.  What challenges do you anticipate facing over the next three years?   *The results are based on 1,249 completed surveys. The margin of error for this study is +/-3.0% at the 95% confidence level. This means that if the entire population responded, results would fall within +/-3.0% 95 times out of 100. The survey was completed in 2010.
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The JMC Steel Group’s Solar Solutions

Fueled by the rising cost of fossil fuels and increasing concerns about global climate change, solar energy is the fastest growing energy technology in the United States.

With the increased demand for alternative energy, a robust solar construction industry has emerged, JMC Steel Group companies Wheatland Tube and Atlas Tube  – have emerged as leaders, helping engineers and contractors to design and build the solar projects of tomorrow.

Whether you’re installing a utility-scale ground-mounted, carport structure or a commercial rooftop solar system, JMC Steel Group can provide the entire galvanized round, square and rectangular steel tubing you need.

Not only do we have the capacity to meet the demand for any size project under even the tightest of schedules, we have the largest size range in the industry (up to 22” square and 20” round).  Engineers don’t need to be limited to standard sizes when it comes to Wheatland and Atlas products. We also produce custom wall thicknesses to help engineers design a more cost effective solution.  What’s custom for the rest of the industry is standard for us.

For rooftop applications, our structural tubing offers substantial weight, strength and approximately 20% cost advantages over aluminum. For utility-scale ground mounted projects, steel is a better structural support solution than roll-formed and structural beams. We have technical experts who can help you plan the most cost-effective solution for your project.

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Does “Made in America” Mean Made in America?

We all think we know what Made in America means. The concept is simple enough. And the implications are certainly clear. American manufacturing has always suggested a high standard of quality along with patriotic pride and the support of the economy.

The importance of supporting the domestic economy has become an increasingly critical issue as America continues to work its way out of the deep recession that has engulfed the world over the past few years.

For engineers and contractors, Made in America isn’t just a rallying cry. Meeting the requirements of domestic content laws is a fundamental challenge for the design and construction business.

Long standing federal legislation, such as the Buy America Act as well as more recent laws such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), create a series of (often confusing) mandates about the use of American-made products in federally-funded projects. State laws such as Pennsylvania’s Steel Products Procurement Act add an additional layer of complexity.

And the legal landscape is only going to get more complex.

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Welcome to the Wheatland Standard

The Wheatland Standard is the new blog from Wheatland Tube.

At Wheatland Tube, we are committed to the success of our customers and partners — engineers, contractors and distributors as well as our third-party representatives. The goal of this blog is to give insight, information and perspective on the issues that matter to your steel pipe and / or conduit business.

Here at the Wheatland Standard you’ll find valuable information and advice on a wide range of topics, from designing with and installing electrical conduit, to government regulations, to building and managing your business. We will discuss the issues that matter and help you to stay current with best practices and emerging technologies in the engineering and construction industries.

We know that providing high quality products is only part of the equation, and we pride ourselves on bringing our clients the expertise and support that fosters success.

The Wheatland Standard will bring you thoughts from some of our brightest minds, who will share their decades of experience with pipe and tube manufacturing and installation. No one knows the industry better than us and we’re happy to share our knowledge with you.

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