From houses to commercial complexes, a building can’t be built without an underlying structural system. With solutions that span from roofs to floors, New Brunswick’s Atlas Structural Systems believes in providing clients with the time and cost savings of high-quality, durable, pre-engineered structural systems. Since 1988, Atlas has been working hard to help contractors meet their completion goals while creating beautiful and versatile structures.
A Business Changing and Growing
Atlas Structural Systems has undergone a true transformation throughout its twenty-five years in business, growing from a small and highly specialized operation focused on predominately roof trusses into a multi-location operation offering a diversified array of structural solutions.
“When it started, it was only a two-man operation – then it grew year over year,” says Bobby Johnson, Plant Manager at Atlas Structural Systems. As the years went on, the business expanded its capabilities to lead the market by adding engineered floor systems to its repertoire in 1996, followed by wall and floor panels in 2010. Today, Atlas Structural Systems is regarded as not just a supplier of roof, wall, and floor systems, but as one of the Maritime region’s most trusted experts in these sectors.
A New Life Under J.D. Irving Limited
Last year Atlas Structural Systems entered a new phase in its journey after being acquired by New Brunswick-based conglomerate J.D. Irving Limited (JDI), itself a part of the Irving Group of Companies. With a hand in many industries from forestry and agriculture to transportation and shipbuilding, JDI’s access to a vast array of resources offers considerable benefits to Atlas in terms of expanding its scope and pushing it to be a stronger competitor.
“One of the bigger benefits is being able to benchmark with four other plants – where Atlas was one operation previously, by being acquired by JD Irving, more specifically Shamrock Truss, it is now able to compare and learn best practices from four other Truss plants,” says Corey O’Dell, Operations Manager of Shamrock Truss and now Atlas Structural Systems. “Another big one is relying on the sales and distribution network of Kent Building Supplies, which is within the division of JD Irving Limited that Atlas and Shamrock Truss also fall under. Being able to rely on the sales network of forty-two Kent Building Supply stores definitely helps in moving more product.”
Meanwhile, J.D. Irving Limited saw positive traits in Atlas Structural Systems that would make the company a valuable addition to the JDI family. “They had a very, very strong brand and brand recognition,” says O’Dell. “They also were on the leading edge of the structural building products industry, in terms of the products that they offer to their customers.”
By combining the best assets and abilities of both businesses, Atlas Structural Systems as a JDI subsidiary is able to provide an even larger pool of clients with better service than ever before.
Strong Supplier Relationships
Atlas Structural Systems prides itself upon high quality and high standards for its products, and that involves working with a tight knit group of suppliers to ensure that quality is a factor from the raw materials upward. “We have a very small supplier base – that is one thing that makes our supply chain interesting and different from a lot of other businesses,” says O’Dell. “The only thing that we buy on the open market really is our lumber and some commodities, much of our supply chain in sourced through longer term contracts”
A similar principle applies to the company’s engineered wood products. “Those relationships are typically longstanding, and we work hand in hand with them in a very detailed and close capacity on a daily to weekly basis,” notes O’Dell. By working closely with its contractors, Atlas is able to ensure that its contractors share the same ethics and will create a structure that everyone along the value chain can uphold with confidence.
The future looks bright for Atlas, both in its own right and now as a subsidiary of J.D. Irving Limited. “I would say Atlas has grown a lot in the last 25 years, and over the last two to three years,” says O’Dell. “We expect to continue to see the growth in the same pattern due to emerging trends in the building market. Atlas has positioned itself to be the leading supplier for wood frame structural solutions in the Maritimes and is well known across the Maritimes. As there continues to be a demand for structural products, Atlas will continue to be at top of list for potential customers due to their track record, the speed with which we can turn our products around, the ability to supply products from five different facilities, and also the specific talented people we have who really give us the ability to give the customer what they want.”