A New and Improved www.millerclapperton.com

It is with great pleasure that we announce the completely redesigned www.millerclapperton.com.  This new and improved website is the culmination of countless hours of work by our in-house Information Technology specialist, Jonathan Ethridge, and is sure to help distinguish Miller-Clapperton as the premier engineered wall cladding specialists in the country.

In our minds, there is no excuse in 2012 to not have an interactive, user-friendly website if you want to pursue highly engineered, monumental projects.  We just lost a substantial government exterior cladding project last week to a company whose website makes no mention of Metal Composite Material and touts their specialty as interior walls and ceilings.  Memorably, we once even competed on a $750K university project with a roofer who describes on their website their expertise with thatched roof tiki bars.  Yes, I’m serious.  For us though, our website is the portal through which architects and contractors first encounter Miller-Clapperton and we want to make a strong first impression.

I encourage you to visit www.millerclapperton.com and surf around a little bit.  Some specific improvements from our prior website are below:

  • Our inclusion of Trespa® as a product offering.  Our historical focus has been on Metal Composite Material, but we are also one of only 10 Certified Trespa® Meteon dealers in North America and have fabricated and installed over 150,000 square feet of High Pressure Laminate material since 2007.
  • Biographies of our owners and senior management team
  • An interactive map of our completed projects utilizing Google maps that then links to a gallery of each project.  Please note there are hundreds of projects for which we do not have pictures and therefore, are not included on this map.  It will be an on-going process to complete this section.
  • Testimonials from industry associates and past customers as to our workmanship and ethics
  • A better platform for our weekly blog that makes it easier to view comments and recent tags
  • There is now a dynamic gallery divided into nine categories of building type which features hundreds of pictures of completed projects
  • The site is completely Flash free and is composed entirely of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and ASP based coding, which will allow viewing on Apple devices
  • A products page that showcases the different materials, manufacturers, and systems we offer and allows for downloads of brochures, color charts, and LEED information
  • A streamlined contact page that incorporates our presence on Facebook, Picassa, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube

Thank you for reading our blog and thank you in advance for visiting www.millerclapperton.com.  Have a great day.

Project of the Week

This week’s project of the week is the Paramount at Lake Eola in Orlando, FL.  It represents some of the most complex fabrication we have ever done.

Click on the image, or here, to view the full gallery for  “Paramount at Lake Eola in Orlando, FL”.

Paying for Diversity?

 

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the busiest airport in the world, opens its new international terminal today.  It’s a gorgeous building featuring sweeping skyline views, works from acclaimed artists, and a $1.4 billion price tag.

It’s a good thing for our city and for Atlanta based Delta Airlines, but it’s a bitter pill for us.  You see, our facility is 15 miles from the jobsite and we lost to a subcontractor that is 797 miles away from the airport.  That’s not really the issue though (even though it hardly seems very “green” that the raw material was produced in Eastman, GA, shipped halfway across America, fabricated, and then shipped back to Georgia).  We win jobs in far off places and we lose close to home sometimes.  It all evens out.  What frustrates us is that prices were comparable, but the decision to use the rival company was based in large part on the fact that they are female owned.

During the pre-bid meeting, a quote from a representative of the consortium of general contractors on the project really resonated with us.  He said, “If this project finishes on time and under budget, it will be a failure if the participation goal is not met.” 

Hey, I’m a white male in America.  I realize that I have it great and that I do not have any earthly idea of what it feels like to be discriminated against because of the color of my skin or my gender.  Our nation has an ugly past and I am always amazed when I see old photos of how things were before the civil rights movement.  I recognize that a large segment of our society has way more obstacles than I do.  I get it. 

What I don’t get is spending more tax payer money than is required in order to satisfy politically correct set asides.  Like nearly every large US city, Atlanta has a massive budget shortfall and is looking everywhere for ways to trim costs.  Let’s conservatively assume that the $1.4 billion cost included a 5% premium for set asides.  $70 million would pay for a lot of teachers or infrastructure improvements.  Atlanta Public Schools announced this week a plan to cut 475 positions in their 2012-2013 budget.  Metro Atlanta highways are so traffic choked that officials this week implemented a plan to use the emergency shoulder of a major North/South artery as a traffic lane during rush hour.  Yes, you read that correctly.   

How can I say with certainty that costs were higher from the winning subcontractors than they could have been?  I know for a fact that our bid included extra money to use some minority owned suppliers.  I also know that when we bid another, more recent Atlanta Airport renovation, we were approached by a female who would essentially be a paper pusher and route our contract through her company for a 3% fee.  This practice is surely common across various trades on the job.

The bottom line is that Atlanta is in a budget crunch, but paid more than necessary for the terminal.  That is hard to fathom.

Thanks for reading.

Scott Stafford

 

Tool of the Week, Day, etc. www.dearphotograph.com is the coolest website you will see this week.  Trust me.  Check it out.