New perspective from the Pacific Northwest
Midwest Cast Stone gets high marks from a Pacific Northwest masonry giant
J&S Masonry, a mason contractor operating in the Pacific Northwest, has a range of project experience – from schools to hospitals and stadiums. The company says high quality and reasonable prices give Midwest Cast Stone an edge in estimating and project success.
Ryan Baker, VP of J&S Masonry, looks at masonry materials in a slightly different way from most contracting executives. It’s part of his job to source them, buy them and ship them. But actually, Baker began his career manufacturing masonry materials.
Baker worked at a plant through high school and college making concrete masonry units (CMU). It was hard work, but it exposed him to an industry that has turned into a rewarding 17-year career with J&S Masonry.
“At first, it was simply a good way to earn money in high school and college,” Baker says, “but then, I saw it could be a pretty exciting field. We’ve worked on some amazing projects over the years, and I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of great people.”
“It doesn’t matter that Midwest Cast Stone is 2,000 miles away. We’ve learned that we can count on them for products with better color, uniformity, sizing options and pricing.”
- Ryan Baker, Vice President, J&S Masonry Baker says he counts Midwest Cast Stone’s Tom Waldschmidt as one of these people. During the last few years, Baker and Waldschmidt have worked together on several projects. Based in Kansas City, Kan., Midwest Cast Stone and J&S Masonry work together seamlessly, distance being a non-issue.
“We’ve got many sup¬pliers nearby and on the West Coast, but the stone quality, price and dependability at Mid¬west Cast Stone are the reasons we work with them. It doesn’t matter if they’re halfway across the country,” says Baker, whose projects are mostly in Washington or Oregon.
Baker says the products make the trip just fine, and the pricing is in line – often more competitive than local suppliers
“Midwest Cast Stone seems to have a molding process that creates more uniformity and less cracking,” Baker says. “The colors are always very consistent as well.”
With about 125 employees in the field at any given time, stone variations, delays or damaged materials can be costly.
Baker says the projects, which include a Nyberg Rivers (Tualatin, Ore.) retail project and Snoqualmie Valley Hospital (Washington), involved complex scheduling. “The communication and planning at Midwest Cast Stone are excellent, and we can trust them.”
Earned businessOver the years, Baker has held a variety of roles at J&S Masonry. Today, his primary responsibilities include estimating and business development. While the competitive pricing at Midwest Cast Stone is an advantage, the relationship has other tangible benefits.
“They’ve got a good system for quoting that is clear and accurate,” says Baker. “They are very fast and their piece counts are spot on. We’ve got a lot of confidence in their estimates, and we can understand them easily.”
Baker adds that if a project plan calls for an extra piece or replacements are necessary, Midwest Cast Stone proactively provides extra pieces for emergencies or can offer them within a few days of need, to keeps things moving.
“It doesn’t matter that Midwest Cast Stone is 2,000 miles away,” says Baker. “We’ve learned that we can count on them for products with better color, unifor¬mity, sizing options and pricing. The only way to earn a preferred supplier reputation with us is to earn it, and they’ve done it and continue to do it.”
About the Author
Midwest Cast Stone has proven itself to be an innovative player in the industry since its conception in 1989. For more information on Midwest Cast Stone, visit www.MidwestCastStone.com.