TAMKO & Vertical Integration

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From its inception to present day, TAMKO Building Products, Inc. has employed a strategy of vertical integration. This strategy has contributed TAMKO’s success in the building products industry.

The practice of vertical integration started for TAMKO when founder E.L. Craig built a paper mill in Dallas, Texas for a competitor with the agreement that the mill would supply TAMKO’s Joplin, Missouri asphalt shingle plant with felt. When the Dallas plant was sold and the new owner refused to honor the agreement, E.L. built his own felt mill on Rangeline Road in Joplin, Missouri.

Vertical integration continued under E.L.’s successor, Jay Humphreys. Jay put a limestone grinding mill at the High Street plant in Joplin, Missouri—an oddity in the industry at the time. This allowed TAMKO to produce its own powered limestone for its shingles, instead of having to purchase the material from another company.

When David Humphreys, TAMKO’s current President and CEO and grandson of its founder, assumed leadership of the company in 1994, the push for vertical integration increased. TAMKO continued to take steps to maintain its own supply line, such as running its own asphalt refineries near or at its plants and by buying or converting existing paper mills to supply felt. Through investing in the ability to make its own materials, TAMKO has decreased its raw material costs.

“In our case, vertical integration means making more of our own raw materials and insourcing more activities rather than paying someone else to make or do things for us,” said David Humphreys. “All of these efforts have helped to reduce our costs and grow our profits.”

Some of TAMKO’s vertical integration projects include:

  • The construction of fiberglass mat lines at its Rangeline Road plant in Joplin, Missouri and its Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant.
  • The purchase of the Ennis, Texas fiberglass mat plant.
  • The development of the Columbus, Kansas polyester mat plant so TAMKO could produce its own polyester mat.
  • The establishment of the Frederick, Maryland limestone mill so TAMKO could produce all of the limestone filler for the Frederick plant.
  • The additions of the Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Joplin, Missouri limestone mills so TAMKO could grind all of its own limestone at these locations.
  • The MW/MB joint venture in Clarksville, Tennessee to produce chopped glass fiber for TAMKO’s fiberglass mat production.
  • The establishment of a new asphalt processing plant in Inwood, West Virginia in 2011 to supply all of the Frederick plant’s coating needs.

 

3 Tips for Outdoor Entertaining from TAMKO

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Are you planning an outdoor party? Whether your home lacks adequate indoor space or you just want to get out and enjoy the fresh air, outdoor parties are a great way to relax and spend time with friends and family. But, before you send out the invites, consider these outdoor party tips from TAMKO Building Products:

  1. Consider the location: Just as with buying a house or commercial property, location is everything when it comes to throwing an unforgettable outdoor party. If you’re someone who does a lot of entertaining at home, you could consider investing in a beautiful and functional deck. Not only will it provide a great space for parties, but also a daily-use space where you could come out back and unwind with a book after a long workday. There are many different, wood-alternative decking products to choose from that will satisfy your budget and style. For instance, TAMKO’s Envision series of composite decking offers beautiful color variation and random wood-grain patterns for a deck that’s appealing and unique.
  1. Check the weather: While this tip may seem a little obvious, it’s an important one that’s worth noting. Weather predictions often change as the party date draws closer, so be sure to stay up-to-date on the latest forecast. Have a back-up plan in case there ends up being unforeseen inclement weather.
  1. Add a pop of color: Create an environment that’s energetic and inviting by adding a pop of color. Think about adding warm, bright colors like reds, oranges and yellows. You can easily add a pop of color through your décor and party decorations, such as patio lights, patio cushions, table cloths and table settings, and disposable plates and napkins.

How do you prepare for an outdoor party? What are your favorite outdoor entertaining tips?

 

TAMKO’s Owners Volunteer Their Corporate Pilots to Fly Wounded Veterans

TAMKO Pilot Mitchell Ochs checks a power cable to prepare for a flight. Image Source: Roger Nomer/Joplin Globe
Image Source: Roger Nomer/Joplin Globe 

TAMKO Pilot Mitchell Ochs checks a power cable to prepare for a flight.

On a typical day, TAMKO Building Products’ corporate pilots fly company executives to and from job sites and business meetings. But, whenever possible, TAMKO’s owners volunteer them for the Veterans Airlift Command, a nonprofit that transports wounded veterans and their loved ones across the country using volunteered corporate planes and pilots.

For many wounded veterans, especially those with prosthetic limbs, flying commercial can be a challenge. With private planes, veterans can experience less waiting time, fewer delays and hassles, and more accommodations, such as removing plane seats to provide them with more room and enhanced comfort.

One of the veterans TAMKO’s corporate pilots have assisted through the program is U.S. Army Spc. Eric Lund, who they flew to and from the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas and John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, so he could meet with an arm transplant team.  Lund was injured on May 20, 2012, after his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. He lost both arms above the elbow, suffered a fractured hip, vertebrae and femur, and underwent facial reconstruction. Lund was one of the 10 members of the Michigan Army National Guard who were injured in the attack, and among four other soldiers who suffered serious injuries.

Lund told the Joplin Globe that private flights like the ones he received from TAMKO are very important to veterans and their families. For someone like Lund with prosthetic limbs, flying commercially can be difficult and uncomfortable due to cramped airplane seating.

Founded in 2006 by veteran Walt Fricke, who was injured in the Vietnam War, the Veterans Airlift Command provides free transport, known as Hero Flights, to wounded veterans and their families. When wounded veterans or their family members have a travel need, the organization sends out a request for open seats on corporate or private planes.

TAMKO, a manufacturer of building products, has employed a number of military personnel and veterans, and completed its first Veterans Airlift Command Flight in 2008 when the company’s owners donated its planes and pilots to fly Matthew Miles and his wife Maria. Miles lost his left leg and endured other severe injuries after his vehicle hit an IED in Afghanistan in 2007. Since their first flight for the VAC, TAMKO has provided several Hero Flights each year.

“TAMKO supports the Veterans Airlift Command to do our small part helping these men and women who were injured in service to our country,” said TAMKO President and CEO David Humphreys.  “It is difficult for them to travel on commercial airlines and to be subjected to TSA patdowns. We’re trying to make their lives easier after all that they have done for us.”

 

 

Benefits of TAMKO’s 2015 Summer Interns

For college students, pursuing an internship during college is one of the smartest decisions you can make. While your college coursework aims to prepare you for the working world, internships help you gain real-life work experience.

College internships benefit students in a number of ways. Along with giving students real-life work experience, internships help students develop new skills and enhance their existing ones, as well as grow more confident in their abilities. Internships allow students to apply the knowledge they’ve gained from class into real world situations.

Internships also enable students to make professional connections. Professional connections can help them network and get potential leads on other companies that may be hiring within their field. Additionally, students gain professional references that will be beneficial when applying for a full-time job.

2015 Summer Interns at TAMKO Building Products

This summer, 10 university students worked as interns at TAMKO Building Products, a company specializing in residential and low-slope roofing, decking and railing, waterproofing and cements and coatings.

For Theresa Dohmen, a nursing major at Pittsburg State University, the internship allowed her to do things she would not have expected to do, such as drive a forklift. At TAMKO, she worked as a rewinder process technician intern, where she helped cut fiberglass to various lengths. The program allowed her to step out of her comfort zone and greatly enhance her communication skills. She worked with a variety of different people, which she believes will help her in her career as a nurse.

As you can see, internships can be very advantageous for students. If a college student is given the opportunity to work as an intern, they shouldn’t let it pass them by.