You ever call a help center and start talking to someone who seems like they had a lobotomy for breakfast? Or they put you on hold until you’re balling your fists and using words that require your kids to wear “earmuffs.” It can be excruciating, but Cary Barger—Director of the Field Services department at Star—approaches help in a totally different way. He throws down intricate and valuable details. Barger has worked at Star for 42 years, and between him and his staff, they have over 100 years combined experience with Star products.
“What sets our Field Services department apart is that we’ve all had hands-on experience, as well as office and engineering experience,” says Barger. “I’ve served in product development where we tested and developed new products, took them out on the market, and then installed and so forth. So, my colleagues and I can all talk—with experience—about most everything to do with metal buildings.”
And here’s the real kicker—Barger and his team have been documenting every phone call, letter, fax, email, and conversation over those 100 years of working with metal buildings. A century! You’re getting a century of experience when you call Star’s Field Service department. And that means you’re not just talking to people who know Star’s products. You’re chatting with people who live and breathe the metal building world. Experts. That’s whom you’re talking to, and by you—we mean anybody involved with the building process: builders, architects, end-users, distributors, vendors, owners, and aficionados. Everyone is encouraged to call and ask questions, and when you do, you’ll be delighted at how much Barger and his team knows.
“Before digital came along, we had to document everything by paper. So we had countless files of inspections and product information. Now, it’s digital. We keep drawings on the computer that we can review when we’re talking with a builder or architect, but at one point, we did it all by hand.”
Imagine the concentration and learning that Barger experienced through 40 years of doing it “all by hand.” Writing something down helps you learn and remember information better than typing notes, according to a new study by Princeton University and Los Angeles.
So, that means for all those years Barger was documenting Star product information by hand, he was also absorbing mountains of metal building knowledge. And now, he and his staff are eagerly waiting to pass that specialist knowledge onto you, so don’t be shy.
“We get pro-active questions as much as we get calls about product disruptions or frequently asked questions,” says Barger. “For instance, a guy called the other day. He wants to remove a shingled roof and install a standing seam, and so he asked if that was doable and if he had to take off the steeple to accomplish it. He called before he got started. People often contact us ahead of time—to ensure they’re thinking correctly—and then from there, they plan.”
And this is key to good building. Seek skilled advice before you plan. It helps, because collaboration stacks resources and leverages knowledge. Good help will assist you with constructing the kind of buildings that widen eyes, drop jaws, and keeps your bank account healthy with future business.
“A lot of our calls deal with poor planning. By the time the erector gets there, he’s trying to put together something that’s not compatible. Too often, the contractor buying the building is relying on the erector to go in and work his magic, and then the erector runs into a blockade he hasn’t encountered before. So he calls us, and says, ‘Uh oh, looks like I made a mistake.’ At that point, we brainstorm to offer advice that will lead to a solid solution. But if he would’ve called before building, the situation may have been avoided.”
Working together. Talking. Bouncing ideas around. It’s what progresses building tactics and impresses customers, so remember to ask the experts. Contact Barger and his team at Star when you have metal building questions, and they’ll get you building in the right direction.