Richland County – Guardian Fence Suppliers manufactures chain-link fencing, chain-link gates, mini mesh, barbed wire, dog kennels, and many types of accessory wires. Founded in 1981 in Columbia, SC, Guardian Fence expanded sales and distribution departments in 1986 to a larger facility to better serve the Midlands. It is the only company to manufacture, supply and install its own fencing products in South Carolina.
Guardian Fence is dedicated to its customers and cares as much about people as the products the company produces. There were several areas of the business that management sought to improve. Inventory control and management was the first task at hand, followed by help with a sales and marketing strategy, planning, and implementation, and lastly hands-on training on the production floor. Guardian management reached out to the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP) to help with these tasks.
SCMEP held multiple training sessions with Charlie Weston, President of Guardian Fence Suppliers, and his employees. SCMEP helped Guardian develop and implement a plan to hold less inventory, resulting in lower costs.
Next, SCMEP developed a new sales and marketing strategy for Guardian Fence to better showcase the company throughout the Midlands and to target additional customers including smaller installers, general contractors, engineers, businesses, and municipalities. The Sales and Marketing Boost program, developed by SCMEP, was implemented to reach sales and marketing goals and also introduce a CRM system for tracking leads and sales.
Lastly, a hands-on training program for the warehouse employees with a focus on production was implemented to achieve optimal effectiveness. Training Within Industry (TWI) helped tie together production and inventory business lines for improved operations.
Weston and the team learned that they could afford to pay a little more for product and take the extra inventory budget for use elsewhere. This helped Guardian save money and promoted production efficiency.
The production training with warehouse employees was met with huge success and embraced fully by the company. Guardian was able to retain all 20 employees and has hired 4 new employees as a result of the recent training programs. One employee was hired and trained through a vocational training program and has recently graduated to a permanent position at Guardian.
Through the Sales and Marketing Boost, Guardian was able to target new leads, implement an effective CRM system to track leads and sales, and ultimately gain new customers and sales because of a revised focus on marketing and sales. The lead generation campaign resulted in over 5,000 leads in the target markets of commercial real estate, high security, fencing installers, and property management.
Charlie Weston, President of Guardian Fence, stated, “SCMEP is designed for small businesses. They really were out here trying to help us. You’ll find them very cooperative in trying to find out the needs of you and your company.”