Joe LaFave knows a thing or two about loyalty. As President of LaFave’s Construction for more than four decades, he’s made a habit of working alongside a core group of reliable, like-minded players in the industry for nearly as long as he’s been in business.
One of Joe’s favorite supply partners is MBCI—unsurprising, perhaps, given the company’s reputation for forging meaningful relationships with long-term customers. It’s part of a unique approach MBCI has adopted when it comes to supporting customers, especially as those clients take on larger and more complex projects.
Initially a one-man operation, LaFave’s now boasts an experienced workforce nearing three dozen full-time employees. The construction teams, in particular, have earned a strong reputation for design-build contracting and specialized retrofit roofing.
The company’s work can be found all over the wind-swept coasts and rugged interiors spanning the Carolinas and Virginia—including churches, fire halls, retail outlets and office buildings—and Joe has recently been eyeing an expansion west into neighboring Tennessee.
As LaFave’s has grown, so too has its business with MBCI. Stretching back to when Ronald Reagan was still in office, the two companies have worked alongside each other on countless projects. In recent years, they’ve collaborated on everything from converting the roof on a 13-story correctional facility to retrofitting tens of thousands of square feet of school roofs in North Carolina.
“We’ve done so much work together, it’s almost hard to keep track at this point,” quips Barry Deese, MBCI sales manager and a close friend of Joe LaFave. The two are so close, in fact, they’ve even gone on fishing trips together. It’s a special kind of relationship that goes way beyond mere business dealings, and something Deese does not take for granted.
“The first thing you need to know about Joe is that he was a one-man business when he first opened. I’ve seen him grow from that into being a formidable opponent in the construction industry, and it’s amazing,” Deese continues.
“We get outstanding support with MBCI, plain and simple,” offers LaFave, speaking over the phone from his company’s Landis, North Carolina headquarters. “Like most construction companies, we have several different suppliers we do business with, but if somebody can’t keep up with us, we don’t do business with them. I’ve never had that issue with MBCI.”
Being able to supply products is one thing, but what else makes MBCI stand out, even for long-term clients? Several factors, it turns out. For starters, the company functions as a “one-stop shop” for construction projects of any scope or scale. It also maintains a national network of contacts to ensure consistent access to premium products, and prides itself on offering a quick and efficient online ordering experience. The cherry on top, of course, is the bespoke customer service.
Clearly, it’s all working. Between 2021 and 2022, LaFave’s Construction more than doubled its business with MBCI, trusting the company to deliver high-quality products at competitive prices for increasingly bigger projects.
“Price and service keep us coming back,” LaFave says, “but MBCI is very good throughout the entire project life cycle. For anyone looking to scale up their construction business, it’s important to find and stick with a supply partner that really knows what they’re doing.”
“We’re very transparent with each other, and it’s a real give and take, which I believe has cemented our partnership after all these years,” Deese adds. “Still, Joe’s not the only customer I’ve got that kind of relationship with. We all strive for the same kind of connection with customers. We’re always happy to go the extra mile.”
Expanding your business or taking on a large project in the near future? Connect with your MBCI Regional Sales Manager today to learn more about how we can help you level up.