Ken Moore, founder and president of Cordeck, has been in the steel decking sector of the construction industry for 32 years. After working in the installation end of the business for his parents’ company, Cordeck Sales, Ken returned to school full time to pursue a degree in architecture.
“We started manufacturing steel decking products in 1994 and incorporated a year later,” Ken recounts. “I started this business very small, with only two employees. We started by stocking a few products and building the customer base. I was manufacturing and shipping the components, which meant I would hop on the company truck and deliver the products. Then I would come back and bill it. From there, the manufacturing aspect of the business grew and I became less and less involved in labor.”
Today, Cordeck manufactures cellular decking, metal decking and roof decking products for the construction industry. The team also produces a full line of in-floor raceway systems. The business occasionally sources related products from suppliers in order to provide a one-stop shop for contractors. “Our mission is to provide excellent customer service and our motto is: Do whatever it takes,” Ken notes. “With our typical orders, we can get the order today and ship it tomorrow. If a customer calls tonight at 5 p.m., we can deliver at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning.”
Casting a broad net
From a single location in Kenosha, Wis., Cordeck ships products all over the country and even beyond. These decking and raceway products have been installed from California to northern New England and even in Alaska. The team has also provided products for projects in Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines. “We are constantly looking at markets overseas, where there are many projects and opportunities,” Ken elaborates. “In the next few years we will be expanding more internationally in addition to serving our customer in the United States.”
Cordeck takes an integrated approach to each project. Ken says his team members often meet with architects and engineers as much as two years prior to receiving a job for bid. The team goes through the project with the client to find an appropriate solution, whether that is the company’s in-floor raceway system or a more traditional construction approach.
The company’s in-floor wire management raceway system is one of Cordeck’s most innovative products in the line. “The raceway system itself can be on steel or on grade and is part of the structural build as it is in the poured concrete,” Ken explains. “This product is popular for the flexibility it affords building occupants. In typical construction where contractors are running conduit, the flexibility just isn’t there. Nowadays, businesses revise their office layouts every few years; occupants rearrange cubicles or form teams for projects and reconfigure the space. In the case of typical construction, these changes require that additional conduit is run throughout the building. That involves spanning a line, cutting through the concrete, running new feeds and new power sources. With our system, occupants can easily adapt to change and access the existing power and data lines without the disruption that might otherwise occur.” The raceway system cuts back on material use and frequently contributes to LEED certification on projects across the country.
A growing portfolio
Like many businesses involved with the construction market, Cordeck felt the tremors of the recession. Between 2009 and 2010, Ken says business was pretty lean. He and his team worked together to identify solutions that would help keep the business afloat without too many sacrifices. Some employees opted for four-day work weeks while others took voluntary vacations. Now, things are looking up and Ken says his crew has a lot of good, forward momentum.
With new locations in Houston, Cincinnati and Memphis, Cordeck is expanding to meet growing demand spurred on by the economic recovery. This expansion allows the Cordeck team to bring products closer to its more remote customers, allowing savings on shipping costs. “This is an exciting time in the industry, and we are pleased to be able to service our existing customers even better,” says Ken. “The time was right and the opportunity was available. We relocated some of our best employees to the new sites and were fortunate to hire quality people locally. We’re ideally positioned for this growth. The future of Cordeck is bright.”
In recent years, the team has completed a number of high-profile projects. The crew recently finished work on Oak Lawn Jockey Club in Little Rock, Ark. The business provided and assisted in installation of an in-floor raceway system for the horse racing track. The crew has worked on casino projects in Cincinnati, as well as in Dayton and Youngstown, Ohio. One of the more memorable portfolio pieces for Ken has been the Northwest Hospital in Chicago. The 24-story building that the team worked on in 2013 was the first steel building to go up in the city in almost five years. The business has been involved in several health care projects in recent years, including the Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, another 24-story project.
Cordeck continues to take on new and challenging contracts, working closely with designers, engineers and architects to build integrated systems and support products that best fit the end use of a building. With the support of satisfied clients, a network of loyal distributors and longtime suppliers, the business is in a strong position to move forward. High quality, sustainable products and excellent customer service make up the backbone of the business. Cordeck continues to press on, providing innovative solutions for various sectors of the construction industry.