Giese Sheet Metal Co. was founded in 1923 on a foundation of customer satisfaction that has pushed the firm through nearly one hundred years of success. Today, Giese has a wealth of experience and a fleet of high-end equipment and the company has earned a coveted place among Iowa’s service providers, offering residential and commercial heating, cooling, roofing, manufacturing, and sheet metal services.
One look at the company’s growth, however, proves that, despite widespread success, the core values at the heart of Giese remain.
Throughout the region, Giese is an integral part of the industrial fabric. As industry has progressed, so has Giese. The company prides itself on a bulletproof reputation that has helped make growth possible.
Giese began as a one-man operation, out of a garage in Dubuque, Iowa. Edwin Giese, the firm’s founder, had a dream. Believing in the power of hard work, the value of planning and the indispensability of customer-focused services, Edwin Giese set out to take on the notoriously competitive manufacturing world.
By 1935, the humble enterprise had expanded, Giese was able to purchase an office location and the company’s future began to take shape. Over the following twenty years, Giese would grow into a regional favorite, and sons Edwin Jr., Joseph and William would take up the family trade.
With this new growth came employees and a diversification of services. By 1965, the business had seen vast expansion, moving into a facility nearly triple the size of Edwin Giese’s original one. Although rooted in the sheet metal industry, Giese made the move to begin manufacturing in 1997.
Fast-forward to today, and Giese is bigger and better than ever. It has three locations and works in not only sheet metal, but lighting, manufacturing and roofing. Matt Giese, the project manager and grandson of William Giese, provided us a closer look at where Giese is today, where it is going and what exactly is the family recipe for success.
Giese has become the first point of call for major roofing projects across the region such as the University of Iowa Art replacement center, the Mystique Casino, Galena-Stauss Hospital and even McGraw-Hill. Giese has earned coveted contracts with these notable projects, and there are more on the horizon. From custom solutions to fabrication, Giese’s customization capabilities are second to none.
9001:2008 certified, Giese not only performs its own HVAC and ductwork, but also acts as a full-service metal fabrication shop. The full-service metal fabrication shop provides dynamic solutions to the increasingly complex demands of twenty-first-century manufacturing and construction.
With extensive investment into automation and technology Giese has become a much different metal work company in the last twenty years, than it was in the 1930s. From lasers and bending equipment to robotic welding and a new CNC beam drill, Giese has a full suite of high-end equipment.
Being home to some of the most cutting-edge equipment available to the manufacturing world means Giese works on everything from small projects to major commercial works. Matt Giese explained, “We can pretty much do anything with metal, and that differentiates us. Our services really complement each other.”
Manufacturing is perhaps Giese’s most popular service, but the company’s extensive portfolio reaches way beyond the metal shop. One of Giese’s quickly growing service offerings is roofing. With both architectural and rubber roofing capabilities, it has completed hundreds of notable projects throughout the Iowa Tri-State area. Specializing in exterior sheet metal, commercial roofing and EPDM (an innovative approach to rubber roofing that has become popular in recent years), Giese has taken innovative steps to stay ahead of the times.
Through its adoption of comprehensive in-house capabilities, Giese has become a one-stop-shop for major industrial and construction needs. This vertically-integrated structure, which incorporates both manufacturing and services, has significant advantages for clients. Often, customers come to Giese for one type of job but end up coming back for another service. As a result of the extensive in-house capabilities, the Giese approach to commercial projects is streamlined and expedited.
In the current economic climate, the benefits of quick turnaround times, centralized communication and cost savings have gained Giese many multifaceted projects. When major builds look to consolidate a vendor list or subcontractors, Giese is the first point of call.
“In terms of timeline, price, and ease of communication we are very competitive. We are handed a project, and we can take over from there. It is much simpler that way.”
Giese prides itself on working towards and investing in the community with which it has so much history. The firm’s fleet and service may be major points of difference for Giese, but the lifeblood of the company is and has always been its people.
Local knowledge is the biggest reason customers in the area continue to turn to Giese. “What people like about working with us is that we are easy going, but we treat people personally and with respect,” said Matt. The Giese personalized approach is one that customers have trusted for generations.
Close client relationships are at the heart of Giese’s success, and, according to Matt Giese, it is the highly-trained and customer-conscious staff who lead the way for generation upon generation of Giese growth. The company has an exceptionally high retention rate, and many employees have been with the company for years. It is not only the business’s equipment that has seen investment, but the staff as well.
As one of the safest contractors in the region, Giese is committed to investing in the safety of its staff. Giese Sheet Metal Co. has mandatory bi-monthly safety training. As an added precaution, each and every Giese staff member must undertake training in sheet metal, even if they work outside of the shop. The company’s culture of safety has minimized the risk of worksite injury.
In addition to staff safety, Giese has kept environmental efficiency in mind. The company’s environmental management system focuses on continual assessment and improvement of production processes with the intention of cleaner operations.
With nearly a century of success behind them, it is safe to say that Edwin Giese’s dream of creating a successful metal work business has been more than achieved. However, according to Matt Giese, with great achievement, comes even greater potential.
Giese Sheet Metal Co. has its sights set on further expansion. Looking to build on its existing strengths, Giese is taking on new comprehensive projects and is investing in innovative technologies. “We are going to continue to grow, diversify, and showcase our talents.” With ninety years in the books, it is clear that Giese is a legacy in itself, but for the next ninety years ahead, Giese’s future is one to watch.