Itzko Glass & Metal, Inc. (IGM)
Itzko Glass and Metal Inc.’s ability to be faster and more efficient than other glazing contractors has earned it hundreds of jobs in just eight years in business.
By Jim Harris, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media
Itzko Glass and Metal Inc. (IGM) believes in being selective about the projects it takes on. “We receive hundreds of plans each month from prospective clients. We pick and decide who we want to work with, which is a good spot to be in,” Founder and CEO Colin Itzko says. “We are not begging people for work – they come to us.”
Itzko credits the West Sacramento, Calif.-based full-service commercial glazing contractor’s success in finding clients to its efficiency and speed. “Our speed, and the technology we use, are primarily how we lock down work,” he adds. “I feel we can handle our workflow and review projects faster than our competitors can.”
The company employs several full-time drafters who use state-of-the-art design and fabrication technology to accelerate the pacing of its projects while maintaining accuracy and high quality. This includes 3-D computer aided drafting (CAD), 3-D modeling, and other software technology that IGM developed in-house.
“I feel my competition sees in-house CAD, engineering and drafting technology as an overhead expense, but I see it as an investment in the company,” Itzko says.
IGM’s 13,000-square-foot fabrication facility includes TigerStop automated saw systems, which push, position and measure metal and other materials. Using these systems in conjunction with MultiCam CNC routing machinery has greatly accelerated the company’s rate of production, he adds.
“We manufacture everything complete right here in our shop and ship frames out fully fabricated, whereas we’re still seeing others do fabrication in the field,” Itzko says. “Everyone in California is expecting fully fabricated frames because they want their building sealed up faster; the faster they can build, the faster they can rent it out.”
‘Lean and Mean’
Efficiency and speed have been goals of the company since Itzko founded IGM in 2010. Previously, he worked as an estimator for a glass company in Carmichael, Calif., for seven years. Prior to that, he worked as a QA engineer, where he bug tested software and authored multiple technical writings.
“I started the company during the recession, so it was strategic for us to have low overhead, knowing others in town had a massive number of employees they had to lay off when the market went down. We were able to bid at a low price and still remain profitable and competitive,” he says. “We are still a lean and mean company that has grown gradually with the market since we started.”
IGM is strategically located near several freeway interchanges, allowing it to quickly serve all of Northern California. “We can be in San Francisco in an hour and twenty, and San Jose in two hours,” Itzko adds.
IGM typically works as a subcontractor to general contracting firms, though it also frequently works alongside architectural firms, developers and owners on design/build projects.
The company’s regular project partners include leading California-based general contractors like Deacon Construction, Moorefield Construction, Brown Construction, and Anton Development Company. “Our goal is to form partnerships within the industry,” Itzko says.
In addition to working with Deacon, Moorefield and other general contractors as a subcontractor on other projects, IGM has also worked on projects at a majority of their general contractors’ headquarters.
The company is also very selective about the suppliers it works with. IGM maintains an exclusive relationship with metal supplier Arcadia Inc., which has an office located one-and-a-half miles away from IGM’s headquarters. The company works closely with Guardian Glass for its architectural float glass needs. I prefer to source locally to sustain the local economy and support local workers,” he adds.
IGM’s recent projects include completing the glazing and curtain wall packages for the five-story, 183-room Archer Hotel, with Deacon Construction, which opened last November in Napa, Calif.
The company also recently completed work on the Veranda, a 330,000-square-foot retail shopping center with multiple buildings located in Concord, Calif. Moorefield Construction was the general contractor.
IGM’s ongoing projects include work on the renovation and restoration of 1 N. First St. in San Jose, Calif. The 110,000-square-foot building, constructed in 1946 as a J.C. Penney store. The company’s work on the project includes an envelope design build package of custom window-wall assemblies, glass, and bi-folding doors.
Itzko believes in giving his team members a wide range of knowledge and project experience. “I want to provide opportunities that my employees wouldn’t have elsewhere,” he says.
IGM’s employees are cross-trained in several areas. “I believe in putting people in positions that they may not have initially sought, because they’re scared they will mess up” Itzko says. For example, field employees have been trained to be project managers, department managers and lead-men.
“My talent is tapping my staff’s potential and making them see that they’re capable of more and can step out of their comfort zone,” he adds. “I want to give people the flexibility to make mistakes, learn from them and grow individually and with the company.”