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Helping Maintain Legacy Through an Ownership Transition

About Collins Steel

Collins Steel specializes in fabricating and installing high-quality steel for various types of structures, including commercial, institutional, industrial, light industrial, and high-rise buildings. Founded in 1984 by Paul Collins, Collins Steel emphasizes continual improvement in their fabrication, installation, and design practices, utilizing their extensive experience to innovate and enhance budgeting and scheduling efficiency for every project.

The Challenge

From its inception in 1984, Collins Steel has prided itself on its strong sense of family values that are actively fostered throughout the organization. In planning for the future, the Collins family chose to divest a portion of their majority ownership in Collins Steel to their senior management team, as part of a long-term succession plan that maintains the company’s owner-operator business model. Collins Steel engaged Incite to ensure a seamless transition was supported with consistent communications to all internal and external stakeholders.

The Insights

We worked with Collins Steel’s leadership to ensure the story behind the ownership transition would be effectively communicated to their staff and community. Employees, customers, and partners needed to recognize this transition not as a departure from their 40-year legacy, but as further cementing the Collins’ values within the company. It was also imperative that business operations continued to the same standards the company has prided itself on for decades.

Collins Steel is a values-driven company with a people-first mindset at its core. The communications strategy was designed to transparently reflect those values and ensure that the Collins’ family legacy was not only upheld, but embraced, throughout the ownership transition.

Ted KouriFounder and President, Incite

The Work

Informed by stakeholder input, Incite worked to craft a communications strategy that was consistent with Collins Steel’s plans and highlighted the positive nature of the ownership transition. The communications strategy helped align ownership and stakeholder perceptions about the transition, prepared them for what to expect, and provided recommendations on how to best communicate with all concerned parties moving forward. Key items delivered in the communications strategy included:

  • Recommended communications tone/feel
  • Key communications messages, tools, and timelines to rollout the announcement to all stakeholders, including in-person townhalls
  • Manager orientation and change management support, including a comprehensive FAQ list

The Results

With leadership and daily operations remaining business as usual for Collins Steel during and after the ownership transition, it was critical that the communications strategy ensured that stakeholders felt informed, engaged, and aligned throughout the communications rollout. Collins Steel employees, customers, and partners received the announcement positively and are excited about the future with management now included in the ownership of the company.

Our people and our customers are important partners in the success of Collins Steel. Incite understood this and helped us engage and communicate with them in a way that acknowledged those relationships as critical to the ongoing success of our business.

Rob WrightPresident, Collins Steel