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December 2017
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Panel Built builds growing business

The company that two brothers built in Blairsville, Georgia, has grown quickly over the years and its products are designed to help other companies grow, with modular solutions for maximizing space.

Panel Built is unique among modular manufacturers because of its custom capability and variety of products, said Margie Schramke, marketing manager.  “I wish more people understood the scope of our abilities,” said Schramke. “We frequently hear ‘I didn’t know you guys did that!’ and it is frustrating.”

“Panel Built is a sole source provider of modular in-plant offices (one two and three story systems) one-hour fire rated systems, powder coated structural steel products including mezzanines, stair systems, cage ladders and barrier rail, fork-liftable pre-assembled buildings (guard houses, attendant booths, small exterior offices) and larger exterior buildings. Our systems break down into components for easy shipping, and we have sold and installed projects as far away as Guam and Angola.”

 The company recently instituted two-day shipment on standard, in plant kits. “This is the fastest ship time in our industry, and we have had no issues with fulfillment or quality. Our distributors and customers have been very happy with this new program,” Schramke said.

 Brothers Mike Kiernan, company president, and Pat Kiernan, vice president, started the company in 1995, beginning with the construction of pre-manufactured buildings. “Our General Manager Dave Arnold was the first employee they hired, and he has helped them grow from three to over 60 employees in the last 17 years,” said Schramke. “PBI has grown by introducing multiple product lines and providing consistent quality and superior customer service with a corporate culture of constant improvement.”

The company is built around family values and community involvement, from Thanksgiving food drives to sending monthly care packages to the troops. They recently donated modular walls to a local clinic that provides free or discounted health care to the uninsured.  “As members of the community, and one of the largest employers, we feel a responsibility to be involved and do our part to support our local interests, as well as those of our country,” Schramke said.

Panel Built is also environmentally responsible.  “We are adding two solar arrays to our administration building, one along the front of the building and a carport array in the parking lot. We will also have a solar array behind the Steel Line building, which is across the street. This will serve as a materials shelter also,” Schramke said.

The solar additions are part of a new venture for the Kiernan brothers, aptly named Kiernan Brothers Solar.  “This is a very good growth market in the U.S. There was grant money involved that helped, and the plan is to build the initial arrays here for research and development on the system and for future display purposes. The power generated will not be used by Panel Built, but will be sold back to the grid at a premium.  We will do the engineering and manufacture the structural supports for the panels as well as the installation,” Schramke said.
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