- Written by: Jeanne Dudley
- Produced by: Victor Martins
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
AWNEX Inc. (AWNEX) is an awning, canopy and sign specialist based in Ball Ground, Ga., providing turnkey design, engineering, manufacturing and installation services for a variety of bolt-on architectural building enhancements.
“We started out manufacturing fabric awnings for the regional restaurant market in 1990,” explains John Dicks, president of AWNEX. “Then, in the late ’90s, design trends shifted to aluminum, which we now use almost exclusively.”
Today the AWNEX team supplies many national chains with awnings, canopies, signs, ATM covers and other structural add-ons to enhance both the appearance and functionality of buildings. AWNEX has established relationships with banks, restaurants, QSR’s and retail centers across the country due to the team’s pristine handiwork.
Products and Services
The AWNEX team is capable of providing full-service solutions to clients in need. AWNEX works with companies to develop custom solutions offering aesthetic appeal, structural protection and energy savings.
“Many of our competitors just ship out a product, and it’s up to their customers to install it,” explains Dicks. “We’re unique, because we manufacture, deliver, perform the field survey and install all of our products. With each account, we develop a field survey package. It offers better services to our customers, and further enhances our appeal to customers across the country.”
That is not the only asset setting AWNEX above the competition. The company has also partnered with several regional installation professionals, who perform quality installations around the country.
“We offer our AWNEX-Certified Installation Partner [ACIP] training program,” explains Dicks. “Our satellite workers complete training, are certified and become ACIP partners.” ACIP installers work with the client and the AWNEX team to provide quality, durable installations in locations that the company could otherwise not reach.
It is clear that AWNEX truly cares about every project, as the team works closely with clients to provide custom solutions that fit buildings both aesthetically and physically. Aluminum awnings and canopies offer shelter from the elements for customers and buildings, and the team at AWNEX understands that importance.
The company offers both standard and custom bolt-on awnings, canopies and trellises for window and door coverage, as well as components for drive-thru setups. Clients can choose canopies to ensure customers stay dry while ordering from a vehicle, as well as clearance posts to ensure the safety of customers in larger vehicles.
The team is happy to have several chains as costumers, which continue to rely on AWNEX’s high-quality architectural add-ons. Well-known, long-term clients that AWNEX continues to proudly serve include McDonald’s, Thornton’s and Steak ‘N Shake. The large chains often open up opportunities for the company, but Dicks explains that quality remains the top priority at AWNEX.
“We don’t seek out big-dollar clients for one-time projects,” explains Dicks. “Our niche is the multiple-location, stand-alone retail store and restaurant chains.” The team acknowledges that maintaining a relationship with clients is important, and that AWNEX’s custom, quality installations are what keep satisfaction high and what spark repeat business.
While many businesses have struggled in the recent recession, AWNEX continues to grow by offering branding upgrades without making a major overhaul on buildings. “Real estate is bad right now,” explains Dicks. “Companies don’t want to build new specialized buildings, so they make improvements to existing ones.” Outside of direct sales, AWNEX also works with many general contractors across the country to extend capabilities to new construction projects.
The team’s ability to network is combined with a commitment to two key principles, which the staff has pledged, according to Dicks. “Our main points are product quality – giving our customers exactly what they expect – and customer service – doing it with a positive and enthusiastic attitude,” he explains. The practice of positivity has led to serious growth over the last few years, and AWNEX continues to expand its geographic footprint and product offering, guaranteeing that trend.
The business’ research and development team is constantly forming new designs. “We’re developing more and more aluminum extrusions,” says Dicks. “We do a lot of research and design on canopy and shutter extrusions. Right now we have three or four accounts using flat wall louver systems, which is a pretty big architectural trend right now, and we’re working to make these systems more cost effective.”
Awnex’s geographic region is also growing. “We’re moving further into the Northeast, Midwest and Southwest,” explains Dick. “We recently approved contracts with McDonald’s for locations in New Mexico, Idaho and New York.”
The team’s hard work has paid off, as AWNEX is also being featured on two national television programs lauding, among other things, the company’s green capabilities. “We were featured on ‘Shades of Green’ on Discovery and the ION Network’s ‘World’s Greatest,'” says Dicks. “Our products are environmentally sound and a component of green building, vital in today’s construction industry.” In addition to the branding enhancements, window and door awnings also offer shade, keeping cooling costs down during the warmer months, which every business can appreciate.
The additional exposure will offer wide marketing opportunities for the company, of which Dicks plans to take advantage. The AWNEX team continues to push for durable, innovative architectural enhancement solutions, ensuring AWNEX Inc. will continue to be a leader in the industry for years to come.
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