Slesnick Structural Steel: Where Excellence Is A Family Tradition


Known chiefly today as a leading provider of building and fabrication metals, Slesnick Structural Steel can trace its business roots in the Canton, Ohio area back for generations. The Slesnick story is one of fathers and sons, of founders and innovators, of progress and service. It began in 1919 when Barney Slesnick founded the family's first enterprise, the Slesnick Paper Company. After Barney's death in 1944, his son, Sidney, took over the business. Like his father before him, Sidney brought his own son, Stanley, into the family enterprise, and in 1957 the younger Slesnick established Slesnick Iron and Metal, a scrap metal recycling business that exists today. Stanley's son, Edward, joined the company when he graduated from Ohio State University in 1973. Combining their talents, father and son expanded Slesnick Iron and Metal by preparing and shipping large quantities of ferrous scrap metal for use in mills. The Slesnick family tradition continued in 1979 when Edward's brother, Jeffrey, graduated from Ohio State University and joined the business.
Slesnick Structural Steel is born
With Jeff on board, the enterprise took on a new goal – distributing new and surplus structural steel products. That aim led to the creation of Slesnick Structural Steel in 1980. As part of establishing the new business, the Slesnicks constructed a 15,000 square-foot warehouse with two 7.5-ton overhead cranes. Working under the guidance of their father and grandfather, Ed and Jeff applied to the family enterprise the modern business models they learned at Ohio State. They focused on efficiency, top-notch customer service and swift response to customers' needs using a just-in-time supply strategy that offered steel users same-day service. This aggressive approach paid off in steady growth and established Slesnick Structural Steel as a leading supplier of building and fabrication metals in the greater Canton area.
The business expands
In the more than 25 years since its founding, the company has developed through the introduction of new production equipment and expanded product lines that now include more than 1,000 shapes and sizes of aluminum, structural steel and stainless steel. Plate, channel, pipe, sheet and angle are among the metal types offered. Today, Slesnick Structural Steel provides metal forming services such as cutting, punching, drilling and shearing. Company craftsmen carve detailed shapes and patterns into metal using a CNC plate-burning machine with CAD capability. That expertise led ABC Sports to contact the company in 2004. The assignment: Inscribe four metal plaques with the names of enshrinees to the NFL Football Hall of Fame. The network was so pleased with the company's work that it showed the plaques on TV as part of its coverage of the enshrinement ceremonies. Besides growing in reputation, Slesnick Structural Steel also has grown in size. In 2005, the company constructed another 15,000-square-foot warehouse and added a 10-ton crane. Renovations also were made to the aluminum supply warehouse.
Tradition of excellence continues
Though the Slesnick family business has undergone many changes since Barney Slesnick launched his paper company in 1919, some things remain the same. One is the strong tradition of family. Edward's oldest son, Steven, is now part of the business, where he focuses on sales and customer relations. The other is Slesnick Structural Steel's unwavering commitment to customer service, which guided the company's growth in the 20th century and will continue to be part of its business philosophy in the 21st century.