Johnie Schulte: Inducted into the 2016 Metal Construction Hall of Fame
Pioneered a hub-and-spoke approach to manufacturing and cultivated thriving company culture
Johnie Schulte shaped the metal construction industry by establishing a new manufacturing method for metal buildings and proving metal building companies could sell metal building components and multiple brands of products in a single market. But perhaps Schulte’s greatest contributions were the legacy of creating and supporting thousands of employment opportunities for workers and growing a company culture that recognized all the people in an organization, from the lowest paid workers to the top executives, and fostered strong relationships with customers, vendors and others in the industry.
Schulte fostered a culture at his companies throughout his entire career, from founding Houston-based Mid- West Steel Building Co. in 1970 to his work at Hockley, Texas-based Schulte Building Systems Inc. in the 2000s that developed loyalty among employees, customers and vendors to the company and himself. He did this, in part, with an annual bonus program for employees, by giving supervisors control of their departments, giving managers opportunities to share in the growth of the company by purchasing stock, offering a 401(k) savings plan to employees and other ways.
“People are really how you get the job done. Our success is from the people we bring together. We were profitable from day one-even when we took over companies that were losing money. There is only one answer, and it’s people. If we continue to find and nurture the right people in our operation, we will continue to be successful.”
–Johnie Schulte, founder and CEO of Schulte Building Systems Inc.
Karen Rosales, Schulte’s daughter and partner at Schulte Building Systems, says her father was always looking for ways to include people in the success of businesses. “He was all about, look, a lot of people can build metal buildings, but to make it successful, you’ve got to be good to your people and you’ve got to be good to your customers; you’ve got to be good to your vendors-it’s all about the relationship,” she says.