Most of us usually do not give much thought to drainage, ditches and the flow of rainwater, but Ryan and Cole Carter do. In fact, they are almost obsessive.
“It’s almost comical at times,” Ryan Cater admitted. “Many times, my wife has given me a hard time, because we’ll be walking into a store or somewhere and there’s a storm grate there and she’ll see me looking into it. I’m definitely picking up things that most people don’t.”
That likely is a good thing, because the Carter brothers are the owners and operators of Energy Culvert Company, a Williamson County company that provides drainage and erosion control products for homes, agricultural, industrial and transportation applications.
“As the name alludes to, we sell pipe, but it’s really much more than that. We have a wide portfolio of products that covers the storm water market, storm water conveyance, water quality and control. We also have a full fabrication shop and we’ve expanded our portfolio over recent years to include concrete pipe, wire for concrete reinforcement, rebar and other products,” he explained.
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In fact, Carter explained the company handles pipe as small as 3 inches up to 144 inches in diameter.
The business has been a Southern Illinois staple for 53 years, purchased by the Carters in early 2020, just in time for them to deal with pandemic-related supply chain constraints and other issues.
“It was pretty choppy at first with a two-year environment where product availability and pricing in general was very erratic and spotty,” he said, adding that the experience turned out to be advantageous for the company in at least a couple of ways.
“Cole did an excellent job of diving into the details and basically grinding through a lot of those challenges to make sure that our customers didn’t feel the supply chain disruptions. Being active in the day-to-day buying and logistic decisions really enabled us to mitigate some of the challenges in the marketplace.”
Carter said the pandemic also allowed for a company focus on customer service to really come to the forefront.
“We want to provide an excellent product and high-quality service that is dependable so that when our customers call and place an order, they don’t have to worry about it again because they know that we’ll take care of them,” he said. “This is very much a people to people business.”
Ryan focuses on sales strategy, the company’s product line and working with suppliers. His brother focuses on operations.
“Cole does the blocking and tackling,” Ryan said, explaining his brother’s role. “He is really good at the details; the orders, order management, logistics and making everything run smoothly and efficiently.”
The pair has almost tripled the size of the company since taking over. Carter said the company has expanded, adding a branch location in western Kentucky as well as a new office in northern Illinois. They also are looking at additional expansion. Carter said no matter how large the company gets, the focus will remain on serving customers.
“The reason for our growth is caring about our customers and wanting them to succeed,” he said. “We use the term partner and when we partner with a client, we want to make sure that we see things through to competition. We take great pride in making our customers’ lives easier.”
Information about Energy Culvert Company is available online at https://www.energyculvert.com/ or by calling 618-942-7381.