Case Studies

River Supply Inc.

Building a name in architectural metal and cladding systems in the mid-Atlantic

After just three years in business, River Supply Inc. (RSI) is making a name throughout the mid-Atlantic in residential, commercial and architectural metal products. Located in central Pennsylvania, the company is a leading manufacturer of aluminum composite material (ACM) panels, which offer air deflection, water resistance, uniform load deflection and structural load capacity. In addition to in-house design, engineering and fabrication, RSI also offers roofing and siding products, making it a one-stop shop for professional assistance in full project completion.

Because RSI is small and locally owned, it is very responsive and can adapt its services to meet each customer’s needs. “We really work as a family-like team,” says Joe Nolan, president of RSI. “We find it is easier to retain a good customer than to try to find a new one so we are very quick and responsive. Minor mistakes and damages happen in this industry. It’s the nature of the business, but we’re active in solving the problem, not pointing the finger.”

River Supply Inc.

After working his way from roofer and laborer to an executive, Nolan says his experience has given him the foresight and knowledge to effectively run RSI and deal with issues before they become problems. “I actually went to school for computer networking and during the summers I was a roofer,” he says. “It paid well and I realized I was more of a hands-on guy. I didn’t want to sit behind a desk. So I continued doing roofing, siding and metal and I worked my way up through estimating, project management and all the way to leading RSI.”

In-house efficiency

Based in Brogue, Pennsylvania, RSI formed as its own entity out of a larger parent corporation in 2013. Nolan brought on partner and vice president Tim Bratton to take on marketing and sales and assist in growing the company. Bratton has the same vision that Nolan possesses for the future of RSI.

Today the company performs all stages of in-house design, fabrication and project delivery from a 20,000-square-foot facility. “We serve the Baltimore-D.C. area, and supply the entire tristate region as well,” says Nolan. “Due to this centralized location in the mid-Atlantic, we can react quickly if a panel gets damaged or misplaced.”

All of RSI’s panels are designed and fabricated through a state-of-the-art routing system in its enclosed, controlled environment facility. Using CAD programming and BIM modeling, RSI produces high-quality panels while maximizing productivity and efficiency, and accelerating project timelines.

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“We can take plans or prints from a customer/installer and do a full take off and supply them with a fully furnished number,” says Nolan. “If we get awarded the project, the only thing they have to do is provide us with field dimensions and we adjust the shop drawings and produce the panels.”

A new addition to the MCA

In this delivery process, RSI works with a handful of Metal Construction Association (MCA) members and vendors. “We joined MCA in August 2015 because we wanted to get to know some of the bigger players in the industry and utilize the resources MCA has to help us grow as a company,” says Nolan. “We’re still fairly small in comparison to other members and some of our competition, so building relationships is big for us.”

“It gives me great pride to have the ability to give people the opportunity to work somewhere where they feel they are very much a part of the team.” – Joe Nolan, president of RSI

Nolan says RSI enjoys building these relationships with industry partners and adding more repeat business and contacts by completing challenging projects, start to finish. “We understand that each project sets a precedent for how well clients will measure our success,” says Nolan. “We strive to ensure that every facet of the project at hand is given quality, care and top performance from our team from start to finish.”

RSI has a number of large-scale ongoing projects, including the Fort Indiantown Gap-AMIB project, the UPS-IT Campus, Channing Place, Montgomery College Science West and the Rec Pier Hotel, just to name a few. “The Rec Pier Hotel is an interesting project, developed by the owner of Under Armor in Baltimore,” notes Nolan.

RSI recently completed a project in Philadelphia, 410 at Society Hill. This project had some unique characteristics with different panel depths to match existing cast stone profiles and a brilliant finish utilizing Reynobond’s Natural Brushed Aluminum. RSI partnered with one of their customers who performed a beautiful install for developer and owner Toll Brothers Inc.

Owners choose RSI’s products for their durability and weather resistance. The RSI Rainscreen Panel System is a popular product, consisting of 4-millimeter or 6-millimeter ACM that is fabricated and installed with an aluminum extrusion attachment system. The joint condition is an open reveal with prefinished color strips inserted in the recessed joint. The system is designed to be installed over a weathertight vapor barrier and weep out water that penetrates the panel façade.

“Keep on the lookout for the launch of, which will give our customers a more in-depth look at our in-house fabricated systems,” adds Nolan.

In the last few years, Nolan says RSI has seen an increase in the use of architectural metals on walls, not just roofs. “We’re seeing better wall panel systems, backed by proper testing and more research,” says Nolan.

With a strong product line and a name that’s becoming more widely known in the mid-Atlantic, RSI continues to grow repeat business. “We have managed to double and even sometimes triple our sales volume year over year,” says Nolan. “It gives me great pride to have the ability to give people the opportunity to work somewhere where they feel they are very much a part of the team.”

River Supply Inc. extends this teamwork approach on to its customers, offering value-added in-house design and fabrication, making for more complete project delivery and fewer headaches.

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vol IV 2024


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