The “We’ll guarantee our best, call USS” television commercial jingle is connected to one of the leading companies in Middle Tennessee that corrects commercial and residential foundation failure and waterproofs crawlspaces and basements.
United Structural Systems (USS) has called Pleasant View home since 2003 and will celebrate its tenth anniversary at the 2111 Boat Factory Road location this April. The company has grown to fifty employees and expanded into four different companies operating under one roof.
USS President Chris Smith along with his father Mike Smith, who co-founded the local company, sat down on Wednesday and provided a tour of the facility that continues to adapt and expand to meet the growing business.
Chris Smith said he started the local business in 1992 from his dorm room at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville. ”I did it all from selling the job to digging out the foundation to repair and completing the job to sending the paperwork and check back to Indiana,” said the younger Smith.
Mike Smith was with United Dynamics in southern Indiana, a company that dealt with foundation repair and correction.
In 1994, the local company opened in Whites Creek in a limited area with a trailer for the office.
In 2003, the owners of the abandoned boat factory in Pleasant View contacted Mike about the local property and the purchase brought the headquarters and all of its operations to Pleasant View.
The company has grown every year with 892 foundations repaired and jobs completed in 2012. The boost in the last few years has been attributed to Nashville television ads that feature that jingle.
Chris said the commercial jingle required a lot of work down to the selection of singers and penned by his sister, Shannon Smith Carter, but it has had incredible return and recognition for USS.
Every workday, crews gather at the facility and head out in all directions from Pleasant View into the middle Tennessee, southern Kentucky and northern Alabama areas. The crews return that afternoon where a second shift cleans, maintains, and loads up for job assignments for the next day.
In addition to the foundation repair, waterproofing crawlspace and basements, the company also provides rig drilling in new construction such as the Nashville Convention Center as well as OSHA compliance on job sites.
Major companies that have called on USS include the Grand Ole Opry House, Vanderbilt University and Medical Center, Ford Glass Plant, Nissan of North America, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Center Hill Lake Dam, MTSU, Lipscomb University, Nashville Electric Service, several county school systems and area churches.
Chris said the company has expanded to three additional companies in recent years to include an engineering department (USS Engineering), United Properties of Nashville, and the latest addition of Titan Products.
Titan has its own machine shop on site that takes steel and cuts and welds piers and fittings to stabilize foundations. Parts that were once bought are now produced on site in Pleasant View and the company now has other foundation repair companies buying Titan products.
The father-son team was quick to point out the staff as the reason for success.
”Our growth and success is based on having the best people,” Mike Smith said. ”We are always planning and looking to the future. You plan and then take baby steps toward that and we have been able to get there with the great people here.”
Mike said Kenny Williams had joined the company years ago in sales and is now vice president and part owner of the company.
The owners take great pride in the Better Business Bureau top customer satisfaction rating as well as referrals from satisfied customers. “We have always followed up immediately with any complaint or concern of a customer to make it right and stay in contact with the customer so they know what is happing in their yard and how the process works and how we will get their place repaired along with their yard and property,” said Smith.
Chris said the fall is the busiest time for USS especially with dry summer conditions in August contracting the ground where shifts can occur in the dirt causing foundations to crack along with brick. The problems lead to outside bricks cracking along with inside walls as doors and windows stick or jam.
For more information on USS call 615-227-2275.
-Kerry R. McCarver
Reprinted with permission