Southern Ornamental Security, Inc.
dba AAA Iron Works
Founded: March 1977
Product: All types of decorative iron work (and aluminum) such as fences, gates, drive gates, gate operators, gated entry systems, railings, columns, spiral stairs, mailboxes, security doors and windows.
Total Employees: 24
Trends: When Southern Ornamental Security started, we were mainly in the security business—burglar bars and alarm systems. As time evolved, so did our product line. We started doing more ornamental iron and in 1980 added AAA Iron Works as a division of the company. Decorative ironwork has become very popular. Due to the many unique designs available, we can create a look that's “you,” and you may never see it duplicated again.
The biggest change we have seen in our business is more use of aluminum and aluminum castings with less and less use of steel. There are almost as many aluminum castings available as there are cast iron (steel) and the prices are comparable. About 80 percent of our products are made from aluminum and this is further enhanced by our painting process. Seventeen years ago, we installed a powder coating system, using a powder paint that is baked on. Once cooled, it is ready for installation and gives you a product that is virtually maintenance free! Over 90 percent of our work is now powder coated.
The biggest market increase over the years has been due to aluminum fences and gates. The installation of gated entry systems (gate operators, phone or card entry systems, closed circuit TV and access control) has been tremendous. In 2000, we moved into our new office and shop complex, located in the old Government Street Lumber property at 560 Weinacker Avenue , Mobile Alabama . By making this move, we doubled in size to a 18,000-square-foot shop and became what we think is the largest, most organized facility of our type on the coast.