The Dowco Detailer Network

Posted on March 13, 2017 by Ewen Dobbie

No one argues that the steel industry has experienced a global revolution over the last decade. The emergence of 3D modelling software, high-speed internet, rapid development of IT-enabling technologies, communication, collaboration tools, data management, web-conferencing, and a general globalization of the steel supply chain have all created opportunities for enterprising companies located in lower-cost yet technologically competent countries like India. Probably the best example of this has been the proliferation of foreign (mostly Indian) steel detailing companies entering the North American market.

The goal of every business owner is to manage costs associated with delivering their product or service to the marketplace. This is true for both steel fabricators and steel detailers as we all suffer the consequences of market volatility, increased competition and general downward price pressure. The question is how we will combat these forces.

Do we want change? Are we able to change? And what happens if we stay the course?

For the most part, today’s modern day detailers use 3D modeling technology and have most or all of their detailing production done offshore. Dowco is no different. As one of the larger detailing companies in the marketplace, Dowco has incorporated a business strategy that incorporates an IT-enabled team overseas as 'part of' our North American production team. This is not simply sending work to be done overseas, or the practice of ‘outsourcing detailing’ as it is commonly referred. Dowco’s approach to ‘outsourcing’ is different.

While Dowco strives to be low price (as low as it can), high quality provider, the company’s main focus is on quality and schedule. Dowco’s business model also differs from the foreign owned detailing companies in that Dowco realizes the importance of Project Managers and detailers having decades of real North American Project experience. With a total staff count of 330 detailers, 85 of which are in our North American office, Dowco customers are assured there is ample real steel experience on their projects.This is achieved by creating a ‘blended rate’-pricing scenario, which serves to ensure Dowco remains competitive in an increasingly competitive and globalized industry. The company’s strategy was to build a globally integrated detailing services company. The Dowco Group is now comprised of 8 different detailing offices spread across five countries.

What makes Dowco’s business model different from the foreign owned detailing companies is the number of resident experienced staff in North America. Being in the steel detailing business since 1970, Dowco realizes the importance of Project Managers and detailers having decades of real North American Project experience. With a total staff count of 330 detailers, 85 of which are in our North American office, Dowco customers are assured there is ample real steel experience on their projects.

Dowco’s approach is not to send projects to be done in offshore locations but rather to use an IT-enabled managed task approach to project execution. Having a global IT infrastructure and having the ability to store and simultaneously access 3D Project models in the cloud, Dowco can rapidly deploy resources from any of their 8 offices worldwide. Such a process ensures all project management and controls remain with its North American experienced staff. For customers, they benefit from time compression and a blended cost pricing model which ensures Dowco delivers full value to projects.

3D modeling, detailing and collaboration technology continues to evolve as does the push for increased efficiencies driven by market pricing. Detailer entrepreneurs with the will and resolve to survive, the creativity and willingness to evolve, will become rarities. The single source or industry standard ‘go to’ detailing services company will be that company that consistently delivers high quality detailing services at competitive prices, achieved through the efficient and rapid deployment of resources from a global production infrastructure.

We are a 47-year-old North American owned and operated steel detailing services company that has worked on some of the most iconic structures in the US, yet we pride ourselves on being a service provider to all fabricators, large or small. We look forward to being your local steel detailing services provider.

Ewen Dobbie


Dowco Group - Ewen Dobbie

Business Strategist, Owner, President, CEO, Director, for technology companies serving the design & construction industry.


Dowco Group of Companies