We won an award recently. We’re rather proud of that and prouder still that we’ve won it more than once. It’s not in our nature to brag though. Despite being told that talking about it would be good for business we’d rather just get back to doing what we do: serving our customers with high-quality metal fabrications.

To us this isn’t false modesty, it’s part of what it means to be a Hoosier. While there’s debate about where that word comes from it’s widely understood to refer to someone who was born and raised here in Indiana.

The Wiley family are Hoosiers (and metal fabricators,) through and through. In this Tiki Talk post, we’ll address what it means to be a Hoosier and how that governs our approach to work. And yes, we may just tell you more about that award.

Hoosiers and Hospitality

According to the Indiana Historical Bureau, the first recorded usage of “Hoosier” dates from 1827, so presumably, it’s older than that. They offer half a dozen explanations for the term but no one really knows which is correct.

About “Hoosier Hospitality” there’s less debate. It refers to politeness, openness, and a welcoming and friendly attitude. We rather like the way David Letterman, (a well-known Hoosier himself,) summed it up during an interview in January 2020. He said it’s simply a case of following the Golden Rule. (In case you’re wondering which Golden Rule he meant, it’s the one that says, “Treat people the way you’d like to be treated.”)

What “Hoosier Hospitality” Means to Us

We’re flattered by the compliments we often receive on our “Midwestern” values and work ethic. The thing is, we don’t know any other way to conduct ourselves. It’s our nature to be friendly, respectful, and honest. It’s just in our DNA to perform metal fabricating services to the best of our ability and we can’t imagine running our metal fabrication business any other way. We prefer to think of it as “Hoosier Hospitality” in homage to our Indiana roots.

Hoosier Hospitality in Our Business

“Hoosier Hospitality” means viewing our clients, not just as customers, but as partners. It means being proactive in assisting these partners to find a better way of making a product or part. It’s helping them build their business and improve their bottom line. In many cases, it involves working hand-in-hand with them from concept through reality. It means going the extra step is part of our daily routine.

Meeting the expectations of our clients, consistently, year in and year out forces us to look at how we do things. We believe that just because something has worked well in the past, that doesn’t mean we can’t do it better in the future. Here are five areas of our business where we’ve committed to improving the service we provide:

  • A commitment to quality
  • A Process Management focus
  • Meeting our delivery commitments
  • Prompt response to RFQs
  • Not letting a crisis throw us off course

Quality Commitment

A lot has changed since Verne Wiley set up his metal fabrication business, but one thing has remained the same: our commitment to delivering the best quality work we can. Yes, having our name on the building is a motivator, but we’d argue it’s really down to our Hoosier values. Why bother doing something unless you’re going to do it properly? And then there’s the Golden Rule.

A Process Management Focus

Process Management is a methodology we’ve been following for some time. It’s about striving for consistency and looking for ways to do better. That means taking a look in the mirror, recognizing that we’re not perfect, and then doing the hard work needed to improve. Sounds pretty Midwestern and Hoosier-ish, don’t you think?

Meeting Delivery Commitments

We understand how frustrating and disappointing it is to be let down. That’s why, a long time ago, we started first measuring our delivery performance and then working to improve it. (See the Golden Rule at work there?)

We’re not perfect, but we keep getting better. That’s something one our of OEM clients recognized recently when they bestowed an award on us.

Responding Promptly to RFQs

When you send prints out for quote you don’t want to be kept waiting. You need the numbers back quickly so you can make decisions about where to source your fabrication work. That’s why we’ve committed to turning around every Request for Quote in five days or less.

Now a little caveat is required here. (This is our Hoosier honesty at work and not the lawyers.) There will be times when five days isn’t achievable. Maybe your project needs an uncommon grade of metal, or it’s just a very complex design. If it’s going to take longer than five days we’ll let you know and we’ll get the quote to you as quickly as we can.

Crisis Management

No one needs reminding what a difficult time we’ve all been going through. Older readers will recall though that hard times come and go, and Wiley Metal Fabrication has been around long enough to have seen a few of those.

We’ve found it’s when things get tough that our Hoosier values and hospitality really help us out. We see it as helping others, and that’s something we’re always happy to do.


We don’t do this work for awards, but it’s immensely gratifying when they come along. That’s especially true when they come from an OEM client.

Being selected as a supplier to an OEM means these special partners recognize our ability to fill their needs by meeting exacting standards with consistency and quality. We feel these companies are telling us “You know, if we COULD manufacture this part ourselves, this is exactly how we would do it.” That is a huge compliment and not one we take lightly.

We feel Hoosier Hospitality played a big part in the Wiley Metal Team winning a Wabash National Platinum “Supplier of the Year Award”. This isn’t the first time we’ve been so honored but it’s still very flattering. It’s particularly gratifying to win the award from people who know Hoosier Hospitality so well themselves.

An Attitude of Gratitude

Hoosier Hospitality also means being grateful and appreciative, so let’s spell out some of the things we’re grateful for. First, there are our terrific clients/partners. We appreciate the trust they place in us and value their continued support. We are grateful for our suppliers who provide us with the quality materials we need, every day, to fill the orders from our wide-ranging clients. We are thankful for those of you who have given us the opportunity to bid on a project or work on a concept even if it didn’t work out…this time. We are also profoundly grateful for our family, friends, and co-workers, whether they’ve been with us for decades or just weeks.