Okland Construction Co. Inc., Salt Lake City, has based its core values on the same four principles since 1918: integrity, quality, vision, and success. Project executive Jeremy Blanck, who has been with the company for 10 years, talks about the company's reaction to the recent economy, the importance of LEED, and the hopes for Okland's future. With 80% of business coming from repeat clients, Blanck emphasizes that quality people is what makes this company successful. Currently, the company has four locations that operate in 27 states.
- We're a quality firm that's been around for 92 years. We are in our fourth generation of family owned operation and we deliver quality projects. We deliver them on time and on budget. We like heavy concrete, vertical, buildings. The more challenging the better.
- We do a large volume of work and we are always evaluating what the best pricing is. Not only do we do negotiated construction management, or design-build work, but we also do hard bid work and are successful with all of the different delivery methods. I think that's one of the things that enables us to be competitive, that we don't just try to do it one way, we are always looking at ways to do things differently.
- Having the right people in place is very important—those that are qualified and capable of performing the project. Next is making sure we have an accurate and realistic bid, price, or guaranteed maximum price established for the project so we start the project on sound footing.
- What we look for in new workers is probably quality of person they appear to be—more so their personality and their ability to interact with other people than anything else. Their skills and training are critical and important, but they can be taught a lot of those things. It's hard to teach individuals people skills and how to interact with others and work with people.
- We have a corporate safety manager who manages all of our safety programs. Our E moderate is 0.60, which is near the lower end of the industry. We continuously emphasize safety with safety meetings and safety trainings.
- LEED certification is probably something we started six or seven years ago and really became focused on it. We've done a few LEED platinum projects, LEED gold, and LEED silver. Almost every project we do now at least is LEED certified, and the majority of those are chief LEED silver accreditation. It's just something we are constantly going to be doing, and it's almost the norm now more than it's the exception.
- I don't know that we saw the current economy coming, I'm not sure anybody did. I think we saw aspects of it coming and wondered how long the peak would last, but a lot of what we've done has been reactionary. We try to always have good people in place, and having those good people—they can think on their feet and react to what's going on in the economy. It's sure helped us to be successful in today's market.
- I think in the next couple of years we will try to maintain our current workload and continue to look at opportunities to expand in other markets. If we can maintain where we are at in the next couple of years, we will be pleased.