Case Studies

BMW Constructors Inc.: Growth through Relationships and Diversified Service

  • Written by: BMW Constructors Inc.: Growth through Relationships and Diversified Service
  • Produced by: BMW Constructors Inc.: Growth through Relationships and Diversified Service
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BMW Constructors Inc. (BMW), a general industrial contractor, has been providing value-oriented service to clients for almost 60 years. The Indianapolis-based company serves a wide range of industries, including, refineries, chemical plants, pharmaceutical manufacturers, high purity fabrication, clean technology, food and beverage, semiconductors and aerospace among others. BMW resides under its management-owned parent company, BMWC Group Inc. (BMWC Group). Since 1955 BMWC Group’s sub-companies, BMW, BMWC Constructors Inc. and BMWC Process Fabrications Inc., have evolved into process-driven firms.

BMW has come a long way since its founding, now employing over 2,200 administrative and union craftsmen. BMW covers a lot of ground; the company operates out of five offices in Indianapolis, Seattle, Phoenix, as well as Portland, Ore., and Munster, Ind., with each office focused on its region and market segment.

Brian K. Acton, president and CEO of BMW, has been with the company for 29 years and is a Purdue graduate of construction engineering and management. “I started immediately out of college,” he details. “BMW is the only company I’ve ever worked for. I worked my way up, and was elected into my current position three years ago.”

Developing Customers for Life

Acton believes the most important aspect of BMW’s business is customer relations. “We don’t seek out one-off projects, we look for customers for life,” shares Acton. “We want customers that share our core values, ensuring that repeat business will be achieved.”

Several of BMW’s clients have been with the company since the beginning. “One example is a pharmaceutical company that we’ve had a contract with since 1956,” details Acton. “Sure, not chasing projects may hinder our growth, but we’d rather have lasting relationships. Our customer selection distinguishes us from our competitors.”

BMW ensures customers are satisfied and keep coming back thanks to a team of well-educated, professionals. All project managers not only hold degrees and certifications, but have ownership in the company. “Clients deal with owners on a regular basis,” reveals Acton. “This allows for on-the-spot decision making. Clients don’t have to wait to hear back from a chain of command.”

By self performing the majority of its work, with the exception of specialties like painting, insulation and electrical, BMW controls safety and quality. When there is a need to subcontract out a service, the standards are high.

“We are very selective of the subs we choose,” shares Acton. “There are rigorous pre-qualification standards they must meet.” BMW’s customer service and high quality standards have allowed the company to land some of the highest profile jobs in the country.

A Diverse Portfolio

The BP Whiting Refinery is located on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan in Whiting, Ind., where BMW is currently working on several projects to modernize the refinery. As the sixth-largest refinery in the U.S., the team at BMW had to prepare to handle the massive five-year-long, multi-billion-dollar project.

Modernization is essential to the long-term viability of the refinery with over a billion-dollars invested in environmental improvements. Once completed, the refinery will be able to process heavier crudes and provide greater energy security in the Midwest as conventional supplies of light oil are replaced.

BMW is responsible for revitalizing and expanding existing units through a total upgrade. There are over 7,000 craftsmen on-site along with the world’s largest crawler crane, which has a 3,000-ton capacity.

BMW has worked with many other refinery operations. Recently the company completed an addition to the Heritage Crystal Clean refinery in Indianapolis. This refinery is making strides to develop environmentally sound solutions by re-refining used motor oil into a usable product.

Other BMW operations consist of many pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. BMW specializes in modular structures in this sector, greatly speeding up the construction time from groundbreaking to finally completion. “We design modular facilities so our clients can start making their products right away,” explains Acton.

Despite the challenging recession, which has shut many companies down, BMW has continued to not only survive, but flourish. “We’ve been fortunate,” describes Acton. “Our business has actually doubled over the last few years. We’re pretty resilient; no matter what, people always need medicines, microprocessors, gas and power.” Acton acknowledges the company’s only challenge has been finding good, quality people to join the team.

BMW’s backlog remains strong due to its select customer relationships and repeat business. “We remain strong and are growing in many markets,” says Acton. “The semiconductor market is growing. The power and refinery business remains strong.”

The company is committed to sharing its success with others, as well. “BMW aims to give a portion of the company’s earnings each year to the communities in which we work,” says Acton. “If our employees are involved in charity work, we match their funding. We work a lot with United Way.”

The company is quickly approaching its 60-year in business in 2015. BMW Constructors Inc. continues to flourish with a dedication to building customer relations and a diverse range of service.

Published on: March 5, 2013

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