Case Studies

C & M Erectors Inc.

Standing out from the competition aids Midwest erecting company in early success

Since 2014, C & M Erectors Inc. has developed into a premier steel erection contractor serving the industrial and commercial markets of North and South Dakota. Located in Bottineau, North Dakota, C & M Erectors is a young company that has relied on building a strong reputation through serving all of its clients’ needs within schedule and budget. In addition to providing steel erection for commercial and industrial buildings, C & M Erectors also installs precast panels and supplies, designs and erects pre-engineered metal buildings with Nucor Building Systems.

A competitive edge

Founded by Christine Chase and her fiancé Richard Morin, C & M Erectors maintains a competitive edge due to Christine’s background. With a degree in finance, Christine has years of experience providing financial services to local construction companies and accounting firms. Christine and Morin discovered that there was a slight decline in steel erecting companies in the area and decided to utilize her financial background, coupled with Morin’s expertise in the field, to start their own company. “We opened an individual development account (IDA),” says Christine. “We started from humble beginnings and opened the business with about $6,000.”

In addition to Christine’s financial background, the company also gains a competitive edge with the fact that it can offer supply-and-erect services to its clients on pre-engineered metal buildings. “We’re a Nucor dealer as well as a steel erection firm,” Christine adds. “There aren’t a lot of steel erection companies that offer that aspect. This helps us to be really competitive with our pricing.”

C & M Erectors is also a union contractor, which means its workers are highly skilled and qualified. This increases productivity on projects, which benefits both C & M Erectors and the client. “Our employees have to go through apprenticeship programs and on-the-job training to become certified,” Christine explains. “We’re able to complete projects in half the time that it would take a non-union contractor to do.”

For such a young company, C & M Erectors has experienced a fair amount of early success. Christine says that the only challenge surrounding the company is managing its quick growth. “There are so many things that go into managing a small business with this much growth this quickly,” she explains. “Making sure we are taking all of the safety precautions and looking into where we can receive discounts on products, we can then pass on the savings to the client.”

A woman-owned business

As sole owner of C & M Erectors, Christine is in the process of becoming a certified economically disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business. “We are in the process of being reviewed by the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce,” says Christine. “That will really help us out because we’ll be able get a lot of government work. We’re pretty close to the Minot Air Force Base (MAFB) and they have a lot of work going on.” C & M Erectors also recently finished a job at MAFB working on a weapons storage space.

C & M Erectors recently implemented its services installing precast panels for a fertilizer supplier in Doland, South Dakota. The five-week, $178,000 job involved the use of a 140-ton crane to install 178 panels. C & M Erectors maintains a full-time crane operator in-house to handle jobs of this size. While the crane used for this job was rented, the company has recently purchased its own 60-ton crane. “When it comes to erecting structural steel, depending on the size of the job, you’re looking at using between a 60- and 80-ton crane,” Christine explains. “The roof of the building contained 76-foot double tees that weighed about 27 tons. The wall panels were 40 feet tall at 25 tons.”

In December 2015, C & M Erectors worked with a general contractor in Dickinson, North Dakota, with whom the company has worked with in the past and has established a solid relationship. The job was a new construction structural steel project for Cornerstone Bank. “There were a lot of tough corners and specific detail work that went into that building,” says Christine.

Due to the ongoing period of rapidly expanding oil extraction from the Bakken formation in North Dakota that has followed the discovery of Parshall Oil Field in 2006, Christine says that the state has not suffered the repercussions of the economic downturn. “With the increase in population here, there has been a much bigger need for new schools,” she adds. “There have been two schools as well as a fire station in Minot that we have been involved with.”

Moving forward, C & M Erectors Inc. will continue to excel with market demand with the ongoing growth of the company. With the potential to expand its services into concrete work as well as general contracting, the success of the company will remain in a meteoric rise as a premier contractor in the Midwest.

Published on: February 29, 2016

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