Case Studies

Cambridge Companies Inc.

Family business emphasizes efficiency in design-build solutions for waste industry

From concept to completion, Cambridge Companies Inc. provides high-quality design, consulting, construction and general contracting services throughout the United States. Located in Griffith, Indiana, Cambridge encompasses two branches of service. Its commercial side focuses on general contracting and design-build projects primarily in the commercial and industrial sectors throughout northwest Indiana and Chicago. The company also serves the national solid waste community by providing essential transfer station construction services.

Success through reputation

Founded in 1988 by Ray Eriks, Cambridge Construction and Development operated throughout northwest Indiana and northeast Illinois as a general contracting firm specializing in commercial and industrial design-build projects. In 1998, Linda and Ray Eriks introduced Cambridge Builders Inc., which expanded Cambridge’s service area countrywide. The companies merged to form Cambridge Companies Inc. in January 2006.

With an unparalleled knowledge of the waste industry, Cambridge thrives on its ability to analyze a facility and then identify and develop solutions for each client. As a design-build firm and general contractor, Cambridge manages the entire construction process from the initial design phase through complete construction. Since 2002, the company has maintained three full-time, in-house architects, allowing each client direct access to input on the design and formulation of their design solution.

Over the years Cambridge has consistently worked with private clients, although the company is starting to grow its municipal business. “In addition to our usual market, we’re starting to target counties and cities that individually manage their own waste-hauling duties,” says Jeffrey Eriks, chief business development officer and co-owner of Cambridge. “There are a lot of different aspects of the waste industry that we work in, such as landfills, office buildings and transfer stations.”

Efficient solutions

In November 2015, Cambridge collaborated with San Diego-based CP Group to finalize construction on a 110,000-square-foot state-of-the-art recycling center in Las Vegas. Site development by Cambridge and equipment installation by CP Group was completed in just 12 months. The facility, which is the largest of its kind in North America, contains a commercial single-stream processing system, capable of processing 2 million pounds of recyclables daily.

Cambridge is currently in the process of constructing a transfer station in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The facility will handle the city’s solid waste before it is transported to a landfill. Construction on the $3.8 million station began in August and is expected to be completed for an opening date of April 2016. The new station will replace the current transfer station, which was built in the 1980s.

“The complexities on a project like this include ensuring that the design allows for efficiency in and out of the facility,” Eriks explains. “Whether it’s a municipal, commercial or private customer that is using the station, you have to factor in what the owner wants for access to the place.”

Cambridge has also been performing work internationally. With its well-known reputation globally in the waste industry, Cambridge caught the eye of the largest waste hauling company in Australia, who has recruited Cambridge to provide assistance overseas. “They had some projects they were working on that they needed some assistance on,” says Eriks. “They had some people working for them that were from the United States that suggested us so we’ve been involved in some design and consulting work over there.”

Efficiency has been a major factor in Cambridge’s strong reputation in the past decade. When the recession hit, the company was affected negatively just as a majority of construction firms were across the United States. Eriks says that the company viewed the economic downturn as an opportunity to become better and faster at what it does. “We became leaner, just like a lot of other companies,” he says. “We discovered that by disciplining ourselves, we could complete the same amount of work that we normally do and at the same level of quality with a trimmed-down workforce.”

Eriks is the son and stepson of Cambridge founders Ray and Linda Eriks. He has been working in the construction industry since 2000 and leads the Cambridge sales, marketing and scoping team. Eriks works with customers to define their needs and develop the solution that will ultimately be designed and built. “I take the most pride in taking care of our customers and making sure they are treated right,” says Eriks. “Our top priority is making sure that we do the right thing and making sure that we treat our customers the way that we want to be treated.”

By remaining committed to customer service and satisfaction, Cambridge Companies Inc. will reside as the top contractor in the country in the solid waste industry.

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