Case Studies

Construction Supervisors, Inc.

Building Lasting Client Relationships
  • Written by: Construction Supervisors, Inc.
  • Produced by: Construction Supervisors, Inc.
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

When the going gets tough, clients ask for Construction Supervisors Inc. (CSI). Duane Fossler initially established CSI in 1966 under the name Construction Coordinators, only changing the name in 1976 when Ron Mostyn partnered up with the team. Under any name, though, CSI stands for a straightforward, no-nonsense approach to general contracting, which calls for clear communication, well-communicated quality standards and teamwork. CSI’s experienced personnel aim to exceed each customer’s expectations, and succeed more often than not. As a result, CSI has established itself as a reliable partner for commercial and multifamily residential construction projects.

“We have quite a few niches actually,” explains John Black, president of CSI. “We’re very active in the commercial and retail market, as well as in all types of multifamily residential construction, including assisted-living facilities and independent senior living centers.” CSI maintains headquarters in Houston, Texas, and generally focuses on work within a 100-mile radius of the greater Houston area. However, CSI has been known to travel into the surrounding states for the right client.

Since its earliest days, CSI has set itself a goal of building lasting relationships with every client on a foundation of value and trust. The company employs a staff of roughly 25, a selection that represents some of the industry’s most talented and driven professionals. Many CSI employees have been with the company for decades and in the industry for even longer. Black exemplifies the experience that every CSI employee brings to the table, as he joined the industry after completing his service in the U.S. Navy in 1978. Black spent the next 10 years accumulating the kind of experience that CSI insists on until officially joining the CSI team in 1988.

The company’s other current partners include Carol Carter, secretary and treasurer of CSI, who also heads up the accounting department and manages office operations, as well as Steve Noble, vice president of CSI, who manages business development, client relations and field operations. This duo adds to the expertise that Black brings to the table, making CSI a powerhouse of a company.

Building a Foundation

Competition abounds in the commercial construction market, especially in the wake of the economic downturn. This is why CSI has narrowed the company’s focus to the areas where the team can be most competitive. CSI’s strongest markets are multifamily residential, assisted-living and big-box commercial retail centers. The company applies the same value engineering process to every project, ensuring that each is completed more efficiently and cost effectively. CSI provides the gamut of construction management and general contracting services, following each project from its inception, through design, estimation and coordination of subtrades, and on to commissioning.

There are few building systems that CSI and its employees have not worked with in the past, giving the company a broad experience to ensure projects are designed and scheduled in the client’s best interests. The key is a specialized value-engineering process where CSI employees identify areas of greatest cost savings with an eye for long-term performance and sustainability. CSI employees are encouraged to alert clients to areas where swapping one product for another will result in greater cost savings. For example, exterior insulated finishing systems (EIFS) panels might cost more, but the associated high thermal insulation value means customers can expect to pay less in operating costs in the long term.

“We prefer to work with subcontractors and suppliers from our area that we know and trust,” asserts Black. In doing so, CSI reduces the carbon footprint of each project as crews and supplies travel shorter distances to site. As an added bonus, working with trusted local partners ensures that funds are recirculated in the local economy.

CSI’s comprehensive approach has led the team to forge strong relationships with many longtime clients. “It’s because of these relationships that we have been fortunate enough not to have to bid a ton of jobs in the past three years,” adds Black. CSI did downsize somewhat and a few partners chose to retire, making way for CSI employees to step up to the plate and wear a few more hats.

Lean, Mean and Ready for Anything

CSI managed to land its largest contract ever in 2009 to build the Village at the Woodlands in Woodlands, Texas. “It was a $32 million contract and the largest in our history,” reflects Black. The Village combines both assisted-living and independent senior-living accommodations in an eight-story, 207-unit development with plenty of outdoor gathering areas, communal spaces and high-end amenities like an indoor swimming pool and fully loaded fitness center.

CSI also wrapped up work on a new H-E-B Supermarket (H-E-B), a longtime client of CSI. “This was an unusual job for us, because it was one of the largest supermarkets H-E-B has built using a metal building system and a gabled roof, which turned out just outstanding really,” reflects Black. CSI has previously built H-E-B supermarket locations with metal building systems or EIFS panels, but nothing on par with the newest location.

Overall, CSI’s early action at the onset of the economic downturn has helped position the company to take on more aggressive growth opportunities in the near future. Black already sees signs of improvement bubbling to the surface and hopes to continue building CSI’s reputation in the assisted-living market. Wherever opportunity arises, Construction Supervisors Inc. will leverage extensive expertise to ensure every project exceeds the client’s expectations.

Published on: July 5, 2013

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