E.K. Bailey Construction Inc.
- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: Victor Martins
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
When Elmer Bailey founded E.K. Bailey Construction Inc. in 1954, the business focused exclusively on the residential market. As the company grew, its target market would eventually shift to commercial work with an emphasis on office space and retail. Located in Ogden, Utah, the company has become a leader in the general contracting industry of the western United States.
A full-service operation
“We’re a very ‘hands-on’ construction company,” says Jeff Bolingbroke, controller for E.K. Bailey, “We have our framing, landscaping, plumbing and excavation crews so we self-perform a fair amount of our own work, which gives us a lot of control over each project.” E.K. Bailey has found that many of its employees prefer this type of approach compared to managing a team of subcontractors. “A lot of employees have come back to us after working for some of the bigger companies and have stated that they like to touch and feel the things that we build rather than managing subcontractors and schedules.”
Bolingbroke has found that clients have come appreciate that when they award a project to E.K. Bailey, they have some assurance about who will be working on the project, rather than just low bidders. “It’s our team and it’s our work and we take pride in that,” says Bolingbroke. “We also know that our customers appreciate that it’s us and not just a subcontractor that had the lowest bid. Many general contractors will just take the low bidder and end up having a different subcontractor on each job because one guy was lower than the next. It’s always us on each job.”
Diversity in talents and capabilities has been a major asset to E.K. Bailey. The company has multiple divisions, which create opportunities for additional projects for which the company isn’t necessarily the general contractor. “It’s really a benefit to our company as well as our customers,” Bolingbroke explains. “If the general contracting portion slows down at all, we can pick up some excavation work. If a client of ours just needs some plumbing work done they can have us do that as well.”
In addition to Utah, E.K. Bailey holds general contracting licenses in Idaho, Wyoming and Kansas. “Right now we primarily work in Northern Utah,” says Bolingbroke. “We do travel on occasion per request of clients. We’ve even gone up into Idaho.”
E.K. Bailey has maintained a solid team with strong employee retention. “We have numerous employees who have been here for 30-plus years,” says Brent Bailey, president of the company and son of founder, Elmer Bailey. “I think we service our customers really well because of that.” Strong relationships have been built over the years as many of E.K. Bailey’s customers have been with the company for more than 30 years as well. “There’s a reason we stay with them and a reason they stay with us,” he adds.
A solid foundation
As the son of the founder of the company, Bailey has been with E.K. Bailey his entire career. “This is the only job I’ve ever had,” he says. Taking control of the family business has given Bailey a great sense of pride in the work that the company produces. “We take pride in everything we build,” says Bailey. “We make sure that everything we do is done right and on schedule. Our goal is to make every customer a repeat customer.”
E.K. Bailey has established solid relationships in the commercial sector. The Boyer Company is a well-known large development firm in Utah that E.K. Bailey often works with. “We’ve done some four- and five-story office buildings for that company,” says Bolingbroke. “What we really at excel at is the single-story retail space.” Another significant portion of E.K. Bailey’s business is tenant improvements. “We’ll often do build-outs for a new tenant to occupy a space,” he adds.
While serving as president of a large company, Bailey still remains heavily involved in the logistics of the operation. Every two weeks, Bailey manages to visit every jobsite of each project the company is involved in. This is not an easy task as E.K. Bailey will have up to 20 projects running concurrently. “I make an effort to be the person who stays in touch with the customer and represents the company,” Bailey explains. “If the customer has any issues or concerns they know they can call me at any time.”
As the company continues to grow and expand its market share, E.K. Bailey Construction Inc. will continue to build relationships with new clients while maintaining the business practices that its loyal customer base has become accustomed to.
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