Gettysburg Commercial Corporation
With a new location in Apopka, Florida, a suburb of Orlando, Gettysburg Commercial Corporation (GCC) is building on more than 20 years in business and a long list of repeat customers in the commercial tenant improvement market. After weathering a tough construction market through the depths of the recession, GCC has emerged stronger than before and is now adding more employees, a larger office and warehouse space and implementing the latest in jobsite technology.
For GCC, the determining factor in project success is much more than the bottom line. All of the recent investments made in facilities and technology are in an effort to satisfy GCC’s ultimate goal: happy customers.
“Our goal has always been happy clients,” says Dale Hodges, president of GCC. “We focus on making sure our clients are really well taken care of and satisfied with every project and this comes back to us. If you have a good relationship with your customer, you don’t always have to be the lowest bid. You can earn more for what you do because they know you are going to do it well and exceed their expectations. Most of our clients have been with us for years. This is what it means to be successful to us.”
Forging lasting client relations has been the objective since GCC started out. The company was originally established in 1992 as Gettysburg Construction Company, an affiliate of Lincoln Property Company (LPC). In 1995, GCC separated from LPC. “We started out just servicing the LPC account,” recounts Dale. “Later we began working for other property management and development companies and we collectively decided for all involved it would be best to separate, but it was a friendly breakup, as they are still one of our largest clients.” In 2012 Dale and Dave Andrews, executive vice president of GCC, became the sole owners.
The recession presented challenging years, but holding close to relationships with many loyal customers helped see GCC through tough times. “We went from hanging on and scaling back to now adding more staff and expanding our operations,” says Dale.
In the last several years GCC has completed numerous projects, including a 40,000-square-foot remodel of an occupied law firm, two dental offices for a national firm, a package sorting facility for a major shipping corporation and several office build outs. GCC has been recognized for its project success and timely delivery with seven Golden Brick Awards and four Silver Brick Awards from the Downtown Orlando Partnership as well as the Excellence in Construction Eagle Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors organization.
“It’s important that we stay on track and on schedule, because our customers want to get their tenants in and start collecting rent,” explains Dale. “If you can’t deliver in time, they won’t call you again.”
To support a growing customer base and additional projects, GCC recently expanded. The company now has 19 employees and a brand new office. “In 2014 we purchased 1 acre and constructed a new 5,400-square-foot headquarters, which we moved into in May 2015,” says Dale. “We have 4,000 square feet of office space and 1,400 dedicated to warehouse space. Due to the amount of projects we have running, we’ve increased our staff from 16 to 19 full-time employees.”
Now out of the recession lows, Dale doesn’t see work slowing anytime soon. Construction is moving at a good clip and the market demands new and improved solutions. “We’re seeing more energy-efficient upgrades being requested from our clients than ever before,” he says. “LED lighting and automated controls of HVAC and electrical systems are now the norm. Also space planners are requiring more recycled materials and rapid recovery wood products such as bamboo have grown in popularity.”
Not only is GCC meeting the demands of customers in terms of the latest efficiencies, the company has also made a serious investment in jobsite technology allowing for greater accessibility and more critical client communication. “This industry, like many others, is relying more and more on technology to streamline the bid process and to manage projects,” says Dale. “From the project manager in the office to the superintendent on-site, the industry is changing.”
GCC refuses to be left behind and is arming its project staff with the right technology to get the job done. “Our field superintendents, who used to do everything on paper, now log in to our system from their iPads or smartphones to do their time sheets, daily reports, inspection requests and to upload any job progress photos from that day,” says Dale.
GCC recently upgraded its accounting software and will soon be upgrading its project management software in 2016. “With the new project management program we can give our customers [in other cities and states] access to see what’s happening firsthand,” says Dale. “If there’s a project meeting with the architect and engineer, the client can also log in and join the call. If the architect or engineer is out of town, they can also see the activity that’s taking place.”
This all makes for clear communication — something GCC prides itself in. With a lengthy roster of longstanding customers and a majority of repeat business, Gettysburg Commercial Corporation builds on 20 years of mutual project success.
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