Harmon Construction Inc.
- Written by: Ivy Carter
- Produced by: Ian Nichols
- Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Tim Harmon founded Harmon Construction Inc. (HCI) in 1987 to provide high-quality design-build services to companies around Kansas City, Mo. “We’ve got a unique competitive advantage,” explains Harmon, still owner, president and CFO of HCI. HCI celebrates its 25-year anniversary in 2012, and Harmon says his business has gained this kind of longevity by building relationships. “We’re very client-centric,” explains Harmon. “Our management team and field supervisors do what they say they’re going to do.”
HCI regularly receives positive feedback from clients. “We get a lot of testimonials,” he says. “And 90 percent of our business is from past clients and referrals.” Harmon’s team has decades of combined experience. Harmon, for example, spent several years in the industry before striking out on his own. “I worked for a national company for about five years,” he says. “We traveled the country, we built automotive plants. We did a big edition on Rikers Island Prison Complex in New York.” Harmon has a degree in construction engineering from the University of Washington.
The company performs design-build services for projects in a number of industries. “We’ve done warehouses, distribution centers, hospitals and even some automotive dealerships,” Harmon elaborates. “We look for the common denominator. We offer preconstruction services and we run cost-benefit analyses for different options.” The company’s footprint spans the Midwest, and HCI currently has some projects in the works with the FAA. “We’re working with them at a location in Indianapolis and another one in Cleveland,” says Harmon. “We operate within a couple hundred miles of our home base.”
The business is not large by any means, with only 20 employees, but Harmon believes in the strength of staying small. His sizeable team has been responsible for some major projects in the Midwest. HCI set up a manufacturing and distribution facility for TVH Parts, a European company with its American headquarters in Kansas City. The project included a 213,000-square foot center for the production of forklift parts and accessories. This is HCI’s second project with the company and, Harmon says, “The last one was 100,000 square feet.”
The team is working with the Tulsa-based Quick Trip Corporation, a privately held chain of convenience stores with locations throughout the Southwest and Midwest. “We’re doing a few churches and car dealerships,” adds Harmon, who also lists a three-story medical office building for the Carondelet Heart Institute. “We’ve done several projects for Shawnee Mission Hospital, too,” says Harmon. Celebrating the team’s hard work, Harmon rewards HCI employees with a retreat every fall, which he says is worked into the budget.
Vertical and Horizontal Expansion
HCI’s versatility is a leading factor in the company’s success. “At one point probably six or seven years ago, we were heavily into churches and worship facilities,” says Harmon. “It was probably 60 to 70 percent of our revenue, but we made a shift away from that because we saw it slowing down.”
HCI has now gone in the direction of commercial and industrial projects. “It’s all private money,” he explains. “We’ve seen these companies move money off of balance sheets and start to grow.” While he questions the sustainability of growth in a questionable economy, Harmon says, “It looks like a step in the right direction.”
Aside from the company’s silver anniversary, Harmon has another reason to celebrate. “This year has been a lot better for us compared with the last few,” he explains. “Our revenue is up about 250 percent.” He is still keeping a close eye on the global and local economies, but overall Harmon is optimistic about the future of the company.
After a seven-month search HCI has brought on a vice president of sales and business development. “We’re definitely in growth mode,” explains Harmon. “We’re trying to expand our footprint geographically and penetrate deeper into the healthcare market.” His team is actively seeking projects outside of the immediate area for projects with hospitals, and Harmon says he is looking to hire another project manager in the near future.
As for the anniversary, the team at HCI hasn’t let it go unnoticed despite a busy year. “We changed our logo and we’re changing our brand,” explains Harmon. The company has an open house party planned for the fall, and one of his employees has developed a 25-year logo t-shirt that will be printed for everyone in the office. “We’ve been promoting it throughout the year,” adds Harmon. After two-and-a-half decades in business, the team at Harmon Construction Inc. remains dedicated to providing innovative design and construction solutions that exceed client expectations.
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