Harmon Construction Inc.
Since 1987, design-build contractor, Harmon Construction Inc., has been serving customers throughout the Kansas City Metro area and across the Midwest. Founded by Tim Harmon, the Olathe, Kansas-based company’s focus on customer service has long set Harmon apart from its competitors in the market.
While many contractors are focused solely on the end product, Harmon’s unique approach can be summed up in the company’s motto: “Building Relationships Before Buildings.” Over 90 percent of Harmon’s new work comes from recommendations and referrals, making customer satisfaction and relationship-building an essential part of the business model.
“We work as a team to service our clients with passion and deliver on our promises. Our employees share core values set by Tim Harmon and exemplify integrity and trust in the workplace environment,” says Christina Beaird, vice president of marketing at Harmon.
The company offers a full slate of construction services from pre-construction to design-build and project management. Harmon typically works in the commercial construction market, completing a range of projects including health care facilities, retail shops and faith-based building efforts.
Building for the golden years
While churches and worship facilities once made up 60 to 70 percent of Harmon’s business, the company made a concerted effort to diversify as it saw the market beginning to slow down. With more than 200 places of worship to its name, Harmon’s work within the religious community helped the company establish contacts in the health care market.
After completing a project for Adventist Health’s Shawnee Mission Health facility 5 years ago, Harmon put itself on the radar on other health care facilities in the region. The project landed Harmon on the company’s select bid list and led to opportunities with clients such as Olathe Medical Center, St. Josephs, St. Luke and Providence medical centers.
In late 2014, Harmon completed the Olathe Medical Center’s Hospice House, an 11,000-square-foot, eight-bed facility located on the campus of Olathe Medical Center in Olathe, Kansas. The home-like environment provides medical and nursing care to terminally ill patients, as well as emotional and spiritual support for patients, their friends and families.
The facility features a communal sitting area, kitchen, flower harden and screened-in porch as well as around-the-clock nursing care. “That was a standout project for us and the surrounding community,” says Beaird.
Recently Harmon has also developed a niche in the senior living market, completing a number of such facilities across the Kansas City area. “We’re really breaking into that field,” says Beaird.
The company completed a trio of senior living facilities for Alexian Brothers Health System in 2014 valued at more than $18 million and is looking to continue pursing projects in that market. These include the 147-bed Carondelet Manor Senior Assisted Living Facility, the 138-bed Villa St. Joseph Senior Assisted Living Facility and the 142-bed St. Mary’s Manor Senior Assisted Living Facility.
This expanded focus on senior living has help drive growth at Harmon, which was named one of the Fastest-Growing Companies in 2014 by Kansas City Business Journal and a Top 10 Small Business by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
Preparing for the future
It would be easy for Harmon to measure success solely in economic terms — the company has turned a profit 28 out of 29 of its years in existence — but for Beaird and the Harmon team, real success lies in maintaining close relationships with clients and establishing a positive, supportive company culture.
“Success for our team occurs when clients are exceedingly happy with the outcome of a project,” she says. “It’s when out team itself is motivated and excited to come to work every morning, it’s ringing the bell at the front of the office when a new project or contract is awarded.”
As Harmon prepares to enter its 30th year in business, the contractor is looking to attract the next generation of workers into the industry. While millennials might bring a different set of expectations to a job, Beaird says the company is intrigued by their technological proficiency and creative thinking.
“Millennials have proven to be a more technologically savvy and a more entrepreneurial / idea based generation. Contributions of this nature to a small company are invaluable,” she says. “That being said, millennials in general are hard to keep unless you let them have a voice and give them responsibility, trust and something they can be passionate about,” says Beaird.
Employees have always been one of the company’s most vital assets, and Beaird sees the Harmon team as a driver of growth and innovation moving forward. “Our team constantly asks the question ‘How can we make Harmon better?’” says Beaird. “We’re taking big strides in bringing on new technologies and evaluating which programs and features will add the most value for our clients is an ongoing process.”
The company will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a rebranding effort that will allow the company to streamline its look and increase overall recognition across the region. “We’re also planning a renovation of our headquarters. We pride ourselves on a culture of open communication and feel that a renovation will help us to do this better,” she says.
As the company continues to diversify into new specialties, the future is looking bright at Harmon Construction Inc.
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