Case Studies

J&F Construction & Development Inc.

Repeat business serves as the core of success

In any business, the process of building repeat clients takes time, trust and dedication. J&F Construction & Development Inc. (J&F Construction) has been working on that process for almost four decades. Since Jim Mayes, president and CEO of the Ohio-based firm, founded J&F Construction in 1977, building repeat business has been the company’s objective.

“Our niche is really in design-build, negotiated work for customer’s we have worked with for many years,” reveals Mayes. “We started working with fathers and now we’re working with sons and daughters and many second- and third-generation businesses.”

As a construction manager and general contractor, J&F Construction has a particular strength in the design-build arena. “We have design in-house and we self-perform much of the work in the field, as well,” notes Mayes.

The foundation for growth

J&F Construction has grown considerably since its inception. “We started in north central Ohio in 1977 in residential and agricultural building, because we live in an ag-based community,” recounts Mayes. “In the mid-1980s J&F Construction shifted its emphasis into commercial and industrial construction, as well as larger-scale ag-buildings and that’s mainly what we do now.”

The company has seen revenue grow from thousands of dollars in 1977 to north of $12 million in recent years; Mayes attributes the success to J&F Construction’s trusted reputation and loyal clientele. Today, more than 70 percent of the company’s revenue is generated through repeat business.

“Since 1977, we have constantly strived to earn the trust of our clients and continued to build a reputation as a quality builder in our market sector,” expands Mayes. “We are committed to providing clients with proven construction expertise, utilizing a team approach and exceeding the client’s needs and objectives with the personal attention every project deserves.”

Multiple markets and specialties

J&F Construction has established a network of longstanding clients across industries, from industrial and warehouse facilities to manufacturing sites, office buildings, retail space, medical and educational facilities and religious institutions. “We’re also very active in commercial and industrial renovation and continue to grow in the build-to-suite/lease market,” notes Mayes.

Mayes and the team have a solution for all. “For customers that want to lease and not own, we have properties available that we own,” he adds. “We go to local industrial parks to acquire land and build a facility and we’ll lease it back to blue chip tenants.” One such example is Next Generation Films in Lexington, Ohio, where J&F Construction is building 80-foot-high towers for the industrial packaging facility.

J&F Construction is able to move from market to market with relative ease. “When one market is slow, we’re able to move into the next, because generally, other fields will be up,” explains Mayes. “We’re fortunate that we’re not limited to one market and we’re flexible enough cover each one and do it well.”

Not only does J&F Construction span multiple markets, the company also delivers a range of in-house service. “We self-perform much of our own site work, concrete and foundation installation, carpentry and steel erection,” notes Mayes. “We generally only subcontract mechanical, electrical and specialty trades and when we do, we have primary and proven subcontractors we use as go-to.”

More often than not, J&F Construction is working in familiar territory. “We do a lot of work for Advanced Fiber Technologies in Bucyrus, Ohio,” details Mayes. “We’re getting ready to add an additional 10,000 square feet and this is the fourth project we have worked on for AFT.”

Going the distance for a relationship

While Mayes insists that J&F Construction is still a small, family-owned, Ohio-based business, he says the company is always willing to go the extra mile for a longstanding customer. “Most of our work is in north central Ohio, but we do travel,” he reveals. “One of our clients, with whom we have worked for 30 years and numerous projects, is projecting to build a plant in Iowa and we’re doing the footwork on that now, because they want us to design-build their project.”

When the going gets tough, as it has in recent years with a less-than-favorable economy, J&F Construction leans on relationships and its versatility. “We have been fortunate that during the downturn, the flexibility of our work has helped us persevere,” says Mayes. “Obviously if we were in just manufacturing or warehousing, things would have been slow, instead, we just look for more work in a different market. We really don’t feel the slowdown.”

Mayes says the medical field is trending upward, as well as certain retail sectors and the ag-market. “Farmers are making more money and building bigger, structural steel buildings,” he notes. “We have done more agricultural-related jobs in the last few years than we have in many years past.”

With 37 years under its belt, J&F Construction & Development Inc. continues to build with the integrity and dedication that attracts lasting relationships and enduring customers.

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Spring 2018



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