Case Studies

Joslin Construction Texas LLC: Doing Business the Old-fashioned Way

  • Written by: Joslin Construction Texas LLC: Doing Business the Old-fashioned Way
  • Produced by: Joslin Construction Texas LLC: Doing Business the Old-fashioned Way
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Ray Joslin, president of Joslin Construction Texas LLC (Joslin), initially launched his company in 1973 with hard work, responsibility and integrity as the founding principles. Joslin was later incorporated in 1985 and then moved to an LLC in 2009. Though the company changed inceptions over the years, the same core values helped grow Joslin into an industry leader of Texas site utility construction companies.

The Porter-based company provides underground utility work for institutional, commercial, residential and industrial sectors. Ray remains highly active in the company’s day-to-day operations, though he employs the help of family members to run Joslin successfully. Ray’s son and son-in-law, Curt, CEO of Joslin, and Shaun Dean, CFO of Joslin, respectively, work alongside Ray to manage 11 utility and dirt crews. The company boasts an average of 100 employees working on a variety of projects across the state.

Curt has been part of the company since he was six months old, as that is when Ray founded Joslin. Curt grew up surrounded by the business and although he went away for school he knew he would return.

“I went off to school and worked for an industrial manufacturer for a couple of years,” explains Curt. “I returned back to Joslin in 1998. I always knew what I wanted to do, but going out and seeing our company from the outside made me a better leader when I came back.”

Since joining the family-owned and -operated company, Curt worked his way up the chain of command. Prior to achieving his current executive position, Curt worked as a ditch digger, operator, estimator and project manager.

“You name it, I’ve done it,” Curt laughs. “I think I’m good at my job, because there is not one job at this company I haven’t done before. That’s the benefit of growing up in a family business where your dad only cared that you worked hard and showed up on time.”

The Joslin Way

Joslin obtains many jobs through the company’s reputation. Joslin has built strong relationships with clients, which Curt often considers more important than pricing. “That sets us apart,” he says. “There is a level of trust there, but also a weight of responsibility to do it better than the next guy could have.”

A level of trust and an esteemed reputation are due to Joslin’s longetivty. “We’ve been doing this a long time,” Curt continues. “We’ve built the business on friendships. You get to make some really good friends. I’d rather do business with friends any day.”

Many projects Joslin takes on involve the local government. Part of this is due to Joslin’s reputation to provide error-free work with record drawings and a one-year warranty. Often times, Joslin is even able to complete the work under budget and ahead of schedule.

The majority of Joslin’s contracts are with schools and retail centers. However, the company’s project portfolio includes hospitals, schools, shopping centers, churches and warehouse successes. No matter the nature of the job, the Joslin team works with each client from preconstruction and budgeting all the way through project completion.

Joslin features a number of projects on the company’s website, including the Richard E. Berry Educational Support Center. The center, opened in 2006, was a $470.5 million project for which Joslin installed over 50,000 linear feet of site utilities. The Joslin team also completed the Tanger Outlet Mall in Texas City, the Klein HS Renovations, the Woodforest Stadium in the Woodlands, as well as many other notable projects.

Learning to Adapt is a Family Business Perk

Throughout its history, Joslin has adapted to various market changes. However, according to Curt, the past few years have been particularly challenging for the business. “Adapting has been an ongoing challenge,” he says. “It’s been tough, but if it was easy everybody would do it.”

The company has seen many contracts awarded to companies bidding at a lower price. Joslin believes that maintaining quality of work is more important than low balling estimates and cutting corners on work to meet the lower price.

Instead, Joslin adjusts its business through reducing debt, trimming overhead costs, adding services and reducing staff. The team of 100 employees used to be about 200 employees prior to the economic slowdown. This technique has proved effective for Joslin’s bottom line. “We’re better today than we’ve ever been,” says Curt. “We’re seeing the results.”

Ray and Curt have offices next door to one another at Joslin. Curt sees the ability to talk about business or life in general as invaluable and enjoys his ability to run a company with his father. “I’ve been blessed to have Joslin grow and prosper under my leadership,” says Curt. “That being said, there would be no place for me or anyone else that works for Joslin if my dad hadn’t had the guts to start his own contracting business 40 years ago.”

The company continues its success through vertical integration of the business. The team at Joslin believes that its leadership in the industry is due to the relationships formed and everyone plans to foster those relationships further. One of these strong, growing relationships is with a major player in the industrial construction field.

“Our work is more and more in demand in the chemical, oil and gas facilities,” says Curt. “We’ll be working hard to position ourselves with the right personnel and qualifications to be a part of our client’s growing market.” As the team continues to build relationships and offer quality work for a growing market, Joslin Construction Texas LLC plans to remain an industry leader.

Published on: April 25, 2013

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