Case Studies

J.R. Heineman & Sons

Integrated Construction Solutions

J.R. Heineman & Sons (JRH) is a full-service design-build general contractor that has been perfecting commercial and industrial construction for over a century. J.R. Heineman founded JRH 1910, and then incorporated in association with his sons, Morse and Bertram Heineman, in 1930. Today, JRH has grown exponentially while still embracing a small, family-business attitude toward relationships with supplier, subcontractors and clients alike.

“We serve as a general contractor,” says Dale Johnson Jr., vice president and project manager at JRH. Dale co-owns the company with Dan Emmenecker, president of JRH. Both executives have decades of experience in the construction industry and fully embrace the friendly, common sense-driven company culture.

“We are a small, tightly knit company,” continues Dale. “We have seven employees and very little overhead, which gives us an advantage. We have the capabilities to offer general contractor services on small and large projects. Our competition might have to stick with larger projects to cover overhead and that doesn’t allow them to be as diverse.”

The team at JRH offers specialized design, management and construction services for commercial and industrial projects. The team’s expertise offers diverse capabilities with intensive training and a network of subcontractors that work together to make any project a reality. JRH has completed projects for corporate giants like AutoZone and Office Depot, as well as small, local businesses and organizations. Sustainable building is a growing construction trend, and the company is ready to perform projects that meet green specifications in addition to LEED standards.

Small, Sturdy Structure

JRH operates out of a single office in Saginaw, Mich., but the team works all over the state and sometimes beyond. “We balance our projects really well,” acknowledges Dale. “We self-perform concrete and carpentry, but everything else is subbed out.” The team works with a network of reliable, local subcontractors that share a common goal of quality performance and open lines of communication.

The company had to make some adjustments after the economic downturn hit, leaving many contractors out of work. “We just went back to our grassroots method that we’ve been using for over 100 years,” reveals Dale. “We downsized when we were supposed to, although we were reluctant to do it. We got into a lot of smaller projects and, to be honest, we have a great core of field supervision. They represent our company in a professional manner. They are protective and they understand that our goal is delivering quality work on time that meets our customers’ needs. Our field supervisors make the company what it is. They’re highly trained and they’ve got the experience you need in this business.”

Dale measures the JRH team’s success on the feats of each individual project. “It’s the smaller things that lead up to an overall understanding,” he elaborates. “Beyond that, as long as we are employing a group of skilled people and keeping the community viable through us, then that’s what’s really important. A project is successful when you don’t have any losers.”

Community Projects and Incentives

Both Dale and Dan are firm believers in giving back to a community that supports their efforts as a business. JRH regularly supports local organizations through a number of avenues. In 2011, JRH organized labor and material donations for the Bay Area Women’s Center in Bay City, Mich. The center was in great need for repairs and had fallen short of raising funds on its own to pay for the work that needed to be done on a decrepit ceiling in order to reopen a children’s play area. JRH and affiliates completed the work in six weeks.

While the team completes a number of complex commercial and industrial projects, community-based initiatives are the most memorable to Dale. “The 10/16 Home is an interesting project that we completed in 2011,” he recalls. “It’s what people call a halfway home – a rehab center. We didn’t design it; we just built it. We completed the 26-bed recovery unit facility in December 2011. This was a $1.4 million project. It’s the type of project that is really good for the community. It’s a great facility.”

With a growing portfolio that continues to support a mission of integrity, JRH consistently finds work pouring in, and Dale is focused on sustainable growth. “We don’t need to get huge,” he explains. “Our plan is to continue working in the same niche market, doing what we’ve always done through our grassroots business model.”

While the Heineman family no longer owns the company, JRH continues to offer the respect, communication and dedication to a job well done that it has embodied for over 100 years. Dale and Dan provide leadership that encourages innovation and community support. J.R. Heineman & Sons brings clients a unique business experience with a small, knowledgeable staff and a broad range of capabilities with big impact.

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Spring 2018



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