PRO Building Systems Inc.
PRO Building Systems Inc. (PRO) boasts over 100 years of successful experience in the construction industry. As the result of the merger of the P.R. Orton Company and PRO Metal Building Systems, PRO is now one of Atlanta’s most trusted design-build firms. PRO is able to offer full design-build services conveniently housed under one roof, as the team specializes in automotive facilities, gymnasiums, recreational facilities, government buildings, office and retail space, warehouses and hangers and light industrial construction alike.
Paul Ray Orton Sr., current CEO of PRO, continues to be the guiding force behind the company’s longevity and success. Working efficiently with hand-picked staff members, PRO takes pride in the company’s ability to work with corporate design groups and customer-chosen consultants to complete projects from virtually any phase of construction. With archived plans, permits and information dating back to 1969, PRO is also able to offer an unmatched level of customer service to each client.
Edward Mock, current president of PRO, has been with the company since 1980, and in his current capacity since 1995. “Over the years, we have averaged 85 percent of our business as repeat or referrals,” details Mock. “Most of our work is in the Atlanta area, but as we expand our customer base, we will travel if our customers have a project in the Southeast. We are able to take it from start to finish from meeting with the owners, going through the design and getting it built.”
James Gallo, vice president of PRO, is the head of construction and design. With the help of PRO’s approximate 30 employees – which includes trained architects experienced with CAD programming in addition to the field experience needed to oversee a construction project – Gallo is confident in the company’s ability to tackle any challenge. “These team leaders work closely with our own in-house architect to ensure the success of each and every project,” says Mock.
Specializing in Automotive Buildings
Because of PRO’s unwavering commitment to maintaining customer relationships and excellence in building, the company has extensive experience in many markets with deep connections in automotive industry. Mock estimates PRO’s average work in the automotive industry is between 50 and 60 percent of the company’s business. According to Mock, his estimate shows a spike of approximately 70 percent during 2012.
“Manufacturers are requiring most of the dealers to renovate and upgrade facilities,” says Mock. This has opened up a window of opportunity for PRO as other commercial construction windows have closed. Having a solid niche in the automotive industry has helped PRO weather the poor economy.
One major automotive building project PRO is currently working on is the Jim Ellis GMC Buick dealership in Buford, Ga. The 50,000-square-foot facility is on a 10-acre site. The $6 million turnkey project was approximately halfway done in February 2013, including a parking deck, according to Mock.
On average, PRO’s turnkey projects take six to eight months to complete, while renovation projects have a shorter timeframe of around four months. According to Mock, the company upholds an impressive timeline.
Mock feels the company’s legacy – and decades of experience – provide PRO with a competitive edge over other area companies. However, Mock stresses that maintaining customer relationships is also a key factor in PRO’s success.
“We’re very hands on,” says Mock. “We listen to our customers and try to deliver what they need or want. We can streamline a lot of things and save time, which for these companies is money. We feel we can cut a lot of time off the schedule and deliver a product our customers are looking for.”
By incorporating the latest technology in construction and working alongside customers, the company is able to achieve levels of energy efficiency that other companies may not be able to provide. According to Mock, the PRO team completed the Gwinnett County Senior Citizens Center in summer 2012, receiving the LEED Gold certification. The $1.5 million project isn’t one of the company’s largest; however, the project’s success does highlight PRO’s capability to meet high-performance goals.
Building a Team, Not Just Projects
In order to uphold the company’s well-respected reputation in the industry, PRO continues to meet the highest standards. As a general contractor, PRO subcontracts about 90 percent of the work on a given project, which means a heavy reliance on subcontractors.
“We try to put together a team that is best fitted for the size project we’re working on,” says Mock. “Each project is manned with a superintendent and subcontractors best-suited for the job.” Mock emphasizes the importance of PRO working with a trusted network of subcontractors, as well as carefully assessing the experience and cost-effectiveness of hiring new contractors.
According to Mock, having reliable subcontractors and employees has become increasingly important given today’s economy. PRO has weathered some rough times in the construction industry due to the company’s upper management taking measures to prepare for the downturn. “We all knew it was coming,” says Mock. “No one knew it would be this bad.”
Like many of the industry’s survivors, PRO was forced to cut overhead costs and get lean and mean, according to Mock. This meant laying off some employees and keeping an eye on the industry. “The residential market came to a grinding halt,” he says. “The commercial industry followed. The automotive industry started returning quicker and that happened to be one of our specialties, which is what helped to get us through.”
Despite the past’s obstacles, the company will continue to offer excellent customer service. The team’s ability to perform a complete array of work allows Mock to foresee hard work and integrity as keys to creating long-lasting business for PRO Building Systems Inc.
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