Case Studies

Tate Management Inc.

Dream team finds success in Montana

As engineers formerly working with general contractors and design firms across the country, the husband and wife team of Bryan and Cristie Tate shifted their career focus in 2010 to conceive Tate Management Inc. (TMI) – a business formed to serve commercial construction clients as owner representatives.

The couples’ combined backgrounds in large commercial construction and heavy civil design, along with an incredible backlog of industry experience, makes TMI uniquely qualified to successfully execute a broad range of complex projects of almost any scale. The company’s services include: project management, startup, contract negotiation, design management, planning and schedule and cost control. With 15 million in projects under contract for the upcoming year, TMI is a significant player in the southwestern Montana commercial construction market.

“When we first started, we set out with a goal in mind and we beat the streets,” says Bryan, president of TMI. “We have been very fortunate to have an aggregated experience that is frankly unmatched here – it really helped to distinguish us from others. We were able to jump right in and never look back.”

Calling Montana home

TMI is headquartered in Bozeman, Mont., home of the Tate’s alma mater, Montana State University. Basing TMI in Bozeman capitalizes on opportunities to build on a pre-existing network of professional associates, friends and family, and has provided new opportunities with interesting and challenging projects.

“We have done over $30 million worth of work in Montana and we have 15 million or so under contract now,” says Bryan of his company’s work in the local market. “We are privileged to have a very active university growing in our area and we’re proud to serve our alma mater, Montana State University, as a repeat client.”

While TMI generally serves the southwest Montana market, the company’s previous experience includes over 40 projects across the country, ranging in high-end hospitality, resort, airport and bridges in Utah, New Mexico, Massachusetts and California.

“We try to serve our community the best we can,” Bryan continues. “We hate turning down work, but if there’s a sincere concern with the ability to serve, the last thing you want to do is take on that project.”

Proudly serving Montana

Proudly serving the community in which the Tate’s live, TMI’s clients have included local school districts, elementary school projects contracted at $10 million and a $3.5 million, a $15 million high school and repeat client, Montana State University. “We found a market with the local schools,” Tate explains. “When a school board needs to build or renovate to facilitate a healthier learning environment, they have strong intentions, but they’re not qualified to put all the pieces together on the construction side of things. That’s where we come in.”

In addition to its impressive portfolio of school houses and campus buildings, TMI most recently delivered a $3 million fire station to a local volunteer fire district. The existing station was demolished and was replaced with all new construction, including living quarters and dorm rooms for eight firefighters, as well as conference rooms and a command central room. “It was a very rewarding and successful project,” Bryan says. “It’s one of those projects you feel good being a part of – giving back to the community. It rubs off on you.”

Rising above the recession

While no business or industry was immune to the recent economic downfall, Bryan attributes TMI’s continued success to the company’s work in the public sector and past experiences within the industry. “We have completed a lot of schools and publically funded projects,” Bryan continues. “We were able to stay busy during the downturn, because schools kept needing built. We were very fortunate to be in the right market, at the right time.”

Although TMI has resisted expanding its team in the past, and remains a two-person operation, larger projects on the horizon have pushed the couple to consider growing its workforce. “We’re anticipating growth as the market continues to expand,” Bryan explains. “But, finding that sweet spot between stability, growth and risk is what we’re looking for.”

“When it comes to measuring business success, it’s hard to not use a back log or project numbers as a metric, and although we see our graph going up to the right, what really makes us feel successful is getting referrals, Bryan continued, “Even though we are a young business, our phone is ringing. Being approached rather than beating the streets, like we used to, has been a good sign.” Tate Management Inc., with a solid dream team of two, continues to push forward toward sustained success.

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Spring 2018



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