Case Studies


Forward Thinking, Forward Building
  • Written by: Jeanee Dudley
  • Produced by: TCM
  • Estimated reading time: 6 mins

For more than 60 years TCM has been providing high-quality mechanical construction services to clients in both Oregon and Washington. Founded in 1953 as Temp-Control Mechanical, TCM is now in its second generation of family ownership. TCM currently employs approximately 250 people, all of whom are dedicated to safety and customer satisfaction.

Kent Grove, vice president of business development for TCM, has become an integral member of the company’s leadership team. Boasting a diverse background in project management, operating management and business development, Grove has been with the business for 14 years.

“What I love about the construction industry is that each day is a huge challenge and the results of our work is very rewarding when you look up at a building that you had a part in creating,” Grove says. “Everything we do is unique and custom, because no two buildings are the same. Each mechanical system is a one of a kind installation to meet the exact needs of a client and to meet the exact application that will provide optimized performance standards in each different building.”

Unique In-house Solutions

TCM is a full mechanical contractor, performing piping, plumbing and sheet metal internally. “There are not many companies that do that,” Grove explains. “Some will do piping and plumbing exclusively, while some do sheet metal only; it is a greater challenge to have all of those trades working together as one team. We are tasked with pulling everyone together to collaborate. Ultimately, by rising up and doing that, we can give the client a better overall solution. We are looking at all of their needs instead of just a portion of their needs. TCM thrives on the challenge of understanding our client’s operational needs and finding ways to help our clients be more successful because their buildings operate at a level higher than they ever expected. TCM is always striving to be Forward Thinking – Forward Building.”

Grove is proud to note TCM is doing well. “In the area of Building Image Modeling [BIM], we are a leader in our market,” he adds. “That technology has become fairly common practice in the industry, though many people are still trying to get up to speed on it. Now we are taking it to the next level where it is fully incorporated through all levels of our preconstruction and planning. That flows electronically into the shops so we are building all of the parts and pieces off a model. It goes into how we manage and direct all the activities of a construction phase on a project. We use the same sets of information for commissioning, closeouts and post-construction support to clients.”

TCM serves clients in a number of industries, providing upgrades and new mechanical construction directly to owners or through the company’s relationships with many general contractors. According to Grove, many projects serve high-tech, industrial, mission-critical and health care markets.

“We are really geared toward bigger and more challenging projects,” says Grove. “We built our entire company doing the right thing the first time, guaranteeing the highest levels of quality and safety. We like clients with the same business models and the same values.”

Of course, the TCM team is proud of its work. “These are not your average buildings,” Grove continues. “With these projects, the systems we build just have to work flawlessly for years. There is no opportunity for downtime or interrupted services. The Northwest has become attractive to a lot of mission critical industries for a variety of reasons. One is the really skilled workforce we are able to provide for construction. There is a variety of other things, such as a solid supply of water and good access to competitively priced electricity. The climate in the Northwest really lends itself to very efficient cooling performance as compared to most parts of the country. We are pretty fortunate to be working with a lot of these mission critical companies.”

A Different Kind of Service

The quality of service at TCM goes beyond basic practice and construction. Grove and the team work diligently throughout the planning, construction and support processes to maintain a longstanding reputation for integrity in business.

“We do the right thing,” he states simply. “We do what we say we will, and we follow through on our word. That quality is fairly rare in general, this industry included. We will do whatever it takes to honor any commitment we make. If we have challenges on our end, we own up to it and deal with it. We never try to shirk our responsibilities as a contractor. We go the extra mile to collaborate with clients. Sometimes we spend more time collaborating and planning than we do actually building, but if that is what it takes to make a successful project, then that is what we do.”

According to Grove, the team’s greatest concern is maintaining TCM’s culture of safety. “There is nothing I worry about more than making sure all of our workers get home safe every day. Inherently, construction can be a very dangerous occupation, but ultimately there is no reason it should be. If we plan our work, identify and mitigate all the hazards and never let our guard down, we should be able to make sure that all of our hundreds of workers get home in even better shape than when they got to work that morning. We know that our greatest assets are the people who work with us. We want them to be healthy and safe.”

With safety in mind, the team is able to tackle projects head on. “When all is said and done, our greatest performance indicator is a client that is exceedingly happy with our performance through all phases of the project,” Grove continues. “We have been in business for over 60 years. For many of those years, the tagline on our trucks read: Proud of Our Work. That is what we want for every one of our employees. We want them to be able to look back on every task and feel that way. We still operate on that value, but we have now changed our tagline to: Forward Thinking, Forward Building. This is to express our commitment to being an innovation leader.”

This is one of the reasons that TCM has been diligently working toward incorporating lean construction techniques in the company’s fabrication shops and field operations activities.

As the economy across the country gradually improves, Grove and his team have put added emphasis on innovation. “We are at a crossroad,” he explains. “There are indicators that things are starting to look better. The Northwest is a slightly different microcosm than the rest of the United States. We are seeing improvements, especially in the private industries we serve, but I don’t think it is solid yet. We have been seeing a lot of public work, and there is nothing wrong with taking those contracts, but that is not a true indicator of where the economy is going.”

Grove has remarks that private money is the engine that drives the economy. “All of that private money that has been parked on the side while people waited to see whether it was possible to move forward is now in motion,” he continues. “People are gaining confidence. The engines are starting to turn again and companies are ready to expand and build new facilities.”

TCM maintains a unique company culture and a solid rapport with a diverse client base. Regardless of the sector or industry, the business guarantees innovative, collaborative and safe solutions for all mechanical needs. With integrity, honesty and out of the box thinking, TCM is building a future in the regional market.

For more information about TCM, please visit:

Published on: November 21, 2013

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