Good Things Come in Mid-sized Packages
Phoenix Builders is one of the Chicagoland region’s most recognizable names. With over thirty years of experience in general contracting, as well as carpentry and painting, Phoenix is an integral part of the Midwestern market.
Over the past three decades, the general contracting industry has undergone a major transformation. The historically competitive sector has become increasingly small as multinational conglomerates have become more visible. But, in the seemingly saturated market, Phoenix Builders presents a gleaming point of difference which boils down to strategic approaches, built on personalized customer relationships.
Phoenix Builders was created by two brothers: Tom and Mike Teschner. After its start as a small solar energy project, the company evolved. The firm, which began in residential construction, eventually took on commercial works and quickly became a leading general contractor in the Chicagoland market.
Today, Phoenix Builders is an award winning, multi-state contractor. Home to more than fifty-five staff and performing over one hundred projects a year, Phoenix’s portfolio boasts some of the biggest names in the senior and assisted living, retail and restaurant industries. The company’s experienced management is backed by a team of in-house laborers, carpenters, painters and an extensive network of highly skilled contractors.
The company has undergone a massive transformation from its small family business origins, but it has remained committed to the values on which it was founded. “Quality and service delivered with pride is something we take seriously here. It’s why our clients come back to us,” says Joshua Hendryx, executive vice president of Phoenix Builders. He maintains that this commitment is the reason the firm has succeeded and will continue to see success for years to come.
The past ten years have presented trying economic times across the nation. Many mid-sized contractors have gone out of business, but Phoenix has not only maintained, but advanced its market position. In the Midwestern construction industry, it has a distinguished legacy. From structural to interior builds and everything in between, the company provides all the services necessary to carry out diverse and demanding projects. Mr. Hendryx emphasized, “We do everything from cradle to grave.”
The mid-sized company serves some of the most high-profile private clients in the country, performing to a standard which others simply cannot deliver. From preconstruction services, such as budgetary planning and design, to aftercare and licensing, Phoenix’s knowledge of the local market is an essential part of the firm’s overall approach. Its know-how cannot be replicated or replaced, and cookie-cutter contracting firms fall short.
This skill set, paired with a people-focused corporate culture, has made Phoenix an obvious choice for service-based structures such as senior and assisted living facilities. “We understand what a project is going to take, and we will build the proper team to execute the design requirements or intent for a project.” The company’s portfolio, which includes the likes of The Hallmark in Chicago assisted living facility, the University of Illinois – Miles Square Health Center and Toys “R” Us, testifies to this commitment.
Phoenix Builders’ success was inevitable and has grown out of a passion for the profession. “It comes down to us really having enjoyment for what we do,” said Hendryx of the organic growth that has resulted mainly from word-of-mouth advertising and repeat clientele.
A large portion of the firm’s projects result from repeat customers, and despite a highly-competitive marketplace, Phoenix remains the top choice for many of the most upscale projects in the Chicagoland area and beyond. “We take our clients’ needs and concerns and make them our own, whether it be from a timing standpoint or a quality standpoint or a pricing standpoint. Every client has different concerns. We try to understand what those are so we can make them our own – so we can meet those needs in the same order that they fall for the client.”
All industry, but particularly construction, has moved toward automated interactions, removing the hard work of personal connection. Although technical advancement has certainly benefitted contractors across the board, many large firms have lost touch with the importance of personal relationships and face to face customer services.
As this transformation toward impersonal, standardized services began to emerge, Phoenix Builders made a conscious effort to move the other direction and had cultivated growth around the notion of personalized services. “It’s important to us, that if our customer pick up the phone and want to speak about a concern, they can speak to anyone on our team,” Hendryx explained.
The company has built a reputation around living and breathing customer service. The relationship-based contractor operates fundamentally on the principle of people-centric business. “At the end of the day, we are building not only professional, but personal relationships with our clients. There is a mutual respect that is gained that way. We make it more about the person than the business side.”
Many companies claim to provide top-notch services, but Phoenix Builders has taken this notion to heart, believing that quality starts and ends with trust. “If we don’t take care of the customers, someone else will. We take our relationships with customers very seriously; they are the most important part of what we do.”
Despite significant expansion since its creation, the firm is strategic in its growth choices. By staying mid-sized, the contractor can serve clients better, which in turns keeps clients coming back for more. “We don’t have any desire to be a 100 to 200 million dollar construction firm. We are interested in everyone, from the president down, knowing who our customers are. This way, we know how best to serve them.”
In the end, people are its number one project. Keeping clients more than just a number is a feat which the company has met with enthusiasm. In a world increasingly removed from personal interaction, Phoenix Builders’ success proves that customer service and strong professional relationships still reign supreme.
It works with a diverse network of subcontractors on a range of projects. Although the company frequently works on union projects, merit-based endeavors represent an increasingly significant and interesting piece of the company’s work.
Merit-based contracting is an emerging trend that has raised the bar in terms of efficiency, quality and competition within the construction sector. It is growing in popularity, proving to be an effective approach toward solving longstanding construction dilemmas. This type of contracting attracts the most highly skilled and experienced teams, setting a standard of excellence. Hendryx explained that regardless of whether, “you are union or non-union, it’s the person with the best price and best scope of work and experience who will be the one to get the job.”
Phoenix is pioneering the merit-based contracting revolution that is transforming the industry. “We are one of the first merit-shop contractors in the Chicagoland market, and we really pride ourselves on knowing that market well,” said Hendryx. Through hiring only the best, it can ensure the most cost and labor-efficient strategies will be employed throughout the lifespan of a project.
As a premier private contractor, Phoenix Builders is better able to offer these types of innovative approaches, ensuring its clients receive the best services that are available to the market. Building from a base of experiential knowledge and a robust network of expert subcontractors, the company has the capability to develop not only the best project, but the best team for a project. Mr. Hendryx reiterated that with merit-based contracting, “you’re going to get the best value for your project, because we are going to get you the best value whether it is union or non-union trades.”
Unlike many companies, Phoenix has remained committed to quality over quantity and has honed the craft of sound and sustainable building. It has achieved LEED platinum on one occasion, LEED Gold twice, and silver once; won numerous Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Excellence in Construction awards; won an award for design and construction from the Association of Licensed Architects (ALA); and won National Safety Awards for the past 15 years.
The company has an increasing interstate footprint, an expanding range of projects and foresees substantial growth over the next five years. With a business model founded on the notion of customer relationships and quality services, Phoenix Builders is a case study in contracting done right.