LANDCO Construction Works Closely with Clients to Guarantee Quality and Satisfaction
this article originally appeared in the St. Louis Commercial Journal May/June 2006 issue.
Words LISA R. ADAMS photos STRAUSS PEYTON
In business, success is never an accident. It is always the result of careful planning, capable management and skillful execution. Construction success is no different.
“To deliver high-quality results on time and on budget, you’ve got to work hard and you’ve got to work smart. That is why LANDCO Construction begins every project by first learning our clients vision,” Ron Landolt, president/ CEO, said. “We then apply our extensive planning, management and construction skills to meet — and often exceed — our clients’ expectations. At the end of the day our goal is to deliver more than high-quality construction. We deliver the peace of mind that comes from knowing their project is in the very best hands.”
LANDCO specializes in pre-construction services, construction management and interior construction services: the latter quickly becoming the niche for this small but dynamic company of 30 employees. Completing projects ranging in size from $20,000 to $6.5 million, Landolt is determined to maintain a reputation of quality and excellent customer service by utilizing a very specific strategy. “We have long been innovators in developing construction solutions that encourage collaboration and achieve success,” he said.
Growing up in a busy family of six kids, it is easy to understand Landolts innate sense of teamwork. Having been coached and mentored by “many great people throughout my life and career” he is now the manager of his own team at LANDCO Construction. “Teamwork is the motto and our philosophy at LANDCO” Landolt said. Indeed, through this spirit of close cooperation to meet the needs of their clients, LANDCO has gone from $6 million in 2002 — its first full year — to projected revenue of $19 million for 2006. Like the coach of a winning team, Landolt’s forte is “to discover employees’ strengths and guide them to success. It’s all in how you treat people,” he said. “Surround yourself with great people working with a great process and the business will prosper. And that it did.”
This teamwork approach extends to LANDCO’s business practice with clients as Well. “It’s a tried and proven process that anticipates project challenges and requires resolution before proceeding to the next step,” Landolt said. “This team of owner architect and construction manager becomes the group that steers the project through completion.”
LANDCO’s participation as a team member in the early stages has proven extremely valuable to many clients. The company’s ability to provide cost estimates, cost-saving options and schedule considerations have allowed owners to make a more informed decision early in the project rather than later. Landolt continued, “By providing an unsurpassed level of performance, our goal is to develop a level of trust and confidence that will instill LANDCO Construction as a long-term partner in our clients’ construction planning.”
Landolt’s construction expertise began during high school summers performing carpentry work with his older brother Tim, who also encouraged him to attend college at Maryville University. “Attending Maryville University provided a great environment, not only to learn but to continue to develop my leadership skills,” he said. “During my senior year, Bob Rau, the physical plant director who I worked with during college, encouraged me to seek a position with Korte Construction. It so happened Korte was building a new gymnasium at that time on Maryville’s campus.”
Fortunate enough to already have construction field experience and a new bachelor of science in business administration, Landolt was able to secure his first position as an estimator with Korte Construction. Korte was an excellent stepping stone to his next stint with then Hercules Construction, which was bought by Turner Construction of New York. For 12 years, Landolt worked closely with corporate clients through the special projects division as project manager of interior projects. This was a niche in the industry that Landolt, along with a good friend, thought would be a great basis for their own company. Instead, he took a position with Paric Corps interior division, where he went from project manager to general manager to vice president in a short period of time.
The vision of building his own company became a reality for Landolt in September 2001 with a few of his former staff members as minority partners who had expressed a desire to join him. “That really meant a lot to me and gave me the courage to head out on my own,” he said, “and from then on, great things have happened.”
Landolt’s partners at LANDCO are Jim Britton, vice president of field operations, Randy McLaren, senior project manager and Linda Bernhard, project manager. Extremely proud of his team, Landolt said that because of Britton many clients have noted how clean and safe the production site is, making LANDCO a standout in this category. McLaren, another standout, was recognized and honored with the Project Manager of the Year Award by the American Subcontractors Association in 2000. Bernhard wears a couple of hats as an expert in estimating, along with her creative side in marketing. Clients continuously compliment the company on their detailed estimate proposals and attractive LANDCO gear.
With the addition of Jim Hoette, project manager in 2004, LANDCO’s healthcare-related project opportunities have grown along with the company. “Jim’s vast knowledge and experience in the medical field allow us to perform more healthcare-related construction projects such as BJC HealthCare and Sisters of Mercy Health System,” Landolt said. “Our superintendents are very diverse craftsmen, notably in their ability to build complex and high-finish projects, but also because they’re able to build genuine relationships with the owner; architect and subcontractors.”
“I think it’s interesting to note how our project size and scope can vary considerably,” Landolt added. “Our largest project to date is a complete interior renovation of a three-story building with 110,000 square feet, while the smallest project amounted to less than 1,000 square feet, which was performed for a repeat client.” LANDCO’s ability to self-perform interior construction activities utilizing skilled union craftsmen provides added value, quality and control to their projects. “Building your vision is what we do best.”
LANDCO gets involved in a lot of challenging and creative projects. The most challenging was literally building a new self-supporting, steel-framed building within an existing, old, wood-framed building in downtown St. Louis. Their most creative project was transforming a plain, pre-engineered building into a modern, nature-inspired showroom located in St. Charles. “Our collaborative efforts and teamwork approach with our clients from beginning to end have resulted in repeat opportunities, which just confirms we are becoming the preferred interiors contractor in the area,” Landolt said.
Having the luxury of such expertise in the construction industry allows LANDCO to accept clients from small to large and simple to complex, which may have something to do with their second consecutive nomination for Contractor of the Year Award from the American Subcontractors Association. Also, in 2002 (alter just one full year of business), LANDCO was recognized by the International Facility Management Association as Outstanding Company of the Year. Landolt, a 1980 business graduate of Maryville University was the first recipient of the Deans Award from the John E. Simon School of Business in 2005 for his success as an entrepreneur with LANDCO Construction.